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The Next Big Blue-Collar Job Is Coding

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posted on Feb, 9 2017 @ 09:07 PM
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a reply to: soficrow

Bootcamps have a notoriously poor reputation. In terms of skills given, they're equal to about 1 semester of college. Which means they teach just enough to get you into trouble.

A common approach in programming is divide and conquer. You take a complex task, divide it into a series of small tasks, and then execute them in sequence. The physical representation of this is the assembly line. In the mid 1800's a machine involved a bunch of custom made pieces crafted by artisans. Once interchangeable parts came along though, people merely added and removed a specific piece, or in the case of a factory made a specific piece.

Some of the same thing is happening with programming, as it happens with any discipline. That doesn't mean programming jobs are going away though, or even that software engineering jobs are going away. What it does mean is that people who don't program will in the future probably be expected to do a little bit of programming related to job functions as part of their workload.

As a practical example of this, about a decade ago a friend of mine was working for a tech company in San Diego. He was an expert in Regular Expressions, and was the only person on their project who was really proficient with them. He pulled in $130k just to type stuff that looked like gibberish to everyone else. These days however, every programmer is expected to be familiar with them. If you're a front end person for example and you can't write a regex to determine if someone has entered a valid string of text into your login form you're in trouble. Similarly, if you're a backend person and you don't know how to parse a log for log messages that contain the letters q and y (to give a silly example) you can't adequately do your job.

Lowering the bar to using technology doesn't create unskilled labor, it means people actually need more skills in order to do what they were doing before, in addition to using the new tech.




posted on Feb, 9 2017 @ 09:21 PM
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a reply to: Aazadan

Re: My comment way back about "relatively unskilled." I MISSPOKE!!! I take it back. Focus on the relatively.

Re: the Bootcamp article - it's relevant because it was written by World Bank employees who used the term blue collar for lower level tech work; and are a) charged with finding solutions to emerging problems; b) trying to put a positive spin on the changing economy, and c) find work for the legions of soon-to-be unemployed. Not ignoble.



NOTE: I posted the article because I thought it provided an important perspective. And if you google the title, you'll find it has become a really hot topic.



posted on Feb, 9 2017 @ 09:57 PM
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This is what happens when there are more people than jobs. People keep reproducing like rabbits and wondering why there are no more good jobs that aren't hard to get.



posted on Feb, 9 2017 @ 10:06 PM
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Wait until augmented & virtual reality become mainstream, they aren't even close yet, because everyone cannot use it yet. But once they are as common as smartphones, you'll ditch the smartphone and might even work from home and goto school from home, because it's cheaper and more efficient for workers and students to stay home.

Once everyone is using AR and VR, the amount of " apps " needing translation into those two realms will be the new gold rush. I'm talking more jobs and money than even Google, Microsoft and Apple would know what to do with. In fact, this new boom will create 2 or more new Googles or Apples.

And Game Devs, you're gonna be treated like royalty, because you'll all be playing games when no one can tell you are, on the bus, walking to work dodge aliens or shooting zombies, finding treasure or solving puzzles in some world played game.

It's our digital world that will usher in the realm of jobs that even Trumps ego couldn't of imagined.

Automation will be kissed when it comes, because it will free up more time to go digitally nuts.



posted on Feb, 9 2017 @ 10:07 PM
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a reply to: soficrow

The wired article in the OP was a popular topic around campus today. I spoke to multiple professors and students about it. But like I said in my other post, most of us dismissed it as crap. That seems to be the prevailing attitude on some CS oriented forums I frequent as well.

The problem with bootcamps is that they're trying to do something that's just not practical. Let me apply it to another profession like one of the sciences. You can have a training regimine that teaches people the basics of the discipline, and how to use the instruments but that doesn't make them an expert and arguably doesn't even qualify them to do work. It qualifies them to be a lab assistant.

