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Joe Biden might be on to something as far as coding

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posted on Jan, 13 2020 @ 03:11 AM
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Lately, I have been transitioning from a more active role to more of a semi-retired mode. Much of the last 2 decades I was working in the development of what I found to be interesting cutting edge technologies. This consumed much of my time and attention. Over this last decade, I have worked through some serious debilitating injuries as well as fairly advanced pancreatic cancer. While I have thus far survived these trials I have blown through much of my resources. Thus semi-retired as I can ill afford not generating some income. That brings me to the subject at hand. JOE BIDEN in a rather tone-deaf fashion told the world that coal miners need to learn to code and their jobs would be gone under a Biden administration. It did get me thinking about the fact that I had for some time now nearly a decade hired others to perform such tasks for me. I was in serious need of an update to my skills and knowledge and capabilities with regard to coding. I decided to focus mostly on the development of web apps and mobile apps as these are by all reliable estimates the largest growth sector by far as coding to advance human interaction.

I have discussed my old stand by basic coding app Notepad ++ in a previous post and also did another to discuss free Dreamweaver style WYSIWYG content editors like Blue Griffon. No need to cover that again. This discussion is about the Microsoft Visual Studio. This massive work is the best reason and the method to get involved in coding. It is largely free to use and can be used to construct applications for just about any platform.

Visual Studio Installer:


VSI loaded:


We are living in an era now where we are encouraged to develop the tools needed for the modern age with tools we can download and learn to use at no other cost than our time and attention. There is, in my opinion, no comparable era that humankind has experienced that comes close to this. In previous epochs, a person had to purchase tools and training in order to build out utilities and constructions we all can use and enjoy. Nowadays a person can obtain software tools and the ability to construct advanced applications that can run on millions of portable and inexpensive devices at any place with internet access on the planet.

As the Starlink satellite internet system goes online there will hardly be a spot on the Earth that does not have access to these utilities.



While I don't expect all the coal miners and others who lose their jobs to learn to code I notice that this sector is advancing faster than any other. The low cost for entry and the advanced tools being made available lend to this employment sector exploding more in our future than it has already by a huge margin.
edit on Mon Jan 13 2020 by DontTreadOnMe because: title edit




posted on Jan, 13 2020 @ 07:42 AM
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a reply to: machineintelligence

My experience with Microsoft development tools is you have pay a couple of grand for a subscription to get product keys. Just like you now that I am older I am no longer coding. I manage a bunch of young diesels who do all the work. I'm concentrating more on other intellectual pursuits nowadays than flipping the bits. I don't have same challenges that you have but I can assure you there is nothing "intelligent" about the way my body is designed.

I find your comment about "this employment sector exploding more in our future" to be interesting which is the reason for my post. Many years ago in my late 20s I read a book title, "Technology and Power" by David Kipnis. There was a quote in this book that has always haunted me my whole career in technology. I've always been far to the left and interested in creating more egalitarian society.

I romantically thought the work I was doing in computers was somehow contributing to a larger industry effort to make the World a better place. However, the quote from the Kipnis book has always haunted me and made think maybe all the efforts of my life where actually having the opposite effect. Instead of my work making a more egalitarian society the collective result of IT sector was actually concentrating wealth into few hands and creating a more elitist society enabling greater levels of wealth inequality and dictatorship in government.

Here is the quote from Kipnis's book:

"In the words of Jose Ortega y Gasset: "Technology provides men the leisure to realize their true potential" This, then, is the promise of technology: a material world of plenty and a spiritual world in which we have the leisure to realize our highest potentials and the freedom to contemplate God.

Yet in nagging counterpoint to this optimism about the beneficent world of plenty provided by unlimited power is the suspicion that technology has another face. There is a world in which the freedom to choose and to control events has been subtly altered so that there is less choice and less control. This is the world of "megatechnics," to use Lewis Mumford's apt phrasing, in which technology concentrates power and reduces individual choice."

