Current Events in Programming

Direct Knowlege Contributor Taylor Bauer
  • By Taylor Bauer, Technical Writer & Digital Marketing Expert
  • Taylor is a writer and SEO manager with a B.S. in Political Communication from Illinois State University. He also received his M.S. in Communications from Illinois State. His background comes from journalism, working at an NPR member station for three years before transitioning to blogging and search engine marketing. He lives in Illinois with his wife and two Toy Australian Sheppards.

You likely use a computer of some sort every day. Without current events in programming, this wouldn’t be possible. To those who don’t “speak” the language, programming seems incomprehensible. However, if you’ve ever taken a course on HTML or Java, you know it’s all about the formula. Programming is a crucial component of our increasingly digital lives. Without programming, we wouldn’t have a lot of the online resources we use today. Hence, the profession is highly influential in the technological growth of what you and I need every day.

Programming is the process of digitally constructing code to create software and computer solutions. The process is highly technical and requires knowledge of several coding languages. The industry of computer programming grows faster each year than nearly any other field. The need for programmers seems to grow annually as well, despite more and more students studying the subject.

Programming is a cornerstone of where social and professional life is heading. Look at any list and find programming near the top of growing industries and in-demand jobs. Staying on top of current events in programming is a great way to keep up with technology news, so here are five ways programming is changing and always adapting.

Group of young programmers developing data code working together in modern office panorama with free space

Penn State Program Looks to Inspire Next Generation of Programmers

A trend in programming is introducing people to the practice. That means at any time in your life, it’s possible to pick up some programming level. A lot of online courses exist, many of which are free to start. It’s a great way to diversify your curriculum vitae or resume for people who don’t know to program. Current events in programming focused on the importance of programming, so why not get in on the movement? Well, the goal isn’t just to introduce people to programming in later life. Younger kids are growing up in a world full of programming potential. Like typing classes in the 70s and 80s, it’s crucial to get these skills developed early.

Schools equipped to handle this on their own. Many K-12 programs do not have a programming class. It’s not necessarily seen as a necessity for people, as some other subjects are. For example, you need to know math for necessary life skills, but not how to write your code. It’s still a valuable skill, however, so some universities are partnering with organizations to teach these skills early. Much like tutoring or mentorship, programming clubs are popping up all over the United States.

Shaping Young Minds of Future Coders

Penn State is one such school working with younger people interested in programming. iD Tech is an organization that organizes tech camps for students all over the world. Unlike K-12 programs, private groups like theirs help to get information vital to the booming job market and society into the hands of young minds. We saw a massive push for STEM studies in the late 2000s and early 2010s, and now programming is getting its time in the sun. And rightfully so. As more students grow up in a world surrounded by digital media and tools, it’s essential to let them know how to build the next great resource. Academically, it’s a massive hit with college students. Many who study programming in an IT school program at a University get some excellent teaching skills. Plus, they push the knowledge on to the next generation.

Young children don’t always know how to solve algebra problems, and maybe they don’t know history all that well minus the big moments. Patterns, however, they can pick up on, and by teaching them programming in fun ways, the knowledge sticks. Hopefully, students all over the country will have access to these sorts of camps if iD Tech continues to grow. It’s an essential part of a very digital future.

The historic Apollo 11 Command Module on Display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

Apollo 11’s Secret Weapon – A 23-Year-old Programmer

A lot of amazing moments in history were possible because of programming. A lot of non-programmers think that coding is a simple task of building websites, but so much goes into programming. For starters, anything that runs through computer software is the product of programming. Current events in programming often highlight things like web tools and smart tech, but programming is nothing new. Recent stories on the Apollo 11 landing bring to light the importance of programming. A 23-year-old programmer named Don Eyles ended up being almost as important on that mission as anyone else.

I don’t think anyone questions the difficulty of landing a space shuttle on the moon. The team at NASA didn’t even know what they were entirely beginning. A lot of intangible worries circled the Apollo 11 mission. Of course, staying connected to the astronauts inside the shuttle would be crucial. Not to mention, all the planning and careful construction needed to hold up for landing and reentry into Earth’s atmosphere. All of that seems like big, uncontrollable worries. One thing that wasn’t necessarily on their minds was a programming malfunction. That’s right: programming is the center of the success of the moon landing.

Moon Landing Programming Error

Eyles was a 23-year-old programmer fresh out of college and working with NASA on the moon landing. In his retelling of the situation, he remembers everything seeming to go a bit out of wack. Current events in programming always point to the frailty of code. One wrong character or line of system and the whole project can go wild. It’s not the end of the world to experience a website that breaks down temporarily, but coding to keep astronauts alive as they traverse space is a different story.

The Apollo Guidance Computer ran to assist the team of astronauts in their reentry to space. A 1202 error code ran out once, to the alert of NASA, but then continued, causing significant concerns. The AGC had lost its connectivity between its two major ports of function, leading to radar and altitude errors. Luckily, Eyles was ready to assist in any programming errors associated with the AGC, ensuring a safe landing. It’s crazy to think a computer programming malfunction could have cost NASA one of its most successful missions. Thanks to programming, however, everyone returned thanks to programming safely.

Science factory china production LED technology

China’s Tech Sector Suffers from Student Flight to the U.S.

The competition between the U.S. and China dates back some 70 years. When China entered the developed world, they immediately worked on a unique set of political and economic programs. Primarily, the communist government would look to work with the growing global economy to develop a pseudo capitalist market. It’s not worth a dive into economic principles and theory for our purposes. China was on the up and the United States dropping in economic and political influence; a dangerous precedent took place. One that, to this day, is still dictating a lot of the U.S.’s foreign policy. Not to mention, things are not getting worse for China, and not much better for the United States.

