Some additional thoughts on the future of IT for 2012-17

    Having started writing a comment on the post “Fortune-telling on coffee grounds, or what will IT be like in 5 years?” , I realized that it was time to write a separate post about my views on the future of IT.

    I would like to add to the topic expressed by the author, on the whole, a topic about the relationship of IT with other areas of human activity , about subject areas and professions.

    The development of IT is always accompanied by their penetration into some new areas of application where they were not there before or they were used only to a limited extent. At the same time, in some sense, the totality of IT users (demography, psychology) and IT professionals (subject areas, specialization, educational basis, form of employment) is changing.

    For example, 2007-12years - this is the time of the massive spread of social networks and the rapid growth of various startups, the practical approval during the crisis of the idea that IT and innovation in general are the future, that many plankton-like directions will get rid of staff, and IT will grow. (The negative side of this was the appearance of amateur investors who did not really understand the essence of a particular IT project and therefore, in the process, inflate bubbles.)

    Also, this is a time of rapid invasion of the mobile platform market, a business infrastructure that allows developers for phones and tablets to easily promote their software and make money selling it, plus pay within applications, etc. ... And also develop mobile software as a client for web projects As a result, many web projects no longer boil down to the web alone (and this trend is acquiring new qualities, which will be discussed later).

    2002-07- Internet exit from public disfavor after the collapse of the dotcoms. At the beginning of this period, many users were not yet convinced of the future of IT, or at least of their rapid development. The network was considered mainly as a means of leisure for a stationary computer, the maximum was an environment for buying niche types of goods and services, simple communication (soap, ICQ, chat). Then the term web 2.0 suddenly appeared, they started talking about the revival of all Internet traffic, a wave of blogs with UGC, memes (then rare, memorable and long-lived) went on. (Social networks and microblogs are already the next era, then they were perceived as exotic.)

    During this period, mobile applications occupied a very small and difficultly monetized niche, but there was a boom in hardware media gadgets (due to which PCs were increasingly viewed as a center for connecting numerous peripherals). The speed of the Internet has increased, and the quality of access to it is still not today's megabits, but it is no longer a dialup. Some mobile Internet has appeared.

    1997-2002- I found in the Network itself only partially, but obviously, it was a time of "clash with reality." Prior to this, the BG and the company buzzed so much about the future information highway and the like, and the first contact of the majority of users with the Internet was rather a slow tearing dialup with characteristic static sites on a yellow background. Desktop programming was still seen as a sovereign domain, although in the end I remember yelling like “bye bye software!”, They say, soon there will be only a browser and web services. For the programmer, it was a severity that rocked the demand for his activities from Y2K and the dot-com boom to their collapse.

    In terms of hardware, a more or less complex USB peripheral appeared; among users, the idea was clearly established that the set of types of devices connected to a PC was potentially infinite, they began to consider it not only as a finite set of interfaces, but also as a digital platform, expandable by a gentle movement of the hand across the wallet , mainly - multimedia and printing applications. Digital music was rapidly spreading, then video, photos of more or less decent quality, it was obvious to advanced people that in N years all media would be digitized, including books, the idea of ​​“digitalization” went to the masses. In terms of performance, the GHz race, memory (the race with barriers due to the 1999 Taiwan earthquake, as it is now with hard disks), 3D accelerators, as video cards were called, escalated. Among domestic developers, the bloomers are gaining some popularity, but there are not so many of them. The boom of the first startups is also limited. The beginning of the rebirth of Apple, obvious to not everyone.

    1992-97 ... according to legends and archaeological research, the first intrusion of the very idea of ​​the Internet into the mass consciousness, then still little supported by reality. The explosive growth of users of pre-Debode services - Usenet with eternal September, fido, the first browsers and domains. Distribution of a CD, but not yet an MP3. Computers are mainly in offices, at least in our area. A lot of digital and analog multimedia equipment is still not connected in any way and the idea that someday it will all be connected has not yet reached the consciousness of the user. Comp for the mainstream - a means of working with textual information, for an advanced user - with graphics. The first photoshop and other samples of desktop printing software. The first 3D games. Apple in the ass.

    1987-92, again according to legends ... the epidemic of viruses in the media, the advent of domestic ideas into the realities of a user, not just a programmer or "operator", fabulously expensive IBM-PC-AT-XT from MMM :), in the hands of ZX lovers, in agate schools , corvette, Yamaha, etc., lamers write in Bassic, advanced in Pascal ... in the developed world, many by inertia are sitting on poppies, in the graphic field they are out of competition ... we have the scope of software - business and organizations; amateurs write dosovskih games such as "field of miracles", "businessman", which are then copied from each other on expensive floppy disks ...

