What will programming be like in 20-30 years?

The question and answer site Quora discusses various topics. For example, one of the users offers to consider what programming will be like in 20-30 years in the future?

Michael O. Church’s answer received the most positive reviews. He immediately slanders that predicting the future is a thankless business. For example, how did we see the future 20-30 years ago? It was clear that the future was on the Internet. But at the same time, we thought that technological progress would make people more free, that we would work 20 hours a week and have all the necessary things. He said the robots will work.

None of this came to fruition (well, except for the Internet).

Although, the development of humanity still goes in the indicated direction: we are still moving towards a society without cash money, even if not as fast as we would like.

Mobile computers, as predicted in the 90s, really did appear and became very popular.

But this is where the progress is minimal, so it is in the socio-economic respect. Human nature cannot be corrected so quickly, and all vices such as greed and pride cannot be eliminated at once. As a result, precisely because of these defects, poverty still exists in society. Improvements in human morality are too slow.

Speaking directly about programmers, Michael Church believes that this profession will be needed even more than now, and programmers will earn more. In his opinion, a normal salary for a programmer would be about $29,000 a month (in today’s money, before taxes) in the middle of his career, that is, around the age of 40.

The problem is that the big money will attract a lot of charlatans who don’t really know how to program. We can already see this on the example of Silicon Valley, where people go after money, they do not dream about technological progress and future changes, they just want to earn more. We will have to find ways to deal with it.

Well, the technological basis of work will not change too much. Programming languages ​​will continue to evolve, and ideas from Lisp and Haskell will continue to spread into everyday use, but it is unlikely that programming will be fundamentally different in 20 years from now. Programming will still be challenging, but it will still be exciting when you can use pure logic to create new things.

There are more reasons to study than meets the eye

With the development of information systems and technologies, the world is increasingly in need of programmers. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1.4 million programming-related jobs will be created in the country in the next decade. And only 400,000 of them will be able to close. In addition, in the USA, positions related to programming are constantly at the top of the job rating.

If we consider Europe and Ukraine, the situation is very similar. Of course, there are many other tasks for the development and growth of the industry in the Ukrainian IT sector. But the issue of the emergence and education of new personnel remains relevant for the entire market. Where to get them?

How studying abroad takes place

In the West, much attention is paid not only to general education, but also to teaching school-age children computer science. One of the messages of former US President Barack Obama to teenagers is “don’t just play on your smartphone, but program it.” But why should all children learn programming? There are more reasons than it might seem at first glance.

Today, technology is developing and spreading around the world at a rapid pace. It is worth considering that the speed of this spread will only increase. It is important for every modern child to understand how and in what way programs and hardware work.
An example of enthusiasm for technology can be Thomas Suarez, a sixth-grader from one of the American schools, who has already managed to participate in the global interdisciplinary conference TEDx. At the event, he talked about his company CarrotCorp and how he independently creates applications for the App Store. 2.7 million people have already watched his performance on YouTube. Thomas believes that programming gives children new tools and opportunities to express themselves. A member of the MIT Media Laboratory shares the same opinion. “When programming, children create their own toys,” he adds. In addition, children who play video games develop attention skills. Such conclusions were made by scientists from the Center for Visual Sciences of the University of Rochester (USA), who conducted research among 7-22-year-old children who play and do not play video games.

Learning languages ​​is now more than an actual issue. In the field of information technologies, English is mandatory. By programming, children practice language skills.
In Western specialized media, you can often find the phrase “following the logic of programming trains children’s analytical abilities.” In turn, Australian teacher Kate Heggart believes that programming teaches a child to check the work done more carefully, approach tasks logically, ask questions correctly and work in a team.

Why study programming?

Tynker.com, an online platform for children to learn programming, names four reasons to encourage children’s interest in IT:
development of creativity;
development of an experimental vein;
development of skills to involve both hemispheres of the brain in processes;
raising confidence when creating something new.

We often admire Western approaches to education. For example, in Estonia since 2012 they started teaching programming to first graders. Why? Estonian officials support early, versatile education for children, believing that it will help them be ready for the rapid development of technology. In addition, by playing video games, children learn to create them together with other children.
What are children taught?
In the West, children are taught the basics of visual programming using Scratch, HTML+CSS, JavaScript, and Python programming languages. A little later, learning the basics of hardware programming (Arduino and Raspberry Pi) is added to the program. Naturally, block programming is also taught.

The depth of knowledge depends on age. From the age of three, the concepts of algorithms are explained, they are taught to perform actions on blocks, and basic commands in games are taught. From the age of six, they teach basic knowledge of Scratch, HTML+CSS, JavaScript, Python (games, animations, websites, applications), as well as the basics of hardware programming (Arduino and Raspberry Pi) and block programming – Google Project Blocks. Knowing the simplest programming languages, children can purposefully continue learning a language (for example, JavaScript) or start learning another.

The old phrase “children are our future” sounds more relevant now than ever. And with the development of technology, the world will increasingly need well-rounded children who can not only adapt to innovations, but also generate new ideas. By teaching children programming from an early age, we will help them be ready for such changes. In Ukraine, this issue needs to be resolved at the state level. As an option, teach children programming in a playful way. This will help to solve two main educational challenges of Ukrainian schools: low motivation to study and weak level of understanding of computer science.