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According to US Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for programmers are expected to grow “much faster than average” over the next 10 years – which makes sense. As digital transformation becomes a top priority across industries – in many cases, to meet growing consumer demand driven by the ubiquity and ease of mobile-first experiences – there is a commensurate need for skilled coders who can translating market strategy into usable software.

But where are these most in-demand app experts and software connoisseurs? Where are they pushing the boundaries of digital delivery and what’s on the horizon for creative computing?

A Brief History of Binary Construction

Computers and humans process information differently. Where our biology includes multiple sensory organs that help us function in the physical world, computers rely on binary states – “on” or “off” represented by ones and zeros – to navigate digital guidelines. . Programming languages ​​were created to bridge the gap; these frameworks translate human-created commands into something that computers can understand and implement.

One of the first languages ​​created was Fortran, developed by John W. Backus in 1957. Fortran made it possible to connect computer output to simple input, in turn bypassing the need for more complicated and laborious programming processes. , like IBM Remarks. As a result, it became the first widely adopted language, and it is still used today. More familiar frameworks soon followed – C hit the scene in 1972, Python in 1991, Ruby and Java in 1995, and C# in 2000, according to ComputerScience.org. While coding newcomers such as Go and R have also made significant inroads, C, Python and Java remain the top three languages ​​in 2021, per InfoWorld. Although each approach differs in syntax, they share the fundamental goal of translating human input into digital output.

The kids are fine

As technology has become an ubiquitous part of everyday life, there has been a lot of emphasis on teaching kids coding skills to set them up for future success. Increasingly, schools are offering curricular or extracurricular STEM-based programs. This push toward coding posits a world where children who don’t learn to code will be left behind as they enter changing job markets. However, recent hindsight suggests that this focus on digital literacy may not be as beneficial as initially thought – and it can actually do more harm than good.

The biggest problem here? Binary thinking. When it comes to learning code, it’s not an either/or operation. Instead, it’s about teaching children to solve problems in the physical and digital worlds. In practice, that means a healthy balance between on-screen interactions – whether in the form of educational games or more in-depth coding lessons – and hands-on challenges that allow kids to think outside the box.

Simply put? While coding classroom work helps better prepare kids for the realities of a digital future, it’s not an all-or-nothing scenario. Children with only a passing interest in programming will enjoy basic benefits, while those with a natural affinity will seek more specialized software development jobs and opportunities.

Programmable potential

So what’s in it for those with a predilection for programming?

Mobile app development remains a reliable source of software development jobs. Businesses across all industries and markets are looking to build user-friendly, cross-platform applications that can both provide on-demand access to key services and collect relevant data.

But new paths are also emerging that offer new opportunities for programming experts. Wired by industry offers some examples, including how the growing use of coding in agriculture is underpinning the development of ‘agriculture as a service’. A combination of tools and technologies could allow farmers to leverage historical and real-time data combined with autonomous processes to improve crop yields and limit overall risk. There are also more and more opportunities to code in military applicationssuch as the development of artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms capable of creating unexpected and “unfair” strategies in military simulations to help develop more responsive defense tactics.

“One of the major challenges for the aerospace and defense industry is integrating advanced capabilities into modern weapon systems to address emerging and future cyber threats,” said Dr. Francis Afinidad, NG Fellow in cybersecurity at Northrop Grumman. “There is an immediate need for software engineers who can develop solutions based on artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced machine learning (ML) to intelligently protect against active threats in a cyber-challenged environment.”

Other areas at the forefront of coding include expanding markets, such as esports. This increasingly popular (and lucrative) hobby requires software-driven virtual reality and augmented reality platforms to help bring more players and fans into the game. An unexpected opportunity comes in the form of kitchen appliance coding. With smart fridges that include cameras and code to identify current foods and suggest potential recipes, or smart hobs capable of reaching exact temperature settings or cooling instantly to avoid potential burns, the programmable potential no shortage for interested parties.

Quantifiable impact

Beyond current market initiatives, there are also cutting-edge coding opportunities in quantum computing applications. While recent advances in quantum computing have produced reliable and reproducible results that underpin new computational frameworks, a recent IEEE Spectrum Article notes that “quantum computing is arguably not full-fledged computing until there is quantum software in addition to hardware”. New languages ​​in development – ​​such as Jaqal – seek to make the most of the potential of quantum qubits, but as the quantum market grows there are many opportunities for programmers to develop their own super positional software solutions.

At the end of the line ? Jobs for programmers extend beyond traditional software and mobile app development into areas like agriculture, AI, and even kitchen appliance coding. And there’s more where that came from – the advent of true quantum computers shows the need for a whole new class of languages ​​that can harness qubit computing power at scale.

Are you interested in anything related to technology? U.S. too. Explore Northrop Grumman career opportunities to see how you can participate in this fascinating moment of discovery.

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