Not everyone’s born or made to be a programmer. And it’s not the only way to your success (or at least, to get things done). - Doublecee -
Computer programming and whatever related to it (and I.T. – pun intended) has been gaining its popularity so rapidly since the ‘90s. By 2021, we now have millions of programmers / developers all over the world. Around 200.000 – 300.000 are in Vietnam, where the number of developers as well as IT-courses has been increasing [1], which is impressive considering its late emergence in this country.
Put aside the numbers, the popularity of software development is expressed in various ways. The demands for developers keeps growing. Sofware companies, programming communities, colleges and courses continue to appear and get promotions. Job ads and Youtube commercials everywhere. Even kids start to learn to write codes at a fairly young age, with benefits and encouragement being repeated all the time. Several films also includes hackers breaking the security barrier(s) in seconds, and that kid in “Kong vs Godzilla” even said he’d use HTML to hack NASA’s system (Nani dafuq ? Aight, at least he didn’t try). And on Vietnamese social media, we have this kinda copypasta:
Ngành IT Việt Nam hiện nay ở đầu của sự phát triển. Có thể nói IT là vua của các nghề. Vừa có tiền, có quyền. Vừa kiếm được nhiều $ lại được xã hội trọng vọng... - nhakhaocohoc, Voz -
which is translated into this and goes international:
Vietnam's IT industry is now at the forefront of development. It can be said that IT is the king of all jobs. The people who know about IT both have money and power. They can earn a lot of $ and be respected by the society
Considering the rise of programming and the demands for it, does everyone really have to know how to program, or to be more specific, to write codes ? I don’t think so, at least by this point in time. And there are things I want to tell you about that.
1. The verb “Program” as we know it:
According to Wikitionary, to “program” is to enter a program or other instructions into a computer (or another electronic device) to instruct it to do a particular task. However, as the computer and software industry began to emerge, the major uses of the word “program” seems to be in these areas. “Programming” is now linked to “coding” or “writing computer codes”, though these terms are not necessarily the same.
2. The great demand for programmers – will it continue ?
The demands and the number of developers are still rising by this point, and are pridicted to keep the trend in the next few years. Yet, with the emergence of artificial intelligence, it is questioned whether these figures will keep the trend. Luckily, this will not happening anytime soon, at least in a forseeable future, since the A.I.s is still imperfect and needs human to be built and their interventions to operate correctly. (But who know…) At least for now, there is still jobs for programmers in other fields, and A.I. developers as well. Another thing to point out is, despite the growing of the developer population, only the skilled and / or talented (enough) ones are in demand. In fact, those who meet all the “high standards” always take just a small part, but what more can we expect ? The world of programming is there for everyone to come, but not everyone was born for it after all.
3. Programming is not the only thing in this society:
Not everyone was born, or made to be a programmer.
Big deal ? Not at all. We’re born and raised differently.
We’re still living in a society where different roles and occupations co-exist. The idea of everyone being good at the one same thing is just as rediculous as having someone being an expert at everything. That also applies for coding. Roles need to be filled, and tasks need to be done. A programmer can create a management software for a supply chain, doesn’t mean he must be able to create and manage the chain itself. Similarly, an electronic accessories maker doesn’t need to program his accessories. The others will build a machine from it, and a whole other group will program it. On the application side, 3D designer doesn’t need write code for his 3D object and renderer. He just need a tool written and built by another to create the shapes. A cook sure does not need to build and program a robot from scratch to cook for him. He just need to buy one, or just cook. (A program written in an esolang called “Chef” is not even edible)
Besides, programming and computers are just tools to solve certain problems. Wether you see this in the positive or negative way, technologies haven’t advanced to the point it can replace humans’ minds in many aspect, expecially in thoughts and planning based on them. Thus, not having a mindset of a problem solver just makes all tools useless.
4. The noun “Program” - the nature of “Programming”:
As a noun, the uses of “program” aren’t just limited to computers and electronics. According to Wikitionary, it also means “A set of structured activities”. So basically, you don’t need to be a programmer to create a program. An event organizer or planner can create a list of activities with sequences of actions an put it into a schedule, which becomes a program. Since a computer program also have operations or instructions done in a certain order, these kinds of programs are just strikingly similar. If you’re a planner, you may do similar things to a programmer, with your object being humans and the language being a regular human language (of course, things may go wrong more easily). So don’t be sad if you can’t join the developers population, your current jobs may involve more task with similar nature to programming than you think.
5. Conclusion ?
If I have any advice for you, it might not be any bit useful, except “do whatever you think is right to you”, which sounds obvious. If you have no real interest, no talent, or have better things to do, then don’t run straight ahead to the world of programming. Other wonderful stuffs of the world is still there, waiting for you to be done. If you see programming as “cool” just from seeing other coders, just read the previous sentences and think twice. My story ends here without a proper end.
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