Author Topic: Have smartphones killed interest in programming?  (Read 1881 times)

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Offline dzmetrics

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Have smartphones killed interest in programming?
« on: February 16, 2018, 01:34:10 pm »
I am surprised at the lack of interest I seem to find among students (in technical subjects) in doing their own programming. (My son is at Uni.). Linux is surely one of the best and cheapest ways to get good tools to experiment with. (Texas Intruments ($100bn) a while back gave up writing their own compilers for customers to program their microcontrollers and moved to gcc ... if it's good enough for them, it's good enough for anyone.)

Is there a problem now that young people (before they go to Uni) do not have access to a home computer (laptop/desktop) on which to experiment ... smartphones and tablets having taken over? (This is why Eben Upton designed the Rpi). Or are they just not interested anymore, the exams treadmill crushing any developing enthusiasm for anything?? Or have young people become more passive, or what?

I was chatting with someone in a high tech area (offering premium jobs) who said that many of the applicants with degrees in computing seemed to have suprisingly little interest or know-how in programming.  I was quite shocked. Could not believe it. (In my day people wrote their own little compilers or translators just for the hell of it.) What the heck?

What can be done? Would it help if students knew that employers are looking for that spark of interest? Doing some project of your own just for fun?
 
james.

Offline Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec)

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Re: Have smartphones killed interest in programming?
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2018, 01:46:53 pm »
Hi dzmetrics, and welcome to the forum.

Good question .. maybe they can leverage the upcoming sugar tax to entice kids into programming with unlimited free doughnuts :)

I think the fact it's no longer "new and exciting" plays a major role .. in my youth engineering was an interesting field to get into because kids wanted to know how stuff worked, now people just 'consume' say cars for example and if anyone shows an interest in how they work they're told to stop being boring and 'get a life' (which usually means post dumb pics of cats on facebook), they no longer care how they work or want to be involved in the development.

Now the excitement has left it'll take incentives to draw people in .. high wages (and possibly free doughnuts) .. but the excitement of doing something new is pretty much gone (until/unless there's another big breakthrough that opens new possibilities), it's all pretty much already been done and is now just about small incremental improvements.

The "frontier" attitude has gone.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2018, 02:22:07 pm by Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec) »
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Offline emegra

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Re: Have smartphones killed interest in programming?
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2018, 09:49:25 am »
We had a discussion in the garage I run just yesterday about this very subject

I used to love cars and I loved my job now I hate them and I hate working on them

To me what's happening to cars is the similar to what's happening to computing and the smartphone culture we don't fix them anymore in fact in some cases it could be argued we don't even own them ie if I want to replace someones ignition key on their Renault Megane I've to ask Renault to give me a code number or if I replaced someones brake pads on their BMW i have to make sure I have the diagnostic software to put a bloody light off the dashboard and if I can't do that I have to find someone who can. they're slowly but surely locking everything down and everyone out and their using software to do it. I went to college and served my time 30 odd years ago and worked on cars ever since and I don't understand how the bloody things work anymore

There's no doubt just like computers cars today are more efficient, more refined, more powerful etc than they were 30 years ago but it's come at a cost they've taken something away that's hard to define and just like your iphone a car is no longer truly your own because as the saying goes "if you can't open it you don't own it"

I've probably not explained what I'm trying to say very well, it's difficult, maybe it's just my age


Graeme



If you can keep your head while all around are losing theirs then you're not quite grasping the situation

Offline Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec)

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Re: Have smartphones killed interest in programming?
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2018, 01:36:31 pm »
I **totally** understood that Graeme, I know someone else that owns a garage and he too is continually on the warpath about how manufacturers are trying to price him out of the business with diagnostics .. and design that has things like a brake light on the same circuit as say the engine management system, so a brake light short circuit can have massive knock on effects which present themselves as a totally different issue, all to save 50p in wiring but costing thousands of pounds in diagnostic equipment (which only works on that single model).

Tech tends to be exciting at first .. I'm sure for example pencil/biro (or vacuum cleaner) tech was exciting when it first appeared, but eventually becomes just a device to achieve a goal and looses something in the process.

And running with your "who owns it" thread .. my smart TV informed me the other day that LG were changing some policy about who they could share my private details with, a message appeared on my TV stating THE SMART FUNCTIONS OF MY TV WERE DISABLED UNLESS I AGREED TO THIS by ticking a box. :o
(so even though I thought I'd paid for a "smart" TV, I obviously don't own that functionality)
« Last Edit: February 17, 2018, 01:51:34 pm by Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec) »
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Offline emegra

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Re: Have smartphones killed interest in programming?
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2018, 05:32:35 pm »
Quote
my smart TV informed me the other day that LG were changing some policy about who they could share my private details with, a message appeared on my TV stating THE SMART FUNCTIONS OF MY TV WERE DISABLED UNLESS I AGREED TO THIS by ticking a box. :o
(so even though I thought I'd paid for a "smart" TV, I obviously don't own that functionality)

That perfectly exemplifies my point, that should be illegal in fact I would go as far as to say it is illegal if someone was to test it in court, they are selling products while retaining ownership, there should only be one condition of purchase that is once you pay for it it becomes your property and yours alone and only you can change or alter it.

PC's and laptops are another example, without an operating system either of them are just bricks, in themselves useless, they only become a computer when an operating system is installed on them so if you install or run an operating system on your PC or laptop that's owned and controlled by a company such as Microsoft or Apple, then you've effectively handed over ownership of your property to them. sadly if you point that out to anyone they'll likely say "well that's just how it is"

Maybe I'm missing something or over simplifying but that's how I see it
If you can keep your head while all around are losing theirs then you're not quite grasping the situation

Online Rich J

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Re: Have smartphones killed interest in programming?
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2018, 09:01:44 am »
Quote
my smart TV informed me the other day that LG were changing some policy about who they could share my private details with, a message appeared on my TV stating THE SMART FUNCTIONS OF MY TV WERE DISABLED UNLESS I AGREED TO THIS by ticking a box. :o
(so even though I thought I'd paid for a "smart" TV, I obviously don't own that functionality)

That perfectly exemplifies my point, that should be illegal in fact I would go as far as to say it is illegal if someone was to test it in court, they are selling products while retaining ownership, there should only be one condition of purchase that is once you pay for it it becomes your property and yours alone and only you can change or alter it.  And like other property, can be sold on without penalty........... ;)

PC's and laptops are another example, without an operating system either of them are just bricks, in themselves useless, they only become a computer when an operating system is installed on them so if you install or run an operating system on your PC or laptop that's owned and controlled by a company such as Microsoft or Apple, then you've effectively handed over ownership of your property to them.** sadly if you point that out to anyone they'll likely say "well that's just how it is"

Maybe I'm missing something or over simplifying but that's how I see it

** The primary reason I stopped using Windows.

Offline JeraldTad

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Re: Have smartphones killed interest in programming?
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2018, 03:41:31 pm »
Same here. Well, I didn't stop using Windows all together, but that's one of the biggest reasons I dislike that OS.

 


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