One of the few benefits of being old is knowing I will escape certain disasters. By the time the world chokes on carbon emissions, or countries suffer acute water shortages due to droughts, or the national debt finally overwhelms us, I won’t have to worry because I won’t be here.
Knowing I’ll be dead before the next Tsunami hits is, I admit, a small consolation and doesn’t absolve me from caring about the future. I do care. But in the course of human events some failures are inevitable. Kirk McDonald, president of PubMatic is young enough, apparently, not to have learned this truth. That’s why his recent warning to college graduates was so naively smug, it put a smile on my face.
Teach yourself just enough of the grammar and the logic of computer languages to be able to see the big picture. Get acquainted with AIP’s. Dabble in a bit of Python,” and have familiarity with “at least two programming languages.” (“Sorry, College Grads, I probably Won’t Hire You,” by Kirk McDonald, Wall Street Journal, 5/14/13).
I can understand why he hopes the young might listen to him. They’re so attached to their electronic devices, they probably imagine smart phones came attached to their umbilical cords. They like to play games on these devices, listen to music and gossip with friends. But the majority have no more interest in learning the grammar of Python, Beta or BLISS than they do in learning the grammar of their native tongue. Believe me, I’ve spent fruitless years attempting the latter. That experience allows me to predict that McDonald’s warning will fall on deaf ears. There will always be a shortage of programmers as long as any form of grammar exists.
I wish I could convince McDonald of the truth of what I’m saying. Then he could start recruiting in India or Pakistan. But he wouldn’t believe an old woman who’s phobic about her cell phone. The crunch for skilled workers inevitably will come as part of the course of human events. I’m not worried, though, because I won’t be here.
(Courtesy of dangerouslyirrelevant.org)