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The Next Big Blue-Collar Job Is Coding

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posted on Feb, 9 2017 @ 08:05 AM
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a reply to: Aazadan


I wouldn't call it a blue collar job...



I think the point of the article and headline is that old-style blue collar jobs are disappearing and coding is what's left. In the sense that blue collar means relatively unskilled labor.




posted on Feb, 9 2017 @ 08:13 AM
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originally posted by: CynConcepts
Artificial Intelligent monitoring systems are going to eliminate a lot of low level coding positions. The simple monitoring system has been tested for the last two years quite successfully. It is now in the process of being coded to actually fix the coding issues without a manual operator following it's instructions. Lower level coding jobs are going to be reduced drastically within the next 5 years.

My source: my husband created a monitor for his global corporation and has nearly completed the final software program. He is not the only one doing this, other IT corporations have been doing their own custom codes too.


Yes. True. Another looming case of "Humans Need Not Apply."

I suspect the article is simply flagging a short-term gap-cum-opportunity. Most reports and studies on the 'changing economy' make it clear that jobs will appear then disappear with great regularity. No more having a career for life - likely not even for 5 years.



posted on Feb, 9 2017 @ 08:20 AM
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originally posted by: dfnj2015

www.ted.com...



I agree that the seemingly impossible is possible - and that people can flourish without having jobs that simply feed the already rich. I also note that the cultural shift required to do so is also seemingly impossible.

Not impossible, just seemingly so.



posted on Feb, 9 2017 @ 08:40 AM
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a reply to: soficrow

Boolean logic isn't something that is readily accessible to everyone. Some folks just can't do it. Focus/concentration are a major hurdle, but just following the complexity of nested logic functions....that is a real skill.

I do think its a viable alternative for people possessing the intellectual capabilities. For those who don't....

I know this dude who is, in the clinical sense, mentally retarded. He was diagnosed at a young age, and has been hospitalized (as a very young child). As a 40 year old adult, he is a supervisor for a local natural gas company. He basically drives around and looks at gauges. Occasionally does repairs and maintenance. Makes good enough money to drive a new jeep, and has his wife in a nice muscle car (i think a challenger). Takes care of his 2 kids, and his 3 stepkids. All with a clinical retardation diagnosis. Would he ever be able to code? Nope. Never. But he's good enough at the work he does he's been promoted. Not that this story weighs on your OP. Just a story I thought was relevant to my post.



posted on Feb, 9 2017 @ 08:52 AM
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a reply to: bigfatfurrytexan



a reply to: soficrow

Boolean logic isn't something that is readily accessible to everyone. Some folks just can't do it. Focus/concentration are a major hurdle, but just following the complexity of nested logic functions....that is a real skill.

I do think its a viable alternative for people possessing the intellectual capabilities. For those who don't....


I'm not saying coding is not a real skill, nor is the article's author saying that. Neither of us are suggesting that traditional blue collar jobs do not require skill either.

The claim is that coding is the NEXT blue collar job. ...And the unfortunate truth is, like traditional blue collar work, coding jobs for humans will soon disappear too.



posted on Feb, 9 2017 @ 08:59 AM
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a reply to: soficrow

I think a better term for this is 'scripting' - like people who automate spreadsheets. Having done both coding (COBOL, C, etc) and scripting (zillions of things) I can say that scripting is much easier but it does require some specialized skills... so I'm not sure I'd call it 'blue collar.'

But it's interesting that this kind of job is getting more popular as the work environment changes.



posted on Feb, 9 2017 @ 09:14 AM
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originally posted by: Byrd
a reply to: soficrow

I think a better term for this is 'scripting' - like people who automate spreadsheets. Having done both coding (COBOL, C, etc) and scripting (zillions of things) I can say that scripting is much easier but it does require some specialized skills... so I'm not sure I'd call it 'blue collar.'

But it's interesting that this kind of job is getting more popular as the work environment changes.


I think "blue collar" is being used as an economic term and class designation - meaning traditional blue collar jobs are pretty much gone, and the 'slot' has been replaced with coding jobs. So it's not about 'popularity' or skill level - it's about placement on the economic ladder, and job availability/existence. [To be fair, traditional blue collar tradespeople also have real skills.]