Does the system of technology we have in our lives exist to serve us or do we the people exist to serve the system is a fundamental question with the character of our culture. This quote comes from a bahavior psychology book I read in my 20's called "Technology and Power" by David Kipnis. Kipnis also talks about how power changes people's character he labeled the "Metamorphic Effect of Power". It is basically a psychological study confirming the old adage from Lord Acton: "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely." In Kipnis's book he shows how people with power develop a contempt for their subjects which inevitably results in immoral actions against the people.

I cut-n-paste the previous paragraph from a previous post. But the quote about technology centralizing power has haunted me. Although I do appreciation your optimism about the IT sector providing good jobs in your OP I do not share your same rosy outlook on the nature of the IT sector as an overall benefit to society.


edit on 13-1-2020 by dfnj2015 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 13 2020 @ 11:42 AM
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With MS giving away the basics for free the people leaving uni or beefing up their CV's will be used to that environment and thus will prefer to use/recommend to their boss they use that dev env (has happened for decades with educational versions being free or very cheap).

You don't just need to teach people to code but all the magic that goes behind it once you take it beyond a bit of light fun as you need to know and understand things like the difference between signed/unsigned ints and different sizes of them and what can go wrong when you fluff up something and the compiler doesn't throw an error up to warn you and the real fault is 500 lines before where the program crashes.

What really makes a lot of dev work seem worthless is the fact of finding something worth spending the time creating.



posted on Jan, 13 2020 @ 12:51 PM
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a reply to: Maxatoria

I'm a coder by trade, mainly C# but can program in alot of languages from C upwards.

What you said about data types is true, but not so important in this day and age. VS for example you can infer data types by just using the var keyword. If you asked some modern coders today what an unsigned or signed int was I doubt they'd even know! That's probably a bit unfair, but self-taught devs coming up from JavaScript I would say that's a fair assessment.

JavaScript is notorious for lacking type safety, for example.

And in most cases you're coding using some form of framework. So for C# it'll be .Net. That means you don't even see the 'magic'. And thus know less about what it's actually doing as a consequence.

That said, the compiler and debugging tools in VS is so good now I think almost anyone can get going with a basic windows or web app. To get good though, that takes years.

Yes, the full fat variants of Visual Studio do cost a lot of money, but then you're getting into the area of professional Dev work and unit testing, performance etc. which most people don't need. I was amazed when they started giving it away for free, albeit trimmed down, and it's the best thing they did.

So I'd say to people that want to code just download it and try the samples. It's really easy to get going. Only when you want to dive down the rabbit hole to find out more, at least you'll know enough by then to understand what it means.

That's what I did when I first started in Z80 and I was 9 years old! Never looked back

edit on 13-1-2020 by youcanttellthepeople because: Grammar



posted on Jan, 13 2020 @ 01:44 PM
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originally posted by: machineintelligence
The low cost for entry and the advanced tools being made available lend to this employment sector exploding more in our future than it has already by a huge margin.

tools don't create the software on their own. the highest cost is the time required to learn, a cost widely underestimated by those "wanting to code because it's a good job" - it's not just a job, it's a way of life. you learn all the time for years or there's no point in even getting started.


originally posted by: youcanttellthepeople
So I'd say to people that want to code just download it and try the samples. It's really easy to get going. Only when you want to dive down the rabbit hole to find out more, at least you'll know enough by then to understand what it means.

That's what I did when I first started in Z80 and I was 9 years old! Never looked back

i've started with assembler on Z80 when i was 12, so i can relate. still, i disagree. those that were born for this job, already tried it and are doing well. you don't need to convince them - heck, you couldn't have possibly stopped them even if you tried.

but the sad truth is, those looking at coding as "just another job" or "just another skill", should rethink their approach. our definition of "easy" is very different from that of most people. heck, the mental capacity of the huge part of the population is barely over deciding if they wanna throw their sh.t left or right. you simply cannot teach most people coding, even at the "underpaid js copypaster" level. just look at the npm mayhem, what do you think caused it?

lazyness and unwillingness to learn, lack of creative thinking, lack of drive to invest own's free time into learning new technologies, the list goes on. most people shouldn't even try to be a programmer, especially in a world where the software quality has increasingly higher effect on the quality of our lives.

otherwise, one day when someone gets killed by a software bug, the line of defense will be "they've said i can be a coder, too!".
edit on 13/1/2020 by jedi_hamster because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 13 2020 @ 02:31 PM
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a reply to: jedi_hamster

I'm not saying people who give it a go would get a job. Good luck with that as most places will give you a practical before even letting you go through to follow up interviews.

