Begin. End. The Waning Days of Coding

code on screen

A piece in The New Yorker (not exactly a technology magazine) titled "A Coder Considers the Waning Days of the Craft," set me thinking about what tech careers will be lost in the near and far future. Yes, artificial intelligence plays into this, but there are other factors too. Coding seems to be a likely candidate for being on the decline.

The author, James Somers, says that, "Coding has always felt to me like an endlessly deep and rich domain. Now I find myself wanting to write a eulogy for it." With his wife pregnant, he wonders that " the time that child can type, coding as a valuable skill might have faded from the world." 

It is an interesting read. Kind of a memoir of a coder.

Schools still teach coding. Coders are still working. The question is for for how long? Should a student in middle school think about it as a career? I used to tell my middle school students that a lot of them will go into careers that have titles that don't exist today. Who can predict?

Somers concludes:

"So maybe the thing to teach isn’t a skill but a spirit. I sometimes think of what I might have been doing had I been born in a different time. The coders of the agrarian days probably futzed with waterwheels and crop varietals; in the Newtonian era, they might have been obsessed with glass, and dyes, and timekeeping. I was reading an oral history of neural networks recently, and it struck me how many of the people interviewed—people born in and around the nineteen-thirties—had played with radios when they were little. Maybe the next cohort will spend their late nights in the guts of the A.I.s their parents once regarded as black boxes. I shouldn’t worry that the era of coding is winding down. Hacking is forever."

The future of coding is likely to be affected by all of these factors:

Artificial Intelligence and Automation: AI is already influencing coding through tools that assist developers in writing code, debugging, and optimizing algorithms. As AI continues to advance, it may take on more complex coding tasks, allowing developers to focus on higher-level design and problem-solving.

Low-Code/No-Code Development: The rise of low-code and no-code platforms is making it easier for individuals with limited programming experience to create applications. This trend could democratize software development, enabling a broader range of people to participate in creating digital solutions.

Increased Specialization: With the growing complexity of technology, developers are likely to become more specialized in particular domains or technologies. This could lead to a more segmented job market, with experts in areas like AI, cybersecurity, blockchain, etc.

Remote Collaboration and Distributed Development: Remote work has become more prevalent, and this trend is likely to continue. Tools and practices for collaborative and distributed development will become increasingly important.

Ethical Coding and Responsible AI: As technology plays a more central role in our lives, the ethical considerations of coding will become more critical. Developers will need to be mindful of the societal impact of their creations and consider ethical principles in their coding practices.

Continuous Learning: The pace of technological change is rapid, and developers will need to embrace a mindset of continuous learning. Staying updated with the latest tools, languages, and methodologies will be crucial.

Quantum Computing: While still in its early stages, quantum computing has the potential to revolutionize certain aspects of coding, particularly in solving complex problems that are currently intractable for classical computers.

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR): As AR and VR technologies become more widespread, developers will likely be involved in creating immersive experiences and applications that leverage these technologies.

Cybersecurity Emphasis: With the increasing frequency and sophistication of cyber threats, coding with a focus on security will be paramount. Developers will need to incorporate secure coding practices and stay vigilant against emerging threats.

Environmental Sustainability: As concerns about climate change grow, there may be a greater emphasis on sustainable coding practices, including optimizing code for energy efficiency and reducing the environmental impact of data centers.

How do I know this? Because I asked a chatbot to tell me the future of coding.


scootersMicromobility refers to a range of small, lightweight vehicles operating at speeds typically below 25 km/h (15 mph) and driven by users personally. Micromobility devices include bicycles, e-bikes, electric scooters, electric skateboards, shared bicycle fleets, and electric pedal-assisted (pedelec) bicycles, and even hoverboards. The term "micromobility" was originally coined by Horace Dediu in 2017.

There are benefits and challenges for individuals using this type of transportation, including lower initial cost, maintenance, fuel, and parking costs in many instances. The cost for some of those options can even be zero, as with fuel for a traditional bicycle or scooter.

There are also benefits and concerns for communities. Particularly in the ever-evolving landscape of urban transportation, micromobility solutions are revolutionizing the way people commute, reducing congestion, improving air quality and redefining urban mobility.

Some of these modes are electric, some are traditional, such as bicycles, scooters, and skateboards, and some are hybrid. The range of micromobility vehicles offers compact, eco-friendly and convenient options for short-distance travel. By reducing congestion, decreasing carbon emissions and promoting active lifestyles, micromobility has the potential to positively impact urban environments.

One safety concern, particularly in urban areas, is how these vehicles will interact with pedestrains and traditional larger vehicles on roadways.

For more on this topic, see


micromobility group

AI and Bias

Bias has always existed. It has always existed online. Now, with AI, there is another level of bias.

Bias generated by technology is “more than a glitch,” says one expert.

For example, why does AI have a bias against dark skin? It is because its data is scraped from the Internet, and the Internet is full of biased content.

This doesn't give AI a pass on bias. It is more of a comment or reflection on bias in general.