    1982-87... in the west, the invasion of the masses of the very idea of ​​PCs, some unique ones even buy it, earn a shareware on elementary functions such as file management, archiving; the first heyday of poppy culture; Tetris ... with us - mainly according to the research institute, the curtain is just beginning to collapse ...

    1977-82 ... the time of jobs and Wozniak, Western corporations realize that the PC is the future ... the beginning of the era of IBM PC as it is

    1972-77 ... the time of gates on the antediluvian Homebrew Computer Club ,,, here Glushkov is desperately trying to convince the country's leadership that someday Wikipedia, YouTube and the like will appear, but they don’t really listen to it ...

    1967-72 ... computers are used to control Apollo; Intel introduces a microprocessor, but companies are wondering why and who might need it at all ... in Chile they make Cybersin ...

    1962-67 ... space, the beginning of the automotive industry robotization, Moore's law, the popularization of cybernetics, radical ideas about AI, machine translation, fiction about talking computers ...

    ... perhaps 50 years is enough to evaluate the procession of IT around the world, divided into conditional steps.

    And now we are going to 2012-17, what will we see there? We will see the coming to the mainstream of some key trends that are today the lot of a small minority, but have already been identified and are rapidly developing:

    - iron as an object of development - in the broad sense of the word, now the boom of DIY solutions on basic platforms begins, people suddenly wanted to not only code or design, but also solder, collect something, etc.

    - respectively platforms for this iron- Arduino, Raspberry Pi or something like Parallella (remember? They still managed to collect their $ 750k) - one of the promising areas for corporations;

    - further separation of computing and interface subsystems in architecture - when the device’s CPU serves primarily for current interaction with the user, and specific numeric tasks are transferred to a separate module, for example, a video card or multi-core “home supercomputer” (the prospects of which should not be estimated by the number of today's PC users, it can come in handy, but how the PC itself evolved when it was still the lot of a few geeks);

    - crowdfunding, for some reason, not mentioned at all in the article - for many projects it will become a more affordable way of financing than classic startup investments; most likely this is how platforms will be created that will go to the masses in 2017-22;

    - a startup as a combination of a web service, a mobile client and hardware - amid investors' disappointment in social networks, interest shifts to something more tangible, and in the meantime, it’s easier to order and produce iron;

    - 3D printing, home robotics (including under the influence of online courses) as examples of new classes of user devices that attract the attention of developers (and begin to conveniently monetize);

    - Another intensively growing field of application of IT -medicine and health management , where increasing mobility and compactness means increasing the range of devices used by a person for self-administration (in addition to the traditional medical market);

    - in the information systems themselves, which are now starting to process even more diverse data, their number is growing like an avalanche and requires special decisions in terms of their processing - the so-called The Data Big . This, apparently, will become the number 1 topic for “clean” IT professionals, system engineers,

    in the field of online educationas the author has already noted, there is a further accumulation of capacities and structuring, projects of “digital diplomas” appear (integration of the results of courses taken by students from various providers), due to which online projects gain the weight necessary to invade previously closed professions outside of IT;

    - at the same time, in terms of the professional structure of IT, the spread of these technologies to iron, medicine and education, as well as the spread of IT education in an online format for the masses, means a further increase in the number of IT specialists - subject specialists and industry specialists who have mastered IT profession ;

    - in terms of IT demographythat the author has already touched a little, at the global level more and more will appear not only Indians, but also, for example, Africans. The domestic IT worker will become a little older, mature and, what pleases, will achieve even greater popularity in the global market as a developer of complex, non-standard, extreme solutions. In general, the upcoming era of iron, DIY monetization to the peak of the corporate-consumer approach is our element, we will revive the Soviet practice of amateur work with soldering irons, technical education, open even more hackerspaces and begin to conquer the world :). It is only a matter of time.