What I was getting at is coding is fun, and should be open and accessible to all. Not to start writing the next automated car firmware



posted on Jan, 13 2020 @ 02:32 PM
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Coding in of itself is nothing really special. Let's say you learn how to create a linked list. You learn how to manage that list by inserting, deleting, sorting, and searching. Those are all fairly standard coding things that need to be accomplished. That is the easy part!

You will need to know how to work in a group setting and to a deadline; each manager has their own style so you will have to learn to get along with them at a professional level; you need to be used to routine like checking code in and out of a repository on a daily basis (most shops compile the code on a nightly basis); you will have to learn Lean, Agile, testing; HIPPA (for some jobs), ITIL, and specifics for highly specialized environments (HL7, military spec, low radio emission, highly combustible environments, etc). That is a bunch of "meta" stuff outside of just coding. It comes in over time as you learn more and more. There is a lot of code reuse (heck, MS VS is a mixed bag of open source and MS libraries), which you do not learn about when "learning to code". Program management stuff will always show up (if a program manager doesn't do their job well, you waste your time gathering things like specs and scope which should be set and agreed to before even creating the project folder in MS VS!).

Then there is logic. Like, philosophy class, starting with the ancient Greek, learning how to apply basic logic and logic symbols. That last part is where I think Computer Science curricula is lacking. While attending college our professors were mostly just retired coders from places like IBM or the military. What they expected from us varied and some expected more than others! It is hard to get a college freshman to apply their mind, think logically, and come with a solution like a "multi-dimensional Boolean array" when we had just covered "what-if" statements!! Watching others code is also a great way to learn (that goes hand-in-hand with teaching others how to code).

Don't get discouraged! I am just saying that there is a bunch more than writing a few hundred lines of code that works to coding! Don't even get me started on documentation!! Once you learn the syntax to one language, then you have taken a great step forward! Other programming languages become fun to explore (Lisp and Haskell come to mind) and others a dreary (won't name names!). Other syntax make you start to think of the logic aspect of coding, then you will be a programmer!

Coding is just a small step. Don't be surprised if you run across some of the "buzz words" I have mentioned! Oh, and go look at some really big code, like the Linux kernel, just to see and get the feel of what "large code" looks like. If you do not turn, run, and hide under a table, you should be fine!!




posted on Jan, 13 2020 @ 04:26 PM
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originally posted by: youcanttellthepeople
a reply to: jedi_hamster

I'm not saying people who give it a go would get a job. Good luck with that as most places will give you a practical before even letting you go through to follow up interviews.

What I was getting at is coding is fun, and should be open and accessible to all. Not to start writing the next automated car firmware


except it isn't accessible to all, and it's not a technical limitation, sadly. most people can't comprehend coding at a basic, scripting level. they can (usually) understand the whole logical aspect of it, but when you add variables, data structures and syntax to the mix, not even mentioning more advanced flow control, they just flip out. and that's the most basic stuff, obviously.

besides, this thread points at the employment sector and the professional side of things. for me it sounds like an advertisement from a corporation. "bright future! mandatory future even! learn coding, we need more js npm copypaste monkeys!"

to those willing to try: coding is an art of problem solving. it is problem solving, since you're searching for solutions at each and every step, from the beginning to the end of your project. sometimes they're related to your code directly, sometimes indirectly, sometimes not at all. you have to learn a lot, about coding overall, about chosen programming language, about everything around it, tools, environment, target platform. if that scares you, bummer - you'll need all that knowledge to solve those problems. you'll have to be creative - and that's where the art comes in. it's one thing to create something that works (or barely works), another to create something that works perfectly and is an optimal solution.

it can be rewarding, but only if a thought of learning something new or solving new problem ahead is exciting to you. otherwise it'll be nothing but pain. this is NOT your typical 9-to-5 job. you either learn in your free time, all the time, or your skills become outdated, and fast.



posted on Jan, 13 2020 @ 06:19 PM
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Wow, thank you for this thread. I didn't even think of ATS as a forum to ask this question.

