I live and work as a software developer in one of the largest cities in the world, and there can be no hesitation to say that we are in the middle of a technological revolution.
But what exactly does that mean? I am aware that this is just background noise for most; London is often an intrinsically insular thinking city which pretty much fails to grasp the concept of human existence outside the M25. What does a tech revolution mean to everyone that lives outside this type of eco-systems?
Well, at least most of the time, not much. And it’s hard to, as away from the hype and the free beer, people have their own issues. Innovations in technology are pretty damn niche in comparison to ‘I have to work a double shift tomorrow and dammit I just want a G&T shut up about fancy watches already’. So why am I writing this? Because our generation has a lot to lose from not caring about tech.
We made mud pies when the Dot-com bubble burst, we survived the millennium bug, we mis-managed the delicate politics of teenage social groups over MSN messenger, organised uni life on Facebook and graduated into the ‘Internet of Things’. Technology has utterly shaped our lives; something that on the whole we have accepted without much argument. Our generation’s IT lessons were spent flagrantly ignoring our teachers pathetic efforts to make a powerpoint presentations and fights with the rubber balls from the mice. IT was dull and pointless.
Nowadays that is not the case. Programming is being taught from primary school level, and children are being encouraged to code. Next year the BBC will give a raspberry pi to every 7 year old in the country to train them to build and break things. We are training a generation of mini super hackers. Which is great…
But not for our generation. The world of startups today offers a preview of how large swathes of the economy will be organised tomorrow. This pattern is already emerging in such sectors as banking, telecommunications, electricity and even government. The future is tech driven and in almost any sector this will be difficult to avoid. People who ‘don’t get computers’ will be left behind when the generation below us graduates.
The industrial revolution produced countless inventions that immeasurable improved many people’s lives and transformed society to the cost of multiple jobs. However, it created new economic opportunities on a mass scale, with plenty of new roles to replace those that had been made redundant.
Whether the digital revolution will bring mass job creation to make up for its mass job destruction remains to be seen, but how do we avoid being part of the jobless in years to come?… learn how to ‘get’ computers, and learn now.
(For and interesting article about this – check out this special report from the economist