I've got a pretty good grasp on what students with 1 semester of practice can do. I was there myself once, and I teach people coding all the time. I've worked as a professor and a tutor.

The most visible part of programming is variables and loops. You can probably quantify 90% of programming under one of those two things. But just knowing variables and loops doesn't mean you can do 90% of programming jobs. Just like standing up lumber and hammering nails into it is 90% of the labor on a construction site, it's not 90% of the actual job.

The bar is coming down on understanding the basics, and that's great. That's what bootcamps teach though, and while there are a few jobs for people who only know that much it's much more common for these skills to simply be a part of someone elses job.

The big problem is that technology changes fast. What's happening is that as new languages are released for specific purposes, the market share of every other language is diminishing. Bootcamps teach "specialization" in a particular language (though even then, they don't go super deep), but what's happening is people have to be more broad. When I completed my Web Programming degree a few years ago all I needed was HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP, and Flash. Today PHP is dead outside of legacy applications, Javascript has moved to Angular and React, Flash is gone, and HTML has evolved to HTML5. When I completed my CS degree it was Python 2 and Java. Working on my gaming degree now, just this semester I'm using 10 different languages.

I've been a perpetual student since 2004, in that time here's the languages I can remember learning, ones with * are now dead. I don't list this to brag about languages (a practice I hate, and think has little value), but rather because I've been doing this for awhile now and it's a good way to show just how much the world has changed.
*Actionscript 2
*Actionscript 3
*HTML3
*HTML4
HTML5
*CSS2
CSS3
*Javascript
SQL
*Python2
Python3
*Visual Basic
*.NET
C#
C++
C
*ASP.NET
*XNA
Assembly
Java
Go
*PHP
MATLAB
Lua
*Lisp
Bash

In a normal week for me, I'm using something like 10 different languages. And from month to month it might not even be the same 10. Languages are tools, like hammers or nails. Sometimes you have to switch to a screwdriver or a nailgun though. The more tools you have, the more approaches you have. But it's more about being able to pick up and drop a tool as needed than being fluent in it for life.


You've made several posts on this subject with how programming is evolving. I would suggest you take a look at the TIOBE index. If you know what each language is used for, you can really make some insights into things by looking at how they change.
www.tiobe.com...

This index will tell you far more about the industry than any speculative articles.



posted on Feb, 9 2017 @ 10:11 PM
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a reply to: Tranceopticalinclined

AR and VR are going to bring us holodecks. I just had an interview at a company today actually for a summer internship doing this stuff.

It's really cool technology. Keeping in the spirit of the blue collar work, I would say that's the level designers. They just drag and drop items into a game world. Tweak some settings provided to them. Maybe do some light coding.



posted on Feb, 9 2017 @ 11:18 PM
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a reply to: Aazadan

It could be the interface. It could be a complete lack of meaningful interaction with a PC.

When i was in school everyone leanred LOGO in 5th grade. In 6th we started learning BASIC, and in 7th we did advanced BASIC. When I was in 8th grade i was doing Pascal, and dabbling a bit with ForTran. I went to a podunk school in a town of about 800 (Coahoma, TX....there's pictures online of it), but we learned those basics.

Now, none of that is taught.

And with that educational background, ican do things like VB scripting. Its pretty similar to BASIC, so really isn't rocket science.

So while the interface may be an issue, I think we have to take a few steps back to see the bigger picture: workers are currently ill prepared for a world like that

I can't even find people to code invoices for GL entry. LOL.



posted on Feb, 9 2017 @ 11:32 PM
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originally posted by: Aazadan

Wanna play a fun game? Prioritize the rules.


Lets sing a song.....

www.youtube.com...



ASI will play by it's own rules.... good luck with that!



posted on Feb, 10 2017 @ 07:17 AM
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a reply to: bigfatfurrytexan

Those are all issues. It seems to me like people just use toys like tablets and phones instead of real working machines to solve problems.

