Today’s programmer is yesterday’s typesetter

On the essay by Professor Lino Guzzella of 12.3.2017 in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung (published as a letter to the editor in the NZZ am Sonntag of 19.3.2017)

In a fitting manner, Professor Guzzella describes the need to keep pace with information technology and advancing digitalization. The question arises, however, whether he is not working from an outdated ideal image here. I share his views on information security. Here, it is urgently necessary that the private sector in particular receives support from science and research. However, I clearly disagree on one thing: There is absolutely no need to train an army of quickly bleached programmers. In 5-10 years, they will face the same fate as typesetters did 20 years ago. Teaching people programming today makes about as much sense as it would have made in the 1920s to demand that every car driver should be able to bolt together a gasoline engine. If anything lends itself particularly well to automation, it’s programming! Already today, most programs are developed based on standardized building blocks. So it’s only a matter of time before 99% of all programs are developed by machines. On the other hand, what has not been addressed in any way is the fact that today we are not able to deal with large amounts of data in a meaningful way. Even in the private sphere, everyone knows this problem from their own experience, it is almost impossible to keep track of one’s own data. Even the tools available today are of no use for this. Even a highly efficient search engine cannot answer the question of what the quality of the data is. Even more important will be the ability to delete data, because social pressure will increase markedly as a result of growing data misuse scandals.

Or, to put it another way, we have been moving away from technical informatics towards active information management for years! The skills needed to apply and manage information in the most beneficial way are subsumed under the title “information governance” . They should be supported by science and research at least as much as is proposed here in this article for technical computer science.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related articles

Records Management Pain Points

Records Management Pain Points

What are the sore points in data management or document management? What are the "eternal obstacles" that most organizations cut their teeth on? Most organizations implicitly or explicitly have a "records management system," by whatever term such a system is known in...

read more