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Life is a better trip with software

February 27, 2013

shitload of dimesPrior to our journey last week up the Eastern seaboard of the US, it had been about 30 years since my brother and I did it last. It’s a different world. Sure, we still blew by the cheesy “South of the Border” in the Carolinas, gulped analog coffee, and passed some hours with story-telling, but much of the experience was very different, and better, because someone wrote software code for:

  • Navigation – I’m not sure Dad ever used the Garmin GPS I got him, but we did. Not once did we have to figure out how to re-fold a paper map.
  • Tunes – iTunes, to be specific. The streaming 0’s and 1’s were of our choosing. We were not forced to listen to bad Country (there is good Country), Rush (the guy, not the band), or Freebird. We also mixed in some of Dad’s CD’s including Frank, Dino, and (surprise) Nina Simone!
  • Phones – One was “Smart,” and one dumb, but both exist because of software.
  • Entertainment – My bro spent a few hours playing Zynga’s “Texas Hold ‘Em” online, and I spent a few hours making fun of him for it.
  • eMail – My smartphone and iPad allowed me to keep up on (read: delete) email.
  • Tolls! – No stopping or going back for a $hitload of dimes! Well, if I had remembered my EZPass transponder…

All of these conveniences of modern life exist because of the creative talents of software coders. Coding is art, science, math, philosophy, problem solving… It’s all there, and has been a great benefit to me. In college I learned to code using Fortran, then coded in dBase and Structured Query Language (SQL) early in my career. Today I still love using SQL for data analytics. There’s great value in “being the data,” and not just looking at some summarized report. Data analysis satisfies my left brain cravings, while writing about or presenting it feeds the right.

The problem is that not enough schools teach it. Code.org reports computer programming is not taught in 90% of schools. That needs to change. Software can help create a better world of more thoughtful people, but only if we choose to pursue it.

“I think everybody in this country should learn how to
program a computer because it teaches you how to think.”
— STEVE JOBS, THE LOST INTERVIEW

One Comment leave one →
  1. February 27, 2013 5:25 pm

    Reblogged this on STRICTLY GADGETS and commented:
    i really enjoyed this post

    Like

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