I’m 38 years old which means that I have probably about 30 years of working life left. That’s AGES. Think about what working life was like 30 years ago. That was 1988. I think my computer at home was an Amstrad CPC464. It ran a tape deck and took 20 mins to load Double Dragon. That’s if it successfully ran and you didn’t need to restart the whole process. Now, we have smartphone computers in our pockets that are thousands of times more powerful. Think about how much more powerful computers and technology in general will be in 10 years, 20 years or 30 years. Moore’s Law dictates that processing power doubles every single year. That’s literally exponential. Quantum computers already exist. People are talking about huge chunks of the workforce being automated. How do you not become obsolete? For me, as someone who has never programmed, it’s not about becoming a super developer. It’s about becoming conversant in programming as that’s going to underpin much of the future. If we’re going to be replaced by algorithms, it’s better to be the person who writes them.
So that’s the practical answer. The second reason is much more interesting and that’s because coding and CS is FUN. Honestly, it really is. I don’t know whether it’s my mindset but I love learning more and understanding more about how the world works. I read an interview with Dr Neil deGrasse Tyson in Smith Journal where he talks about understanding the world as deeply as he can as being his life goal. I don’t know about you but that resonates hard with me. Also check out the free Harvard course on Computer Science by David Malans (an absolute rock star lecturer) and tell me that it wasn’t fun learning how bits worked and how binary worked. Ones and zeros. Ones and zeros.
So why Python? I’d read that when you start to code, you should pick one language and stick to it until you’ve learned it. This makes picking the right choice important. So I just googled which one to pick. And Python was pretty popular. I checked with a friend of mine too as to whether it was a good choice and he seemed to respect Python, which sealed it for me.
More on this in upcoming posts.