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July 11, 2012

Are kids nowadays less techie than previous generations?

Filed under: My Thoughts — Suramya @ 1:06 AM

Since I have gotten the Pi (actually even before I got it) I have been keeping an eye on articles/news about the Pi. Found some really interesting projects, idea’s etc but then found this gem on ZDNet: Is raspberry pi a mid-life crisis?. The author’s major point is that people his age (presumably in his late 30’s or 40’s) are more techie than their children. While in some cases its true, in a lot of cases its not. Its very easy to generalize and say that kids nowadays don’t do cool things like we used to… Actually I know a few people who say that a lot and guess what, it doesn’t make you look cool or techie, it just makes you sound like a old fart.

You don’t have to program in assembly to be called Techie. Personally I have programmed in assembly only once and that too for a class I was taking. To me it wasn’t fun, fun was making the computer do stuff it wasn’t supposed to in the fastest easiest way possible. In his Article Simon states: :

When my 14 year old son couldn’t get his iPod touch to work with the wifi he didn’t try very hard, he just threw it at me and said “dad fix it”. My kids and their peers have no interest in how a computer works. Oh, they love what it does, miniclip, facebook, skype. But what makes their applications work or what is inside the black box is as interesting as the washing machine or vacuum cleaner. I’ve long thought that there is a bubble of tech; people of my age are more techie than their children.

His kid might not be a techie, a lot of folks my generation (god that makes be sound old) were not techies. Remember the 12:00 flashers? Now I have juniors working under me who are experts in Perl or PHP. There is a Nine-year-old kid who has created an iPhone application that has been downloaded over 150,000 times, another 12 year old kid has published 7 applications in 2 years. Being techie is not an age thing, its about aptitude.

There are tons of people (including kids) who are still technically inclined and are developing great new stuff. A lot of the new software development is happening in minds of kids. Sure they might not read programming manuals under the sheets (Disclosure: I never did that. I was more liable to read novels under the sheets), but they are techies and will come out with new cool stuff. True that some of the kids act like retards but its not like the previous generations were any better. Every generation has folks that are retards, forks that are average and folks that are awesome. Throughout history people have thought that the kids in that age are useless and they were so much better. Socrates is quoted as saying “The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority, they show disrespect to their elders…. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their
legs, and are tyrants over their teachers.”
. My response to Simon: Grow up, stop living in the ‘good old days’.

Finally, there is nothing wrong in not being a techie. If all of us were techie’s we wouldn’t have any cool movies being produced (’cause no one would be there to act in them) or great music or artists etc.

What do you think?

– Suramya

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