• Vinay Nair

Dear Parents, the future ahead is likely 'No Code'

Updated: Nov 17, 2020

Using drag and drop interfaces, you can now design a website, an ecommerce platform or even an android/iOS application. Low code/no code is becoming more and more relevant, reliable and robust.


The ability to develop business workflow as part of a sizable business operation, or a standalone application was never ever imagined before, in fact experts have always dismissed the sheer possibility of coding becoming obsolete.


Now, I am not saying the future of programming is ‘null’ and ‘void’.


Computer programs, software, the various applications on our phones have all become an inescapable part of our lives now. Not only is technology moving towards great developments in this sphere, organically, the COVID 19 Pandemic has also given this sector's development quite the push.


How did we get here?

Most of the custom-programming work that gets done has shifted their modes from manual to digital, and with rapid and solid development in the field of artificial intelligence and machine learning, there is a huge debate about how much these can assist in coding, today. One group is wholly unconvinced of the success AI can and is having in programming, and there is another group which believes that AI can be hugely superior at being autonomous in writing code.


In a paper published by a group of researchers in 2017,

It was estimated that AI will be writing all or most of the computer codes by 2040.

While 2040 is a long way off, huge advancements in the future of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning have already made huge forays into the world of coding.


We all know about AutoML by Google which offers a hoard off machine learning products making it possible for "developers with limited machine learning expertise to train high-quality models specific to their business needs." GPT3 or Generative Pre-trained Transformer 3 by Open AI, a San Francisco based startup, is a step above this and is a 3rd generation deep learning algorithm producing human-like text. This service by OpenAI, co-founded by Elon Musk, can prove to be invaluable in the automation of tasks in the days to come. It can write codes in all languages, write news articles, read through texts and answer questions from that given information and can also write poems like a poet if works by the same person are fed into it. It is an extensive neural network that has 175 billion machine learning parameters and can work without further training or human supervision.


David Chalmers, an Australian philosopher, called it 

One of the most interesting and important AI systems ever produced.

Companies are also moving towards nanotechnology in everything that they offer, portability, durability and ease of use impacting greatly how their products are marketed and accepted.


Apple, which has been at the forefront of technological innovation for a long time, recently announced their A14 bionic chip, which is a 5 nm ARM-based chipset. This System on a Chip (SoC) will be used in iPhone 12, iPad Air (2020). Also with the introduction of M1 chip for Macbook Air (2020), Macbook Pro (2020) and Mac mini they have made a paradigm shift in the PC World. It opens up multiple fronts and with the wake of 5G Technology, accessibility is key for an ecosystem of computational devices to sync, collaborate and interact with their counterparts.


IOT-enabled ecosystem have eventually made great headways in today’s tech usage and will only develop further to create a seamless network of physical objects with sensors, software, and other technologies so that data can be connected and exchanged over multiple devices across multiple regions. The future also seems to have things right out of science-fiction novels like self-driving cars plying abundantly across the roads of the metropolises, not only making it easier for humans, but also reducing traffic, and the related brouhaha.


Here's how it is now...

Parents are urging their young, elementary school children to start learning how to code. After all, it is best to start early, isn’t it?


If we are to be controlled by software eventually, it's better to know how to control it, right?


We have seen summer coding camps, extracurricular coding clubs, apps designed to teach coding cropping up. This has been having a spillover effect on the rise and prominence of the coding bootcamps (that is what the “coding academies” are called these days) have come up all over the globe.

Hour of Code events map
Hour of Code is a global movement in 180+ countries

You must have heard of WhiteHat Jr, founded in 2018, and led by Karan Bajaj was sold to ed-tech giant BYJU’s in a whopping $300 million deal. Currently, with 1.2 lakh students learning coding on the platform, the company does good business, charging Rs 35,000 for a beginner’s module which has 48 classes. The recently unrolled National Education Policy, 2020, also recommends introducing coding in schools. You must be aware of the successes of the Hour of Code, which is a non-profit campaign to bring more American students into computer science, or about MIT Media Lab’s Scratch, or BBC’s micro:bit which are platforms which are appealing for children learning how to code. Even Apple CEO Tim Cook has on record asked that coding be made mandatory in the public schools of America.


Today, computers and subsequent automation have taken up residence in almost all aspects of our lives, it is true that coding is a huge part of that. But the idea that without learning to code no one will take you seriously is a bit unfounded. You may be the kind of person who learns to code because you get a kick out of it, and it is fun for you to do. But spending tonnes of money going to bootcamps or losing your hair about learning and becoming adept at coding as the only means to become successful in this field may be wholly unnecessary.


The future is much bigger than your child giving a TED talk, or developing gaming apps and being called an entrepreneur for the sake of marketing and gimmicks of companies. Don’t jump on the bandwagon just for the sake of it, and give the kids their childhoods back.

As the saying goes, childhood is a short season, it’s not coming back.

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