My school code experience was BASIC and HTML for 1 semester in 11th grade in an elective called Computer Programming. It wasn't a good class.

I know there has been a push by some states to get coding classes into the ciriculum, but as always it becomes a question of what to cut.



posted on Feb, 10 2017 @ 07:41 AM
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a reply to: Aazadan

I will get yelled at for this....but English. By the time you are in high school you should have a functional ability to write. Anything beyond that can be covered in journalism or as an art elective.

People don't need shakespeare. Its not functional. If people want exposure to fine literary arts, then it should be an elective.

Maybe year around schools, with 4 quarters that are equivalent to a semester each in breadth. Then up the credit requirement to graduate. While you nearly double the curriculum, i have no idea what kind of retention would be had.



posted on Feb, 10 2017 @ 08:16 AM
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a reply to: bigfatfurrytexan

All I can say about that, is that my writing ability in high school was atrocious. I actually learned to write better through forums. Lots and lots of posts, and putting effort into improving. English at the high school level is mostly about comprehension. From what I remember of it, there was relatively little writing.



posted on Feb, 10 2017 @ 08:18 AM
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It's 20 years max until the entire human brain can be automated. Every job will be employed by machines soon.



posted on Feb, 10 2017 @ 08:37 AM
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'coding' ....blue collar employment .... what a false pipe-dream

AI is better suited to constructing a web page... perhaps at the start a human with art talent will generally direct the Layout operation...

but that too will be passed on to the AI program as the AI will know the best configuration of 'copy' and ornamental graphics...

to lead the human eye on the desired presentation-of-product (so the captivated viewer) will spend their credit on stuff that 'needs' to be in that household.

...

site content will be irrelevant, the PC and proper 'news' is condensed, pablum.... the official web vs. the dark-web will echo the not so distant past when the social order were either 'Beatles' or 'Stones' followers



the same reflection by me will apply to gaming and all types of VR AR.... the simplistic rule lives on, there will continue to be Beatles minded folks and Stones minded gutsy-blues minded folks....but the programing will be from super computers





edit on th28148673874110592017 by St Udio because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 10 2017 @ 08:38 AM
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a reply to: Aazadan

WoW, you got html?!? Even for a semester I would of loved to be taught that, instead of having to learn everything I want on my own. I miss so many basic concepts teaching myself, because you can understand many pieces and combine them to become at the very least, able to read and write in that code.

I've had to do this with html, css, php, mysql, some java but mostly js if any.

I tried C and a few others, but I think not having a " mentor " so to speak really limits one's potential because you kinda don't know what you need to know, regardless of picking something up and " learning " it, you grasp it, but end up learning more of the basics as you " attempt " to further use them.

But I'm like Johnny 5, input, need more input!




posted on Feb, 10 2017 @ 09:45 AM
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a reply to: soficrow

Great OP!

I agree.

In my opinion, coding has been a "blue-collar" job for many years. Ask anyone who works in the tech industry.

Generally speaking, it pays an awful lot better than what most people would normally associate with blue-collar salaries, and that will continue for some time. But many coding positions are considered "grunt work" within the companies that employ them. But on the flip side, if you are *very* good at it, you are revered in those same tech companies.

And that mindset has begun to dribble down to user organizations too. What most people don't realize is that many large non-tech companies employ far more "tech workers" than most silicon valley tech companies. Think State Farm Insurance or Bank of America.

And what these companies have realized is that for the run of the mill "grunt programmer", it usually makes more sense to outsource and/or hire these people on a contract basis as the skills have become commoditized within that field. When they come across an exceptional programmer, they will often try and convince them to come to work for them full-time.

Beats the hell out of trying to hire someone based on a few interviews.

However, the exceptional programmers are usually smart people generally and they realize their value to the marketplace - so many choose to continue contracting as it affords them a lot more money and freedom than most salaried positions.