Again, we need to recognize that AI will soon replace scripters and coders too.


posted by: CynConcepts

Artificial Intelligent monitoring systems are going to eliminate a lot of low level coding positions. The simple monitoring system has been tested for the last two years quite successfully. It is now in the process of being coded to actually fix the coding issues without a manual operator following it's instructions. Lower level coding jobs are going to be reduced drastically within the next 5 years.

My source: my husband created a monitor for his global corporation and has nearly completed the final software program. He is not the only one doing this, other IT corporations have been doing their own custom codes too.










edit on 9/2/17 by soficrow because: fix auto-correct



posted on Feb, 9 2017 @ 09:24 AM
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a reply to: Byrd

Also, my last post in another thread:


“Disruptive change” is the technical term for “no more jobs” aka the “Fourth Industrial Revolution.” ...

From any angle, the future looks bleak, and all the re-training and re-skilling in the world ("adaptive actions" recommended by the WEF) will not put the majority back to work.

Tough times ahead.




posted on Feb, 9 2017 @ 09:52 AM
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originally posted by: bigfatfurrytexan
Boolean logic isn't something that is readily accessible to everyone. Some folks just can't do it. Focus/concentration are a major hurdle, but just following the complexity of nested logic functions....that is a real skill.


I don't know about that. I'll grant you that some people can't do boolean logic, but I think it's something that is within everyones potential. Nested logic functions get a little more complex, but to be fair many programmers are pretty bad at those too... those people usually move to front end positions.


I do think its a viable alternative for people possessing the intellectual capabilities. For those who don't....


Programming is interesting, everything is built upon abstractions of previous layers, and the higher level you go the more abstract it gets. There are A LOT of people with programming jobs right now who only do the high level stuff and are completely clueless when it comes to lower level operations. For example, a simple print statement in a language like Python is built on something like 5 layers of abstraction. Most people can grasp print() but they might not necessarily grasp the interpreter, tokenizer, parser, assembly, and binary layers underneath it.

The simple stuff is labor that I think everyone can do, the problem is that programming isn't really about sitting down and writing code. It's about theory and proving that you're writing things in an efficient manner, then drawing your blueprints for how everything is going to fit together. You can divide this into two positions, the software engineer and the code monkey, but if you simplify a job you also remove the difficulty that makes it an upper middle class paying position, and then cease to solve the issue with getting people good jobs.


originally posted by: Byrd
a reply to: soficrow

I think a better term for this is 'scripting' - like people who automate spreadsheets. Having done both coding (COBOL, C, etc) and scripting (zillions of things) I can say that scripting is much easier but it does require some specialized skills... so I'm not sure I'd call it 'blue collar.'

But it's interesting that this kind of job is getting more popular as the work environment changes.


Scripting isn't really about difficulty though. I admit there's a lot of overlap in the two terms, but generally scripts are scheduled/run automatically while code isn't. Code in this case is often much written on demand to solve a specific problem. Writing some _javascript to purge your email inbox once a week would be a script while querying a database for specific information and running the code once for a report would be code. Neither of those is really that different from the other on the difficulty or prestige scale.

I think we're entering a point where some basic coding skils are becoming a nice to have on any resume. For example an office worker who knows how to write some VBA and make a few excel macros is a nice plus to have. Similarly, an executive who knows some SQL and can query their own information on demand rather than waiting for others to get it for them can be more efficient. I don't think the rise of those types of tasks compete with actual programming positions though, intsead it frees programmers up to work on more skilled tasks like finding the bottlenecks in your website and rewriting the code to deliver content faster, or to use less data thereby saving the company money.



posted on Feb, 9 2017 @ 03:04 PM
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a reply to: soficrow

I spoke to a few more people about this article. Almost everyone considered it to be ridiculous.

They brought up lots of things in the article but I noticed but didn't comment on. I'll mention them now:
1. The author doesn't seem to know the difference between IT and CS.
2. "Sling Javascript for the local bank". Banks don't hire people to maintain simple login portals. Nothing is simple with banking software because it involves a lot of connected systems that are doing different things. Made more complicated is adhering to regulations, being in an industry that has 0 tolerance for mistakes, and the fact that there are a lot of legacy systems. The banking industry is probably the most technically complex industry there is.
3. Programmer stereotypes. I seriously doubt this person has ever actually met one. Despite the Hollywood stereotypes, most people in CS are actually normal people.

