Questions about novices C programmers and C++ programmers
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Author:  Octocontrabass [ Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Questions about novices C programmers and C++ programmer

The reply was probably deleted because it included a hidden spam link. (I'm not a moderator, but I did see and try to report it.)

Author:  mac [ Mon May 07, 2018 3:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Questions about novices C programmers and C++ programmer

DavidCooper wrote:
manhobby wrote:
DavidCooper, I forgot of you, maybe you were detailed in the other topic I posted here in the OS Dev Forums.

DavidCooper, please, answer this topic.

Sorry, but that's beyond my knowledge. I came into programming from a background in linguistics with the sole intention of working on computational linguistics and artificial intelligence. I've never been employed to write code for anyone, or looked for such work (and I've also never used C and have only ever written one program in C++), so I don't have any real understanding of which skills or mastery of which tools are in demand in the industry. What I'd do if I was in your position though is look to see what kind of jobs are being advertised, then compare those with what employers were looking for five years ago, and I'd then try to work out what's changing - if there's a trend towards greater use of a specific new programming language, that might be worth targeting, unless everyone else has anticipated that too, so I'd be looking for skills that are increasingly in demand where not enough people are being trained up to use them. Whatever you do though, you should aim to become a much-better-than-average programmer so that you get chosen over the rest of the crowd of applicants. If employers won't look at anyone without a degree, then you need to get a degree, but there's nothing to stop you racing ahead with your studies and looking for work while you're still studying, because you can always drop out to take a job if you have a skill that's in demand while there's a shortage of people with that skill, whereas if you wait until you've qualified, that job may no longer be available and the temporary shortage of people with the required skill may have been filled in by new graduates.

Don't be too narrow in just aiming to be a programmer - most jobs writing code will likely be eradicated by automation over the next decade, so you should be thinking about other skills that you can develop which will keep you in work for longer, and anything with an artistic component will be much more secure, so work harder than everyone else on developing your creative skills in addition to your programming skills. Work too on improving your English, and on inter-personal skills so that you can get the best out of the many incompetent, unpleasant people that you're bound to have to work with on occasions. Skills in flattery, for example, will take you a long way.

Also wanting to pop in here.

I agree with you about the breadth of skills and automation of code in the future. What are some specific skills you would seek if you wanted to get into a career in tech, to broaden focus away from only programming? I'm wondering about choosing tech and development as an ultimate path too.

Author:  DavidCooper [ Mon May 07, 2018 7:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Questions about novices C programmers and C++ programmer

mac wrote:
I agree with you about the breadth of skills and automation of code in the future. What are some specific skills you would seek if you wanted to get into a career in tech, to broaden focus away from only programming? I'm wondering about choosing tech and development as an ultimate path too.

That's a tough one as the future's always uncertain, but we can make some reasonable predictions. It's a fair bet that most jobs will disappear long before you're of retirement age, and we'll soon learn to stop trying to replace them with bogus jobs which only serve to waste resources for negative economic gain - we're already making the mistake of creating lots of pointless jobs just for the sake of it, and all it does is hold down our quality of life by putting resources into building concrete workplaces for people to waste their time in instead of building a world to have fun in. The correct solution is to introduce a standard income for all and to increase it as more and more people are put out of work. Those who continue to find useful work will always be able to earn enough extra to compensate them for their time and effort, but the standard income will eventually enable people to have a better quality of life than working people have today. With machines making all the things we need, the cost of manufacturing those things will fall dramatically, and the only limits will be environmental ones. That is not a future to worry about.

The kind of jobs that will still exist by then will largely be those with artistic aspects, such as game creation - there will always be a big market for stories. There will also be a boom in film-making once there's no further need of real actors (although the audience for each film will fall dramatically). It won't really matter though if no one buys what you make, because the standard income will be enough to provide a good life anyway without anyone needing to be successful, but I'm sure there will still be some people becoming rich from their creative ideas (even if they're taxed more heavily than such people today), so there are still going to be skills worth having.

What we should worry about more is the transition from where we are now through to the time when everything's solved and fixed, because a lot of people may be put in great difficulty for years during that transition if governments make bad decisions (which we can be sure they will do), and it won't surprise me if a lot of violence breaks out along the way because of the high speed of change and the inability of politicians to handle any kind of complexity without making lots of horrific mistakes. Those who stay in work for longer will likely have an easier time than those who don't.

But how do you get a safe job when most of them are going to go? I can't see any way to offer useful advice when the timings of when and where these jobs evaporate are going to be so unpredictable and almost all of them are in the firing line. All you can do is consider your own abilities and think about what you might be able to do with them that others can't match.

If you lack exceptional skills, try to get into a company that will pay you a lot when they lay you off as they decline towards extinction, then use that money to buy shares in companies dealing with resources.

Look for jobs where you can have an input into the aesthetic appearance of products and their interfaces with users - your knowledge of how people have to interact with devices will likely be better than AGI's understanding of it for a long time to come. Software will adapt more easily than hardware, so don't think so much about how software can be improved for products because changes to that can be driven quickly through user feedback, but the initial vision of the physical interface is a much costlier thing to get wrong and takes longer to fix, so there will continue to be room of human genius to be applied there.

Think too about the kinds of products that can be made more easily with AGI systems solving all the engineering issues. For example, I have ideas about making high-performance hydrofoiling sailing dinghies (using ideas which I currently can't afford to patent), and it will be a lot easier to home in on optimal designs with the help of AGI. Those who are quick in teaching AGI to understand manufacturing processes and material science will get ahead in the race and may be able to stay ahead simply by getting in first. You should look for opportunities of that kind and be ready to make a move if an opportunity presents itself to you.

Don't shackle yourself into an existing box as a software expert, but think about new places to apply technology. Think about every non-tech aspect of your life and search for ideas there. How can your life be better? How can the world be better? You might be able to get a patent on something and gain a lasting income from it. It's going to take hard thinking, and you might not find anything, but try anyway.

Do every conventional thing too in trying to find work, but don't stop looking for ways to do something extra that might give you an edge, and don't steer yourself up the wrong path through a company if you can see one heading for extinction sooner than an alternative path.

I suspect augmented reality is going to be particularly big, and there will doubtless be some killer ideas that will make a fortune for their inventors. Any idea that you have that might lead to something that will improve people's ability to have fun in impoverished environments is worth putting a lot of thought into. The future of computer games will be to get people out of the house and into the real world, but with additions to create the excitement that isn't currently there. If your skills lend themselves to this, start thinking about it now so that you might be one of the ones to create a new genre during the initial gold rush.

Follow your interests and strengths, and keep thinking down unexplored routes, because that's where the bigger prizes are going to be found.

Author:  mac [ Thu May 10, 2018 1:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Questions about novices C programmers and C++ programmer

^ Oh, that was pretty lengthy and sounds better for a blog. :-D

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