I love the story about the coal miners. I didn't know that, and think it's very, very cool.

edit on 2/10/2017 by Riffrafter because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 10 2017 @ 10:00 AM
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a reply to: Aazadan

Not sure why you're so distressed by the topic - or what your points might be.




The wired article in the OP was a popular topic around campus today. …most of us dismissed it as crap.



Which aspect? The part about how traditional jobs are disappearing and only tech will be left? Or the bit about how coal miners might re-purpose their tech skills and re-apply them to more sedentary pursuits?

...Or are you saying you and yours and what you all do are just so dammed special that everyone else in every disappearing job market might just as well die because they are obsolete and can't hope to compete and survive in your rarified world?




The big problem is that technology changes fast. …I’ve been a perpetual student since 2004



Yes, that's the main point of all the references I've been citing - things are changing fast, and will keep changing fast, so be prepared to be a perpetual student.




You've made several posts on this subject with how programming is evolving.



No. I have made several posts about how the economy is evolving, traditional jobs are disappearing, and people are not prepared for the transition to automation.

Again - are you saying you and yours and what you all do are just so dammed special that everyone else in every disappearing job market might just as well die because they are obsolete and can't hope to compete and survive in your rarified world?











edit on 10/2/17 by soficrow because: add last para

edit on 10/2/17 by soficrow because: delete sentence



posted on Feb, 10 2017 @ 10:09 AM
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a reply to: Tranceopticalinclined

It's been a long time, I don't really remember how far we got in HTML. What happened in the class, was that the normal teacher got sick halfway through and they brought in a sub who didn't know any code. So one of our classmates who already had a side job as a web developer (this was in 98) taught us HTML, while we also had a few lessons on BASIC. The HTML stuff was more learning the markup than anything, I don't remember if we even got to forms. No CSS or JS involved.

BASIC was a little more challenging, I actually cheated on my final exam in that class because I couldn't figure out quicksort on my own, and the final was to implement that. So I wrote the code outside of class with the help of the internet, then transferred it to my computer with a floppy disk and turned it in.

I think that it's much harder to send people from web languages to non web languages than the other way around. I've read a lot about what a persons first language should be. I was taught by people who thought it should be Python, I've started to come around on that and develop my own opinions though and think it should be C because it's better at teaching fundamentals even though a harder language. Schools are slowly starting to come back around to C as well, Harvard's CS50 class which is considered the gold standard in this stuff (and free to take online) has started teaching in C.



posted on Feb, 10 2017 @ 10:16 AM
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a reply to: Riffrafter

originally posted by: Riffrafter
a reply to: soficrow

Great OP!

I agree.

In my opinion, coding has been a "blue-collar" job for many years. Ask anyone who works in the tech industry.

Generally speaking, it pays an awful lot better than what most people would normally associate with blue-collar salaries, and that will continue for some time. But many coding positions are considered "grunt work" within the companies that employ them. But on the flip side, if you are *very* good at it, you are revered in those same tech companies.

And that mindset has begun to dribble down to user organizations too. What most people don't realize is that many large non-tech companies - employ far more "tech workers" than most silicon valley tech companies. And what they've realized is that for the run of the mill "grunt programmer", it usually makes more sense to outsource and/or hire these people on a contract basis as the skills have become commoditized within that field. When they come across an exceptional programmer, they will often try and convince them to come to work for them full-time.

Beats the hell out of trying to hire someone based on a few interviews.

However, the exceptional programmers are usually smart people generally and they realize their value to the marketplace - so many choose to continue contracting as it affords them a lot more money and freedom than most salaried positions.

I love the story about the coal miners. I didn't know that, and think it's very, very cool.


Thanks. And great info!



Looks like we're all in for a wild ride. Lots of changes in the pike, no end in sight. Some people might be able to transition to tech work, but most can't. What will happen to them do you think?



posted on Feb, 10 2017 @ 10:45 AM
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a reply to: soficrow

Advanced technologies are going to effect the medical field too.