There's a few other things too that I noticed after rereading the article, but to suffice it to say I don't think highly of the article.

And to address one other point that was brought up in this thread (and another recent thread), coding isn't going to be fully automated any time soon. Parts of it can be automated, and parts of it can be made easier, such as implementing a GUI which drags and drops modules together, but the code itself still has to be written. In line with my comments earlier that you're going to see coding being a nice to have on a resume, programming jobs aren't going anywhere, but some programming is going to become more accessible to the point that non skilled people can use it. That's not going to eliminate any jobs though. If anything, we'll probably see another Visual Basic type language arise for lesser skilled people to put things together.

I've actually seen something similar to this in my field which is game dev. With the rise of engines like Unity, Unreal, and Lumberyard programming jobs aren't disappearing. Instead it's opening up the field for more people to get into it creating more products. On the wage side, things have actually been improving too.



posted on Feb, 9 2017 @ 06:21 PM
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I'm going to have to say "yep, and double-yep" here. Aazadan did a better job of reading the article than I did.


originally posted by: Aazadan
a reply to: soficrow

I spoke to a few more people about this article. Almost everyone considered it to be ridiculous.

They brought up lots of things in the article but I noticed but didn't comment on. I'll mention them now:
1. The author doesn't seem to know the difference between IT and CS.

True.


2. "Sling Javascript for the local bank". Banks don't hire people to maintain simple login portals. Nothing is simple with banking software because it involves a lot of connected systems that are doing different things. Made more complicated is adhering to regulations, being in an industry that has 0 tolerance for mistakes, and the fact that there are a lot of legacy systems. The banking industry is probably the most technically complex industry there is.

I didn't go into this, but any kind of accounting system (maintaining court records, legal documents, etc) is indeed very complex and as hardware changes ("big iron" mainframes to distributed networks, for instance) the software changes and that means new code and... (big "eeeeeeeeeeeeeeewwww!!" from me because I've done this) trying to get the old data into the new software. It wasn't easy in 1980 and it was a lot more complicated in 2004.


3. Programmer stereotypes. I seriously doubt this person has ever actually met one. Despite the Hollywood stereotypes, most people in CS are actually normal people.

Speak for yourself!
I'm pretty strange.


And to address one other point that was brought up in this thread (and another recent thread), coding isn't going to be fully automated any time soon. Parts of it can be automated, and parts of it can be made easier, such as implementing a GUI which drags and drops modules together, but the code itself still has to be written. In line with my comments earlier that you're going to see coding being a nice to have on a resume, programming jobs aren't going anywhere, but some programming is going to become more accessible to the point that non skilled people can use it. That's not going to eliminate any jobs though. If anything, we'll probably see another Visual Basic type language arise for lesser skilled people to put things together.

I've actually seen something similar to this in my field which is game dev. With the rise of engines like Unity, Unreal, and Lumberyard programming jobs aren't disappearing. Instead it's opening up the field for more people to get into it creating more products. On the wage side, things have actually been improving too.


And I agree here. Although I was once a fairly skilled programmer, I'm not Ready For Game Dev. Software's changed and the engines have changed and it's a highly specialized field where they're not going to hire just anyone off the streets. Engines have made it possible for one person to code a game but in general the development time there is so huge that the return for one person doing it just isn't profitable.



posted on Feb, 9 2017 @ 07:02 PM
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originally posted by: Byrd
And I agree here. Although I was once a fairly skilled programmer, I'm not Ready For Game Dev. Software's changed and the engines have changed and it's a highly specialized field where they're not going to hire just anyone off the streets. Engines have made it possible for one person to code a game but in general the development time there is so huge that the return for one person doing it just isn't profitable.


It's an interesting field. In most industries you have some degree of needing to pay attention to bigO runtimes but in gaming it becomes a lot more important. Something programmers from other fields don't really get initially is that you have a time limit on all of your calculations. If you're drawing the game at 60 fps, that means you need to fit all of your logic and rendering code into 1/60th a second. So as a result, algorithm runtimes become very important.

Where engines have really capitalized on this (I can speak mostly to Unity since that's what I have the most experience with), is they've got very streamlined renderers, this saves you the overhead of writing your own graphics code. This is great because building the graphics pipeline in something like OpenGL was easily half of your time overhead before, and chances were you still couldn't manage an optimal implementation because graphics are really, really hard.

