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This question has been in my thoughts for some time now.
Computers are integrating themselves into our lives, and are reaching down towards the younger people in our culture. It's becoming more and more of a standard that many young adults, and even people under the age of 20 know almost as much as the adults a couple of years or decades ago once did. Does anyone feel that this statement is correct? If anyone feels that this is true (I do), do you also feel or actually notice that the demand for technically-skilled people will or has already declined? Any other comments?
Also, how do the more experienced users/coders of the previous generation feel about the current generation gaining this kind of knowledge faster, earlier and more of it at an earlier age?
I'll use my family as an example:
My grandmother doesn't know what the internet is, and has never touched a computer in her life. My father knows how to use computers, but doesn't like them that much (he uses redhat, but prefers windows). My mother uses her computer, but doesn't know how it works or how to fix it. I know more about linux and computer technology as well as its current advancement than both my mother and my father, that i'm having a hard time convincing my father to realize that i can help him when he needs it. Though i don't want to insult his intelligence - i regard him to be a genius. I've just noticed this over a period of time and want to know if anyone else feels the same/different.
and i'll also add that the technology is easier to get your hands on, as it is becoming cheaper and cheaper every year, allowing more and more people with less and less money to aquire such knowledge. Plus, jobs have a requirement for at least some computer knowledge (though it isn't much considering the minimum is word processing).
More and more companies demand highly skilled computer users. Home users want to be able to develop photos, record / burn DVDs, and self educate their children. All of these things force the education system to familiarize children at younger ages to various technologies. It will only continue and each generation is always pressed hard and against stricter educational standard.
The market's demand for highly educated computer users does fluctuate, and over the last few years, there have been many skilled computer administrators/ programmers that have lost their jobs, but there are many places that are trying to higher skiller programmers too.
The new generation of programmers are good for what they've learned, but we continue to look for older programmers that know JCL, fortran, cobol, and C. Many schools don't teach some of these any more.
The cost thing I will both agree and disagree with. Hardware doesn't seem to be getting cheaper. Good software programs seem to demand the same high prices.