Net Generation or all our children will code
“The programmers of tomorrow are the wizards of the future.”
Gabe Newell, Valve co-founder
“It’s the closest thing we have to a superpower.”
Drew Houston, Dropbox founder
All of you have heard about X, Y, Z Generations and specific qualities and behavioral patterns they have due to special circumstances they have grown up in. And I’ve always wondered how they would name the next peculiar group of people as they’ve used the last letter of the alphabet. But they’ve found the way out and named it Net Generation and it’s more than logical on the given stage of our evolution.
Digital Immigrants And Digital Natives
According to such categorization people are divided into digital immigrants and digital natives depending on their knowledge and compatibility with contemporary computer-mediated life. Children born in the era of the established dominance of information technologies are supposed to be digital natives. I remember my surprise and astonishment when my three-year-old niece took my phone, found youtube, turned on cartoons and happily enjoyed her watching. And it happens all the time. Digital immigrants are people who refer to the search on the Internet second, not first, would rather give a call to a business partner than write an email, print out documents to edit instead of doing it on the screen. And I must admit it’s a dying species among advanced users of digital technologies.
Modern society has come to the point when the prevailing professions, dominant spheres of life and, of course, values shift to the benefit of the others. In not so distant future the demand on all kinds of people connected with IT will rise even more rapidly than it’s happening now and a person speaking a programming language will be the most wanted and looked for. Because IT specialists do everything: from developing an app to programming a robot; from creating a website to producing a system to control huge loads information. And this has become the integral part of every sphere of life.
7-Year Old Programmer
Information technologies are established so deep in our existence that even digital natives start to engage in this domain from a very early age. The youngest game programmer on record is 7-year old Zora who created a full version of a mobile application video game and Apple has accepted an app made by a 9-year-old iPhone developer. And they like it because they are fascinated by the ability to make something perceivable or even touchable from scratch. They feel they can do incredible things, they feel they have “superpowers”.
Everyday we observe the rapid growth of this widespread sphere and we can’t deny the fact that it affects everything. I think soon people will be taught to code from a primary school, and a skill to write a program will be like knowing how to use a computer. And that’s the scenario I have in my head when I imagine our future generation.