It doesn't mean those skills aren't needed, but it does lower the skill bar. To take an example of something I did today, I was building a character controller for a third person game. Rather than having to implement all the math for the camera in order to properly display what it should, I only had to use 3d math to position the camera as the controls dictated which is basically rotating just a single object in world/object space. To give a comparison as to what sort of time savings that is, it took me 4 weeks last semester to implement in OpenGL what took me 2 hours to do today in Unity. I still need all the underlying skills, but it doesn't take as long.



posted on Feb, 9 2017 @ 07:42 PM
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a reply to: Aazadan & Byrd

Some excellent posts, hitting many issues on the head.

There is also the new way search engines and marketing in general has evolved.

Might not be the hardcore game dev or algo design, but I don't see even front end developing being automated, simply because of the SEO / SEM ( marketing via Search Engines ) issue takes a place.

It's fastly becoming an art in how you organize and display content via the wording as well as the coding ( metatags and rich snippets ) meshing with your html elements that need to be done in just the right way to reach users and be chosen by search engine bots ( crawlers ) to be seen for what you want them to be seen as and used.

Not to mention, you need to basically become a internet cop and figure out why bad spamming or other black hat tactics are working and devise ways to utilize content to combat how that tactic might be working.

It's kinda amazing how people are manipulating Google's own algorithms and machine learning to get some serious cashflow. But you can also use said knowledge and help small businesses get seen in a world of fake and spammy scam sites.

Automation is awesome, I love it, how can you not. You just need to understand, while it will displace some jobs, it's only going to become the companions to the majority. We can crudely automate creativity but not creative problem solving in the terms we require from humans on a vast array of jobs.



posted on Feb, 9 2017 @ 08:05 PM
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a reply to: Aazadan

i've spent quite a bit of time trying to train people to do simple boolean logic in Excel and ave come to the conclusion that some people just don't work that way.



posted on Feb, 9 2017 @ 08:20 PM
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originally posted by: soficrow

Again, we need to recognize that AI will soon replace scripters and coders too.



Yes, AI will replace script kiddies and coders, but only for a short time. Eventually artificial super-intelligence (ASI) will start a hacking war, thus destroying itself and mankind.

ASI will be in a situation where AI is in control (and not man). Humans will counter ASI with super-intelligent autonomous weapons.... it will turn into a big mess, there is no doubt ASI will design itself for destruction and war.

I'd say carbon life has about 20 to 30 years left, the military will ignore Asimov's Laws.

The Three Laws of Robotics
en.wikipedia.org...


* A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

* A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

* A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.[1]



posted on Feb, 9 2017 @ 08:36 PM
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Wired's article, "Next Big Blue Collar Job is Coding" is all over now with the predictable critical commentary. Here's an October 2016 blog entry from a member of the "Decoding Bootcamps" team funded by the World Bank’s Jobs Umbrella Trust Fund. It refers to coding as a "blue-collar job." But it's not the first - found the term in a 2013 article too.




...When we think about start-ups and employment, the first thing that come to mind is the start-up founders, typically highly educated and motivated individuals. However, evidence from New York startup ecosystem, a testing ground of new jobs generated through technology after the financial crisis, suggests otherwise.

First, most of the jobs generated by the tech start-up ecosystem are not in start-ups but in the traditional industries that either are influenced or disrupted by start-up technologies (with over three times more employment generated in the non-tech traditional industry).

Second, more than 40 percent of these new jobs did not require bachelor’s degree skills or above. These are jobs like building a website, a basic database, a web or mobile app.

What are the skills needed to fill these categories — which we can call tech blue-collar skill jobs — and how people are being trained for them?

In New York, most of these skills have been generated through coding bootcamps. General Assembly, the largest bootcamp provider in the city, has become a basic tech-skills factory, producing hundreds (we estimated over 800) of graduates per year trained in intense two- to three-month courses. These graduates turn directly into entrepreneurs or become employed in tech functions for both start-ups and other tech or non-tech companies.

