The Moderna team that first created the COVID-19 vaccine designed it in two days. It was a weekend project in January. On Friday evening we had no vaccine, just a series of TGIF memes and an upcoming weekend to look forward to. On Monday morning we had the vaccine. I’ve spent longer than that trying to vertically center text on a webpage.
I say this as a joke, but it’s also kind of true (vertically centering is annoyingly difficult. If I’m lucky, I can wrangle it with flexbox when the wind is blowing in the right direction). A wonder of…
Over the last year I got back into various little programming projects. Most of it was fixes and tending to projects, from updating little apps to migrating my server, and some of it was trying out new tools. Most recently, it was some data manipulation in python, which I hadn’t really done since I was a researcher.
Usually, it begins with some task I need to do. Some feature I’d like to have or some error that I want to fix. I’ll google for that feature or I’ll copy/paste the error that shows up in the console into a google…
On his personal Medium blog, Homebrew partner Hunter Walk shares perspective for tech workers who worry about what it means to grow older in an industry that has a certain “incorrect (and sometimes illegal when it plays a role in hiring) age bias.”
“Let me tell you what does get better as time passes: the relationships, the accrued knowledge, your own self-awareness,” Walk offers.
The post reminds me of a story we published on OneZero last year, about “the planned obsolescence of old coders.” That story, written by A. Jesse Jiryu Davis, explores a similar theme: In an industry that…
The U.S. government’s approach of letting Silicon Valley drive the country’s technological boom has left the government itself scrambling for tech talent.
Now, a federal commission led by ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt and former Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert O. Work wants to create a university to train new government coders.
The school would be called the U.S. Digital Service Academy, and it would be an accredited, degree-awarding university that trains students in digital skills like cybersecurity and artificial intelligence. Students would get a traditional school year of coursework, with internships in the public and private sector during summers.
As the world’s most popular livestreaming site—and a multibillion dollar Amazon property — Twitch is hardly new. But in recent years the web giant, which rocketed to success showing gamers at play, has started to branch out. As livestreaming setups have become cheaper and watching the web has continued to displace television time, many more types of streamers have joined the party. Today, Twitch has amateur musicians, home cooks, stream-of-life vloggers, and even ad hoc groups of people trying to help each other learn foreign languages. And now, you can also watch programmers programming.
Over the past decade, desktop software has gradually been eaten by the web browser: Music moved from iTunes to Spotify and Pandora, word processing moved online to Google Docs and Office 365, and design moved from Photoshop to Figma.
Web development, though, has remained loyal to the desktop, requiring increasingly powerful computers to handle modern programming. While code editing tools like Glitch and CodePen have allowed developers to do some work on the web, more complex development languages have remained stubbornly connected to desktop software.
As millions file for unemployment benefits in the United States every week, states’ aging computer systems simply cannot keep up.
States like New Jersey and Connecticut have said they are desperate for programmers who are still familiar with COBOL, a programming language that debuted in 1960 and is still used in critical computer systems like unemployment databases and banks. It’s estimated that COBOL is currently used in 95% of ATMs around the world.
Despite its wide usage, most programmers today are taught newer languages, like C (which is only a few years newer but has had more staying power) or…
Most of the people I know are software engineers or computer scientists of one form or another. Most of them are very experienced and come from a time when to be either of those things required a very serious computer science education. This is still the case for being a computer scientist, but seemingly not so for being a programmer. Many of my well seasoned colleagues lament the decline in skill and education of their younger peers. I’ve also seen this shift in the skill set and education of entry-level programming candidates both on the job and in the classroom…
Over the weekend, New Jersey governor, Phil Murphy, made an unusual public plea during his daily coronavirus briefing: The state was seeking volunteer programmers who know COBOL, a 60-year old programming language that the state’s unemployment benefits system is built on. Like every state across the nation, New Jersey was being flooded with unemployment claims in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. And New Jersey’s data processing systems were unprepared.
“We literally have a system that is 40-plus years old,” Murphy said.
If you’re like millions of parents across the world, you’ve suddenly crashed into an unplanned at-home break with your kids. Many of the usual options for educational enrichment — museums, galleries, concerts — are shuttered. Helpful distractions like parks and playdates have been swallowed up by new rules of social distancing. And the odds are good that you’ll need to balance the chaos at home with the ongoing remote work requirements of your own job.
Here’s the good news: There is a way to keep your kids busy and help them learn something truly useful. …
The undercurrents of the future. A publication from Medium about technology and people.