There is now a machine that needs only a drop of blood and it analyzes it for everything. CBC,PTT, PT, everything. So that takes the jobs of both MLTs and Phlebotomists. Also, these take home sleep studies is going to destroy the PTSG jobs.



posted on Feb, 10 2017 @ 11:35 AM
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originally posted by: Riffrafter
And that mindset has begun to dribble down to user organizations too. What most people don't realize is that many large non-tech companies employ far more "tech workers" than most silicon valley tech companies. Think State Farm Insurance or Bank of America.


It depends on the industry. Anything finance related is a huge employer of programmers. Some of the banks are actually well known these days for having an excellent engineering environment. Capital One for example isn't just a bank, they're a major tech company and one of the best places to work if you want an entry point to financial tech. Similarly, Nationwide isn't just an insurance company, they actually have a partnership with my school and are a major employer of our graduates. Last year their rep came in and gave a job offer to our programs entire graduating class.

Silicon Valley has a high density of jobs, but tech jobs are literally everywhere.



And what these companies have realized is that for the run of the mill "grunt programmer", it usually makes more sense to outsource and/or hire these people on a contract basis as the skills have become commoditized within that field. When they come across an exceptional programmer, they will often try and convince them to come to work for them full-time.


The outsourcing trend has started to reverse. Concepts like Agile and the meetings it requires are bringing teams under 1 roof again. Often, that roof is in America. That's why so many H1-B's are coming over now rather than using outsourced labor. The problem you're seeing in the US right now is that no one knows who to hire. Hiring managers aren't technical and they don't know what people can/can't do. Sites like Hackerrank have risen to try and answer these questions for business, but they've only made things even more convoluted as companies start picking filter questions that don't actually address business concerns.

Private recruiters are trying to fill the gap, but often they aren't technical either and just box check for HR. It will solve itself eventually.


originally posted by: soficrow
Your posts leave me confused. Not sure why you're so distressed by the topic - or what your points might be.


Confused over what? And I'm not distressed at all. I'm merely trying to educate how this stuff works. Technology isn't magic, there are actual rules and physical laws behind what/how it all works. Furthermore, there are a lot of fakes out there selling something that isn't real because people just don't understand this stuff. That goes for the journalist whose just speculating on the future, to the guy who has an "ethical hacking certificate" that claims it's on par with a computer science degree, to the bootcamp graduate who still doesn't even know enough to know what they don't know.



Which aspect? The part about how traditional jobs are disappearing and only tech will be left? Or the bit about how coal miners might re-purpose their tech skills and re-apply them to more sedentary pursuits?


The part where the author thinks banks want people to "sling _javascript at a login page", and who thinks that IT and CS are the same field. I have no doubt that miners will retrain when what they're doing isn't lucrative. I think you're going to see more coal miners move to natural gas mining instead, but I'm sure a few will become programmers, it's a very accessible field, albeit one with very little overlap.



...Or are you saying you and yours and what you all do are just so dammed special that everyone else in every disappearing job market might just as well die because they are obsolete and can't hope to compete and survive in your rarified world?


You've clearly never read any of my posts. I consider myself a pretty bad programmer, and a dunce on top of that. That said, I still understand how it works.


Yes, that's the main point of all the references I've been citing - things are changing fast, and will keep changing fast, so be prepared to be a perpetual student.


All programming requires constant learning. It's something you sign up for if you go into the field. It's why it has the reputation for agism, it's not that people discriminate against age though, they discriminate against the age of your knowledge. Any company worth a damn will pay you to learn new tech as it comes out though, when I say a perpetual student I mean I've been an actual full time student for that long. I have over 400 semester credits wracked up.



Again - are you saying you and yours and what you all do are just so dammed special that everyone else in every disappearing job market might just as well die because they are obsolete and can't hope to compete and survive in your rarified world?


Where did I say anything like that?

I spend a significant portion of my time trying to figure out how we're going to support a population that doesn't have to work.



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