My hypothesis is that these tech blue-collar jobs are a new category of blue-collar jobs that will increasingly allow lower-educated and lower-skilled populations to access new job opportunities.





posted on Feb, 9 2017 @ 08:41 PM
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I think one thing everyone is missing is that when you speak of writing code or scripting for banking systems, game development, web servers, etc. you are not referring to any industry that requires blue collar workers. These are newly created fields that are not displacing workers. Blue collar employment is generally considered manufacturing and unskilled labor.

Manufacturing jobs are being replaced with automation. This automation requires programming, hence the new blue collar will be programmers. Many of today's plant floor maintenance require programming proficiency. The equipment on the floor is monitored, which requires upper level software. So on and so forth. Manufacturing plants are increasing requiring more and more programmers.

By the way, programming, scripting, coding is not difficult. Let's not lie to ourselves, maybe it's not for everyone, but neither is cooking or welding or sewing. I honestly feel that managing a large company (at a profit) would be WAY more complicated than writing some code, and that is why I would tend to agree with the premise of the article.

Let's go even further down the rabbit hole. Where does all of this automation eventually lead? I mean, it is inevitable, and if my simple mind can infer the end result I'm sure people much smarter than me can as well. Jobs WILL dissappear. There is no way around it. A totally automated world would not require every man, woman, and child to be writing scripts and correcting code. As others have pointed out, this will be automated as well.

Just think, a couple of hundred years ago we had to follow some stupid animal back and forth across a field days on end in order to make a loaf of bread and then go home and sit in the dark.

As others have said, I can't see capitalism in its current form being able to support a people once our robot overlords have taken over. If we allow ourselves to imagine a fully automated, fully control environment, we should be free to pursue nobler endeavors. But the idea of living on a weekly paycheck just doesn't seem realistic in that world, or necessary.



posted on Feb, 9 2017 @ 08:47 PM
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originally posted by: Tranceopticalinclined
Might not be the hardcore game dev or algo design, but I don't see even front end developing being automated, simply because of the SEO / SEM ( marketing via Search Engines ) issue takes a place.


What I see in terms of front end "automation" is companies like Wordpress that take all the HTML/CSS/Javascript that you would need to type out in a page, and turn it into drag and drop modules that take the coding out of writing the code. That sort of stuff is only going to continue to expand. It doesn't take jobs away though, if anything it adds a few.


originally posted by: bigfatfurrytexan
a reply to: Aazadan

i've spent quite a bit of time trying to train people to do simple boolean logic in Excel and ave come to the conclusion that some people just don't work that way.


Interesting. Do you think it's the logic that's their problem or the interface itself? Excel is an amazing tool, but to someone who isn't familiar with computers it can be pretty intimidating, especially the formula bar.

Sometimes the interface makes all the difference. For example, back when I was studying 3d modeling, at one point in my classes we came to the concept of booleans. In 3d modeling booleans take two objects and combine the two in order to make precise, complex geometry. There's A-B, A+B, and B-A, and those are exactly how they sound. The first is subtracting B's overlying space from A. The second is combining the two, and the third is subtracting A's overlying space from B.

A lot of people struggled with this concept until the instructor explained it in terms of a Venn Diagram like this one
en.wikipedia.org...#/media/File:Vennandornot.svg

In my programming class, we were taught boolean logic with truth tables. To do AND for example
True AND True = True
False AND True = False
True AND False = False
False AND False = False

My experience with Excel has been that most people can do it given enough practice (I used to do a lot of Excel tutoring). What trips them up is using cell names in place of values, it's a lot like using variables in programming. Once they grasp that, the rest seems to fall into place... until they get to if statements and conditional formatting.



posted on Feb, 9 2017 @ 08:50 PM
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originally posted by: imitator
I'd say carbon life has about 20 to 30 years left, the military will ignore Asimov's Laws.

The Three Laws of Robotics
en.wikipedia.org...


* A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

* A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

* A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.[1]


Wanna play a fun game? Prioritize the rules. If you read them in the priority given (done through the not conflict modifier), you get a peaceful utopia. Change the order though such as

* A robot must protect its own existence.
* A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
* A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings.

And you get a killbot hellscape to borrow XKCD's term.

Or
* A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
* A robot must protect its own existence.
* A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings.

And you get an odd cold war/stalemate.



posted on Feb, 9 2017 @ 08:53 PM
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Coding has been hot for a long time, however do not lump the script kiddies in with the software engineers and architects.
There will always be a huge separation.



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