Solar Panel Railways

This seems like something innovative and yet part of me thinks why aren't we already doing things like this.

Solar panels are being rolled out “like carpet” on railway tracks in Switzerland.

Swiss start-up Sun-Ways is installing panels near Buttes train station in the west of the country in May, pending sign-off from the Federal Office of Transport.

As the climate crisis demands that we speed up Europe’s energy transition, developers have been seeing new potential in unusual surfaces.

Is Your Phone Smarter Than You Yet?

      Image by Chen from Pixabay

Predictions can be interesting, but people rarely look back at ones to see if they were correct. I wrote a post titled "In 4 Years Your Phone Will Be Smarter Than You (and the rise of cognizant computing)"  It has more than 969,000 views since I posted it in November 2013. Next year will be 10 years since that prediction. Is your phone smarter than you yrt?

That was not my prediction but it was an analysis from the market research firm Gartner. They weren't as concerned with hardware as with data and cloud computational ability. I said then that phones will appear smarter than you IF you equate smarts with being able to recall information and make inferences. Surely, those two things are part of being "smart" but not all of it.

"Smart" is also defined sometimes as being knowledgeable of something especially through personal experience, mindful, even cognizant of the potential dangers. Cognizant is a synonym for awareness. I have bee reading a lot about artificial intelligence lately. While cognizant computing does use algorithms to anticipate users' needs, dpong so doesn't approach actual "consciousness."

If an app has my browsing history, purchase records, financial information, and whatever is available somewhere on the cloud (known or unbeknownst to me) it can be pretty good at predicting somethings about me.

Cognitive computing isn't the same thing, though so much of all this seems to overlap. Cognitive computing (part of cognitive science) and attempts to simulate the human thought process.

As I said, these things overlap, at least to someone like myself who isn't really working in these fields. Maybe it makes a kind of sense that AI, cognitive and cognizant computing, signal processing, machine learning, natural language processing, speech and vision recognition, human-computer interaction and probably a dozen I'm forgetting. I suspect that all these things will converge at some point in the future to create the ultimate AI.

I don't see as many mentions these days to the Internet of things (IoT) as I did a decade ago. Internet-enabled objects exist in my home as "appliances." This morning I was checking my Ecobee app which is my wireless home energy monitor. I assume that it is already and will in the future be better at a kind of cognizant device that monitors my home environmental conditions and make adjustments based on my settings and the three sensors that monitor our activity. It knows that no one is upstairs and so drops the temperature there - though no lower than what I have told it. It also suggests changes to my settings and reminds me to change the filter every three months. I always di that on the solstices and equinoxes anyway but if I miss that date by a day or two, it adjust the next change accordingly. Quite a fussy and OCD device. It could connect to my Alexa devices but I haven't allowed that yet. Maybe one day it will just do it on its own and tell me "It's for your own good, Kenneth."

Streaming Learning

video playerThis past summer for the first time ever, streaming services captured more viewers than cable or broadcast TV, according to new data from Nielsen. Streaming has outperformed broadcast before, but never broadcast and cable in the same month. It's a close race though.
In the U.S., streaming captured 34.8% of viewership in July, while cable accounted for 34.4% and broadcast came in third at 21.6%.

When I read an article such as "Reasons Why Video Streaming Is The Future Of Education In 2022," the reasons are really the reasons why we should be offering online learning. Streaming is just a newer delivery method.

The history of distance learning goes from correspondence (snail mail) to broadcast and ITV, to videotapes, CDs and DVDs, the Internet (the earlier and slower version), and now streaming. When video first appeared in classrooms as broadcast, ITV and even on tapes it was sometimes considered controversial. Did it have educational value? Was it a lazy way to teach? Didn't students get enough video at home? But that is no longer true in almost every instance. Video is effective for learning. Online video has been shown to enhance comprehension and retention of information, support multi-modal learning, can help develop digital literacies when it is taught rather than just consumed. It can also be a more cost-effective learning solution, and can be repurposed in multiple ways.

Frequently, video is a supplement to make additional material available to students online. Some movements, like the flipped classroom, used online videos to swap lectures and classroom time. And this is true beyond traditional classrooms and schools as video became a training model for employees and customers.

When you use a streaming service (Netflix, Apple+ et al) you are almost always watching recorded videos. But the newer use of streaming is live streaming. Teachers are live streaming lectures and lessons to fully online students and also to students when you can’t meet in person. The real-time nature of live video allows a virtual classroom to be interactive in ways similar to in-person lessons.

Educational live streaming goes beyond lectures. There are also discussion panels, debates, guest speakers, presentations, virtual field trips, laboratory exercises, tutorials on demand and workshops.

Live streaming almost alw and "interact" sometimes ays ends up being recorded video later. Many presentations I register for that are live are later offered as a recording. That's great but it does make me feel less of an obligation sometimes to watch it live. Yes, I can sometimes ask questions in the live sessions, but I've gotten so used to recording TV programs and watching them later that it has carried over to "educational" applications.