With a high school senior about to go off to college, education and the future of careers are front and center at our home. We’ve come out strongly in favor of computer science as an incredible career field. With both parents working in technology, it would be easy to say that our bias toward technology colors our view of change in the world, but we don’t think so.
The simple fact is that everything is becoming a branch of computer science.
Evolving Human-Machine Interfaces
And it isn’t that computer science is growing up. Instead, the way work is down is growing down to meet data, systems and computational thinking. At the shifting interface of human beings and automation technology is an enormous amount of change pushed by IT departments (with many business saying, “Not fast enough.”) and increasingly pulled by savvy users finding their own tools and techniques for work automation.
The work we do today isn’t just supported by computers as a form of automation (like sending email rather than memos and letters), machines are the new way even traditional work is being accomplished. In marketing, for example, what was once about creative tag lines and elegant prose is now a data-driven, automation-enabled and very much a human-machine system. Where people once ordered retail stock based on hunch, they now routinely use predictive analytics that rely on new, discreet sources of data. And this isn’t simply an automated task — the buyer must know what the variables are and what data to trust and when.
And as quickly as we figure out a better way, an even better way comes along.
The Rise of Computer Science
It’s no surprise, then, that in, UC Berkeley computer science professor David Patterson says that the tide has turned with computer science among the most popular courses on campus. Of course it has. When so many traditional forms of work are being digitized, there’s a powerful realization that job security today and going forward relies on understanding changing operating systems, changing platforms, changing devices and changing ways of thinking about data.
This is the popularity of Coursera, code. org, Codeacademy, and others. The public is catching on to the fact that we need to retool for the new workplace. They’re realizing that everything is becoming dependent on a decent understanding of computer science (the more the better).
Jeanne Roué-Taylor is the cofounder of Successful Workplace.
Originally posted by:Jeanne Roué-Taylor