6 answers

How do you see working with computers changing in the next 10 years?

Asked Ottumwa, Iowa

6 answers

Leon’s Answer

Updated Fort Worth, Texas

This is a question that does not have a single answer. There will be many improvements to existing technologies and brand new technologies will be created. In the paragraphs below I will describe the technologies that have had major changes doing my career and will continue to change.


I have been working with computers for 57 years and the changes have been enormous. When I started the group of people was very small and dedicated to very specific tasks in a small number of computer languages. Today the WORLD works on different types of computers using many different computer languages, applications and human languages. Computers are being made smaller, faster, and cheaper for more people of the world.


Very important changes in the world of computers have allowed people rich and poor with varying degrees of computer knowledge to contribute to these changes. I have been working with Linux and open source programs for many years. Linux Operating Systems DVD can be bought for $5.95 and installed on as many computers as you and your friends have. Also, all of the software programs, browsers, applications, games, etc. are free not just free for 30days. Additional open source programs are free and available on the Internet that is used by half the people in the world.


Years ago people only developed code for money and couldn't believe there would be developers that would contribute their time to projects for free. Well the experts were proved wrong. Currently 31 million developers work projects on a code hosting site called GitHub. GitHub is the largest but there are others—SourceForge, Bitbucket, GitLab.


Freelance jobs are available on these 72 websites, https://www.ryrob.com/freelance-jobs/#development,

Most of these jobs are remote and you can bid on a project. People from all over the world work on various projects from their computer, etc. Some people work on these projects as a full time job others just need a little extra money.


Of course with the WORLD now involved in some form of computer activity there is the bad news. There are people out there looking to make money or fame by doing some form of illegal activity. So now there are new positions called Cyber Security to stop the illegal activity. The bad guys have a lot of time to think of new illegal activities so the Cyber Security teams have more than enough work to do. This is just one of the many new and improved technology positions that have been created.


Some of the biggest changes in the last 50 years have been the increase of computer memory, speed and data storage. One of the first computer languages I used was BASIC. A very English language that used very specific words to execute. Since the memory of the computer was very limited we were able to removed the spaces between words that were only needed for human readability. The data was stored on 1.44 MB floppy disks (711 of these floppy disks equals 1 Gigabyte).


Today the computer memory continues to grow larger and the data storage is larger beyond believe. Now they have what are called “Data Lakes” that store huge amounts of structured and unstructured data. Companies now don't throw ANY data away because they never know what questions will be asked in the future and which data will answer the questions.








Amy’s Answer

Updated California, California

What great timing for your question! I was at a conference in Boston called LearnLaunch . The speaker, Ryan Craig, talked about how technology skills will change over time. Artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and software development are all expected to still be in demand 10 years from now. I will throw my own personal opinion into the mix. I believe software security will always be in high demand. I doubt hacking will go out of style. I hope this helps!

Amy recommends the following next steps:

  • Research these technology areas and see which one appeals to you.

Mario’s Answer

Updated Granollers, Catalonia, Spain

Since the appearance of voice recognition systems and the later raise of the IPad and the tablets, people is wanting to kill the traditional computer. But at the end, we haven't found any replacement for the keyboard and the mouse to productively work with computers.

I think that the key will be in the mobility: more light and portable computers, more data and applications in the cloud (which would allow even smaller devices), and I would like to see the actual convergence between smartphones and laptops.

Zach’s Answer

Updated Portland, Oregon

Hi Julia,

Computers are always changing in ways that make them bigger and faster, but mostly the details about the work they are doing remain the same over the years. Websites continue to get bigger, faster and more complicated, but they are still websites.

One big difference that has already been mentioned, is the notion of where those computers run and who is responsible for running them. There are reasons that might mean some companies run their own computers, while other companies might choose to pay someone else to run them, like a cloud company. Connecting applications together will remain a constant challenge, but the ways that different applications communicate with each other will become more and more important.

If you are someone who wants to work on connecting these pieces together, leaning how to work with APIs or Application Programming Interfaces will become important. These are the methods that applications and software developers use to talk to other software.

Whatever the changes that we see in the next 10 years of computers, the skills that you learn along the way will be valuable. You might not use the same programs, or you might use computers in a slightly different way, but learning to adapt will always be important. Always be learning.

You might try to sign up for a cloud server with AWS or Azure cloud machine, which you can try for free for a little while if you want to experiment.

https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/free/

https://aws.amazon.com/free/free-tier-faqs/

Kevin’s Answer

Updated St. Louis, Missouri

I see input devices changing dramatically, from manual inputs like keyboard and mouse to biometric authentication and input, such as Apple iPhone fingerprint and face recognition and Google Home assistant/Amazon Echo voiceprint authentication.  In my career this evolution has gone from programming on punched cards to online terminals to fingerprint and face ID, and I've seen the computers with which we interact go from filling a room to barely filling your hand.

Kevin recommends the following next steps:

  • Study Biometric Authentication.
  • Think about how it could be easier for people to interact with their devices, from hand gestures to natural language to 3D/holographic interfaces. Dream, plan, do, and repeat.
Updated
I couldn't agree more with Kevin. I too have seen computers & programming languages evolve over the years here at AT&T. It's exciting to think about what the future has in store for us. Technology changes so rapidly that you will have to be able to adapt to an ever changing environment no matter what field you plan to pursue. One thing we have learned here at AT&T is that "embrace the growth mindset". Those with a growth mindset, enjoy challenges, strive to learn and consistently see the need to develop new skills.

Thomas’s Answer

Updated Miami, Florida

I see things with technology going to the cloud. The days of having a physical infrastructure in an office or in a site will eventually become obsolete. Utilizing SaaS (software as a service) PaaS (Platform as a Service) IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) is something that is becoming more and more prevalent.

Thomas recommends the following next steps:

  • I would take the time and learn the difference between On Premises, cloud and hybrid cloud
  • Learn the pro's and cons of cloud.
  • Sign up for a free Azure or AWS Trial and "Kick the tires" and learn how it works.