Current events in programming would have you believe there’s a bit of a race happening right now. Much like a push to reach space in the 20th century, a tech race is in full effect between the United States and China. Primarily, the race to 5G internet connectivity is drawing a lot of programmers to the IT sector. The issue with a dash to new technology is getting the best minds to run for your side. Amazing programmers come from all over the world to help one country push to a new digital frontier.

Keeping Great Minds at Home

China’s main concern at the moment is student flight from the country. Countless brilliant young men and women, who will likely be at the forefront of tomorrow’s greatest programming feats, are heading to the U.S. for college. Scholarships for international students are bountiful, and the promise of a U.S. tech job in Silicon Valley or the likes is a huge draw. Plus, the biggest tech company in the world, Google, is in the United States. These draws are causing significant problems for Chinese companies trying to keep local programmers in the country.

It’s not fair to say one country has more opportunities than the other. Both dedicated to programming projects. Each state is making the push for the next significant technological advance. The narrative of the United States, however, has always been about opportunity. As money and resources continue to pour into the United States’ programming efforts, the best of the best will consider the country an option. Maybe a top choice, at that. One thing is sure: people make programming enjoyable. Current events in programming rarely touch on the human side of the profession, but needless to say, the best programmers make the best tools for society.

Side profile photo of smart intelligent clever girl typing new code while debugging the initial data of corporation security

Gender Imbalances in Programming Classes

A long-standing issue has been the diversity of members working and studying STEM subjects. In no field is the disparity worse than in Information Technology. Men dominate the industry, both in study and career. Women push for more gender equality in opportunities, such as camps for girls and other introductory classes. The problem is not just in programming. As with any profession, several women who work in the STEM fields say they are treated differently for their being in male-dominated sectors. It’s not fool-proof being the only girl in a programming class, or one out of 40 in a lab focused on hard science. The concern is that women do not feel pushed to pursue these fields.

It’s not like every male in the programming world makes women feel uninvited or limited in their efforts. A tricky thing about gender imbalances in programming is the knowledge that the problem causes certain environmental hurdles. Women often see their male peers as uninterested in their being there. As a recent discussion on women in programming mentions, computer science has always been a boy’s game. Changing that won’t be easy, but it is essential.

Growing the Number of Women in Programming

Current events in programming ought to give more attention to this issue. While not deafening, the silence surrounding gender imbalances in the industry is rough. Parents and teachers do not promote women to follow these fields. Educators need to do a better job courting young women interested in STEM. The issue goes further than that, however. Most job fields struggle to find ways to get non-traditional candidates to their jobs. That starts sooner than college, and even before high school. The hardest part of getting these candidates is encouraging them from early on.

It’s a long process of teaching people what programming is. More often than not, women in programming know the field because of a family member. If the exposure to science and technology comes early, and from more than one source, we may see an increase in candidates. Students studying IT need to build a passion before they start their serious studies. That comes from an effort to get students involved in programming and IT early on. The key is not 50/50 representation, but equal exposure to the possibilities that programming can lead. Overall, the push needs to be more widespread, according to women who work in the industry.

Two software developers are using computers to work together with their partner at the office desk

Colleges Not Teaching Java, Yet Students Still Learning It

Coding experiences changes all the time. A lot of the ways that programming taught today is vastly different from 5 years ago, ten years before that, and so on. To be fair, technology runs on programming. Technology changes so much, many IT textbooks get updated annually. Other than coding, anything in information technologies gets updated regularly. For a long time, Java led the programming curriculum. Java is never the best code to use, or even learn. Yet, it used to be an introduction to coding. Now, people question this quite a bit. To the point that schools are abandoning it altogether.

Schools are not teaching Java anymore, according to a recent article. Programmers have called for this change for years now, as the language is not conducive to an adequate intro to programming code. Many college courses try to focus on the easiest way to learn the concept of law, rather than throw students into the deep end—current events in programming highlight how tough it is all the time. The world builds on code, but the concept is key to every significant software in the digital world. Yet, students still look to learn the code language, as the recent article shows.

Why is Java Still Popular?

If you’ve ever looked for a coding class online for free, Java usually pops up everywhere. Stanford University even offers its intro coding course, which uses Java for free on Youtube. The best part about Java is the ease of picking it up quickly. For starters, the code is simple to follow. Also, Java helps students learn the base of programming. The ability to understand how coding establishes is half the battle. Now, students who do not learn Java in school still pursue it on their own time.

It’s great to see students wanting to learn everything there is in programming. Of course, teaching yourself is never as helpful. Yet, with colleges featuring classes for free online, everyone has access to these courses. Students aren’t giving up on Java, even if programs are. Learning code is not a fast process. It’s nothing like reading a book or writing one for that matter. To be fair, Java is secure, and maybe not worth the cost of a college course. Yet, it’s lovely to keep in the repertoire. It’s not likely to go anywhere any time soon.

Conclusion

Programming is changing every single day. Students and professionals alike rely on it for their professional aspirations. Some major in it, and others use it for a resume boost. It’s not a bad skill for you to consider picking up in the next few years. Keeping up with current events in programming is the best way to know what’s on the cutting edge of technology.

When do we see programming make the news in our daily lives?

Do you know anything about how to write programming yourself? Do you want to learn?

How can someone use current events in programming to discover new things about the field?