In my inestimably valuable opinion, we need programmers (and related disciplines like QA, advanced math, and design) more than almost anything else. We’re in the very infancy of the computer age, and already we are intensively computerized, from toasters and refrigerators to inventory tags to vehicles to big ole factories.
So where are all these programmers going to come from? Not the US, with its laughable public education, scorn for science and engineering, and gutted colleges and universities. (Except, of course, for football. Gotta have that pride. Or something.) Funny how that old plantation mentality never goes away- we can outsource projects and import cheap talent, but homegrown? Unthinkable. Why, there are wars and prisons to fund.
But it’s lazy to blame the guvamint for everything. After all, there are public libraries, and an entire world of information at our fingertips via the Internet. The FOSS world provides trainloads of free training and tools, and even actual humans to assist.
I’ve had several ‘careers’ in my life so far. The idea of a career, as in doing the same darn thing my whole life, sounds as boring and pointless as waiting for an honest elected person to appear. I think my next ‘career’ is going to be some kind of programming gig. Don’t know what kind yet, but there are so many different options I’m certain to find something interesting and useful. Like voice recognition and making the world friendlier to disabled people. No barriers to entry, just get off my bum and do it.