A little background...... My Dad bought a Tandy TRS-80 way way back. The software was so expensive back then, we typed the programs in from the magazines. Many mornings i would get up and see the lines of ball-point pen on the monitor, where he would be de-bugging the BASIC he'd entered. I would of been 9ish. He served in the Royal Navy, so he'd be off back to his ship to do more sailing about and i'd have a go. I'd became a proficient typist, and had to re-learn my two fingered typing to use on of those old manual typewriters, and was passing RSA and Pitman examinations a year earlier than the norm at the school. I dabbled with the BASIC myself, and when he was home i'd ask questions and read the glossary of commands to see what else I could do. As the computers moved on, I tried to continue with it with Visual Basic...BUT THEY TOOK AWAY THE LINE NUMBERS, and that send my understanding of the way in which computer do logic right out of the window. Thinking back, i should of pursued it, but i didn't have anybody to bounce off as my parents divorced etc. The college was teaching me to use Excel and Word, which was like sucking eggs, but they didn't know what I was doing at home, or how long i had been tinkering with it for.

At present I'm a taxi driver. It's begining to dawn on me, I know more people who have retired or died in this business. I don't fancy ending my days as a taxi driver.

Can you recommend me any courses/websites that will stand me in good stead, and perhaps score me a job keyboard tapping?

Previous jobs have been data entry where i just lapped it up lololol i love the 'grind' in video games, have studied a bit of the card manipulations and card conjuring. This might not seem to be connected, but it's the 'boring' hours of work to achieve the finished article i revel in.

Best regards



posted on Jan, 13 2020 @ 07:34 PM
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a reply to: machineintelligence

Reason why so many tools are free these days is because of the open source community. They have even converted Visual Studio so it runs under arm architecture under linux. So I purchased a couple odroid N2 for $70 each, Installed nginx as a web server, mariadb as dbms, etc and have a full development environment for next to nothing, that idle's at 2 watts, when it isn't being used.

So agree, today moreso than ever, its possible to create applications on software that's free. But by the same token, it seems far more difficult to write software for browsers, than desktops, because software tools of the past were far more integrated. Today you have to learn html, javaScript framework, UI framework and what ever language you use for your middle-tier to create an application.



posted on Jan, 13 2020 @ 10:02 PM
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From what I gather coding these days is like a fast food job except with more training required. The dream is to design cool apps or get Batman's CGI muscles to flex but the reality is grinding away doing grunt work on some completely non-creative sub-project with insane hours and as much abuse as the law will allow. And after all that, in a few years AI will take over a lot of that and surprise you've been made redundant again.

We're still not quite sure what to do with all the people now that we've built such amazing machines. But if the statistics are right, birth dates will dramatically decline. They generally do in a post-industrial society.

The best solution then is to ride it out until the Baby Boomers die. Plenty of jobs opening soon.



posted on Jan, 14 2020 @ 12:09 AM
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a reply to: glend

I have to agree with you. I use open-source almost exclusively. It amazes me what utility I find in the open-source codebase. Look at Microsoft for instance. They purchased GitHub. I did not see that coming. Now they are all about code extraction from that huge database of curated code.



posted on Jan, 14 2020 @ 12:32 AM
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a reply to: jedi_hamster

Your post reminded me of this page which I often send people to before I will discuss programming.

www.mit.edu...

When they look at this page it tells me enough from their response if it is worth engaging in a discussion with them.



posted on Jan, 14 2020 @ 08:42 AM
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The biggest problem, that we see weekly if not sooner, is the associated risk with copy-paste monkeys pulling code they do not understand and placing it into a production environment. The vast majority of open source code is spaghetti code and totally insecurely written, let alone performant and scalable.

Open source ranges from kids playing to professional engineers supporting a project. How does one know the difference? Or more succinctly, "coders" do not even care. Then, when a vulnerability is exploited, it has a wide and vast impact across an entire sector because that piece of code was copy-pasted into all of those applications. Compound upon that the fact that it is likely not well documented, and no SAST scans done, and you have a recipe for disaster.

