During 1956, at Purdue University, I studied an elective course’ Electronic Instrumentation” which turned out to be quite useful during my career. Yesterday, I read ‘The Kiplinger Letter’, “Forecasts for Executives and Investors”, July 11, 2014. Its focus was on ‘the next big phase in computerization’. I crafted this summary in the hopes that the local low-income community would react to its counsel in preparation for ‘jobs in the future’. I have learned during my life that “Good fortunes favor those who are prepared to go through the door of opportunity.” One needs to be responsive and productive when opportunity comes your way. The first step is to know enough to ‘see’ opportunity. If one is not ready, that door slams shut.
Today, high tech industry needs coders now. During the next five years computer networks will expand with opportunities right here in Silicon Valley. If you want to have an advantage, begin to prepare now. I would want Hispanic youth to not only know how to code, but also to know and use the knowledge involved in computer science (cybernetics). Do not wait for a local training program to become available. Use the free on-line Khan Academy to begin to learn its terminology and scientific basis. Once you learn its vocabulary, your knowledge will transform into understanding.
Today there are one billion devices which are connected to each other with micro-computers. By 2020 (5 years) this will increase to 26 billion. This transition will require skilled individuals with technical know-how. This challenging work will require trained brain-power to be ready to ‘work smart’ rather than ‘working hard’. Women could have an upper hand because they tend to communicate and collaborate. Men tend to compete and play the ‘King of the Hill’ games. Today much more gets done by teams working together and communicating with each other. But understand, that insight and understanding of natural phenomenon happens in the individual’s brain….not in the group. And if that insight can be communicated in a manner that others understand, that is when creativity and innovation happen. Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, David Packard and William Hewlett all had that trait.
Temperature sensors, micro-video cams, WI-FI networks, microchip computers can constantly monitor a process or machine. Friction creates heat, so a temperature sensor tells the microchip to communicates what needs to be done or checked out. You already have experienced that when the ‘panel light’ in your car tells you “Need Service”. Now think of factories wherein all equipment is connected. Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) may be monitored and constantly adjusted to maintain efficient operations at any given time of the day at lowest operating cost. Motion detectors turn on lights or activate cameras (security systems). What makes this possible is the current very low cost of essential components: motion detectors, micro-video cameras, WI-FI network, plus ‘customized apps’. What is needed soon in this field are skilled informed workers who not only know the basics, but also are prepared to be the planners, managers, executives, and investors.
The local and global economic impact is tremendous. It will enable sustainable environmental systems. By 2025, a worldwide system of connectivity will do many things such as prevent equipment failures; increase efficiency in real time; monitor and track production operations; reduce downtime; increase quality controls and efficient use of energy.
In health care, it will facilitate electronic medical records; constantly monitor elderly and chronically ill patients; send medical service alerts; track use of drugs or therapy; manage care along with total nutrition consumed. All rehabilitation training and behavior modification progress can be tracked.
Now, using ankle bracelets to monitor the activity and location of a convicted individual, that person may be allowed to serve his sentence at home while performing assigned community work, be able to keep a job, stay in relationship with family, neighbors, and society. The social cost of imprisonment will be mitigated through rehabilitation and behavior modification. The convicted individual is not exposed to prison environments where he/she can learn to be a better criminal. Recidivism will be greatly reduced. Existing prison incarceration will be devoted to those who are truly a danger to themselves and society.
Anyone can begin to prepare for inclusion in this future computerized networking field. What is required is doing the ‘informed critical thinking’ to create the desired computerized network system. Many today have already experienced ‘internet connectivity’ through their ‘smart phones’. Now is the time to learn enough, and to understand enough, to be included in this coming wave of economic opportunity. Just commit yourself now to prepare for your future opportunity.