There is a difference, Joe, between coding/programming and software engineering. The ability to avoid creating a non-scalable and weak infrastructure that supports a business (or an entire sector, like energy, medical, etc...) hinges upon having trained and capable ENGINEERS and not more "coders" to do it properly.

SMFH


edit on 1/14/2020 by Krakatoa because: fixed spelling errors



posted on Jan, 14 2020 @ 08:54 AM
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originally posted by: Krakatoa
The biggest problem, that we see weekly if not sooner, is the associated risk with copy-paste monkeys pulling code they do not understand and placing it into a production environment. The vast majority of open source code is spaghetti code and totally insecurely written, let alone performant and scalable.

Open source ranges from kids playing to professional engineers supporting a project. How does one know the difference? Or more succinctly, "coders" do not even care. Then, when a vulnerability is exploited, it has a wide and vast impact across an entire sector because that piece of code was copy-pasted into all of those applications. Compound upon that the fact that it is likely not well documented, and no SAST scans done, and you have a recipe for disaster.

There is a difference, Joe, between coding/programming and software engineering. The ability to create a non-scalable and weak infrastructure that supports a business (or an entire sector, like energy, medical, etc...) hinges upon having trained and capable ENGINEERS and not more "coders".

SMFH




Additional thoughts:

How many here would prefer to hire someone that learned plumbing or electrical from some wiki page on the Internet to plumb and wire their home?

Would you be worried about the pipes bursting or backwash from the sewage into your home?

Would you be worried about an overloaded circuit or in-wall short burning down your home?

Would you be worried about the equipment in the hospital operating room functioning properly or being free from being hacked while you or a loved one was undergoing a medical procedure?

Well, then what about the risk of the insurance company denying your damage claim because the work was not done by a trained and certified professional?

With computing getting into more and more of these areas those risks are reality and should be considered over paying the lowest price for a piece of software created from cheapest pieces of open source by someone that was not adequately trained in sound engineering principals.

This is REALITY....and the more people see this work as "coding" and anyone can do it, the more incidents we will see and experience. FYI, the ones you see in the news is just the tip of the iceberg. The vast majority of incidents are never reported and actively hidden to save $$$$ (i.e. stock price and penalties).


edit on 1/14/2020 by Krakatoa because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 14 2020 @ 09:00 AM
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Not everyone is going to sit behind a computer for 8 hrs a day to get by. I couldn't do it. I was a draftsman for a number of years and it drove me crazy looking at that screen all day long. Then I ran a tobacco distributorship, and spent a lot of my week in front of screen. I hated it. I made huge money, but I hated it. My career now is much more rewarding spiritually. I work with my hands, and with people everyday, and am skilled at what I do. Very rewarding. I couldn't say that about some C++ all day. Yuck.
edit on 14-1-2020 by KnoxMSP because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 14 2020 @ 11:46 AM
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Case in point, this just reported:
Critical Authentication Bypass Vulnerability in InfiniteWP Client Plugin


A vulnerability has been discovered in the InfiniteWP Client plugin versions 1.9.4.4 or earlier. InfiniteWP Client is a plugin that, when installed on a WordPress site, allows a site owner to manage unlimited WordPress sites from their own server. InfiniteWP Client is currently installed on over 300,000 WordPress sites.

This is a critical authentication bypass vulnerability. A proof of concept was published this morning, January 14, 2020. If you are using InfiniteWP client version 1.9.4.4 or earlier we recommend immediately updating your installation to protect your site.

Source

Shared code, used by over 300,000 websites built upon Wordpress, instantly vulnerable.

Ever wonder if one of the critical pieces of your life has this code embedded within it, and if you would even know?
this one is even more dangerous since it affects a plugin that allows a site administrator to manage MULTIPLE Wordpress sites. An authentication bypass could mean every single one of the site under that administrator could be compromised in any number of ways.


edit on 1/14/2020 by Krakatoa because: Added source link



posted on Jan, 14 2020 @ 01:21 PM
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originally posted by: jedi_hamster
... you either learn in your free time, all the time, or your skills become outdated, and fast.


That is very true. It's the worst part about the job.




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