    Regarding forms of employmentit seems that the lines between freelance and corporate will be slightly blurred, freelance will go into some previously inaccessible niches for him as career management and education will increasingly be based on simple, easily accessible online profiles on social networks and new specialized services including certification of this data. Among start-ups, which is already noticeable now, there is a certain structuring, they are classified according to the degree of radicalization of innovations, economic effect, terms of the expected payback, etc. - everyone has heard the saying about Apollo and Angry Birds, and more and more people understand that entertainment for all their market potential is not the only beneficial use of IT for humanity. Far-sighted venture capitalists appear

    The economy as a wholeunder the influence of IT, it demonstrates crises of old industries and the rise of new ones, and often they are not even directly related to IT, but are a side effect of the totality of technical and social changes. The stronger the crisis, the more intensive this process and the more the post-crisis (or chronic-crisis) world differs qualitatively from the pre-crisis one. To correct the consequences of the crisis for a particular subject, at least a qualitative shift is needed in understanding the role of education, professional and general development in a dynamically changing economy. IT workers as a whole are at the forefront of this trend, they are used to upgrading for a long time and therefore they respond constructively faster than inert capital and labor-intensive industries. A specific feature of the upcoming stage is the forced automation and robotization of production of not only high-tech products, not only in developed countries, as we see in the example of Foxconn in China. This leads to some “reversal” (but not literal) of the usual process of crowding out industry into developing countries. In addition, a number of purely “human” professions such as doctors, educational workers (who need IT in the form of apple-type devices and services that are even more convenient to use) become relevant.

    One could also add about IT and energy-saving, "green" technologies , but so far everything is somehow muddy. In general, these technologies are in the general trend of shifting the emphasis on iron and making its development cheaper, within 5 years they are likely to leave anti-hype and we will see many solutions, good and different. For IT itself, energy efficiency is primarily a further increase in mobility and scalability. What can bring a breakthrough in supercomputers, as well as new even more compact and economical applications of iron, including implants, sensors, microrobots, etc. This is already a matter of technology, the timing varies; our task is to outline the general trend: energy is interesting and relevant.

    Copyrightsmost likely they will continue to rage even more frantically, but as alternative models of monetization mature, in particular crowdfunding, their authority in the society will fall even more, and the pirates will strengthen their political positions. Patentrolls are in a better position compared to them, because they run into corporations, to which the society does not have special sympathies. However, concerns about the destructive impact of patent roll on the pace of innovation are likely to prompt many to review patent law.

    Politiciansthey will continue to try to regulate the Network, as well as limit the spread of some new hardware technologies, such as glasses with hidden cameras, or use them to the detriment of society, such as a Saudi project to track women. However, they did not achieve much success in this. Even the VKF will shake as the number of literate users interested in unfiltered content grows. The reason is that society itself is becoming the driver of these changes. Censorship in the long run does not work and cannot work. In some countries, over this period, technology will undoubtedly help society achieve significant changes in political power; and I deliberately leave open the questions “who?”, “where?” and “when?”, noting only that IT is just a lever that multiplies the efforts of society to achieve the desired changes, which depends on many hidden factors, therefore, accurate forecasts are inappropriate here. But the vector is understandable, and this is an objective historical process: technology helps society evolve. This must be apprehended appropriately and be prepared for this, as well as a reflection of the aforementioned political efforts, which will obviously become even meaner and more sophisticated.

    Science and IT are merging in increasingly unexpected ways. Historically, IT has emerged from the "big science", but today we are witnessing phenomena when amateur users combine via the Internet either for distributed computing, or for the "human" processing of some machine-difficult data (classification of galaxies), or for the search for "human" the same solutions to scientific problems instead of stupid sorting (protein folding, RNA design), which is often most effective in the form of a game (in the general trend of gamificationeverything and everything, which is now a little boring and, apparently, has entered a period of public disappointment, but real achievements are yet to come). How can you try to monetize these and other examples of open science, DIY science in 5 years? Most likely today they are similar to Linux or Wikipedia, that is, the prospects for commercialization are very vague, but these trends can become a platform on which some derivatives, applied solutions will grow tomorrow, and now they will already attract money and will form new directions of development IT and other technologies - like the same Homebrew Computer Club and other hacker initiatives of the last century, the authors of which rarely thought about money.

    Finally, “purely IT”or Computer Science frontier in the midst of all this movement. There have already been said many times - clouds, big data, high loads, high-performance computing, AI, machine learning and other topics of the same online courses. The general evolution is, as it were, visible, but qualitative phenomena are interesting. For example, DDoS, which has recently become almost an ordinary means of competition and has essentially formed an entire industry of protection against it. All due to the fact that the "ordinary" business has moved to the Internet with its own features.

    This social trend - the "invasion" of seemingly already existing IT systems of significant elements from the outside (recall the "eternal September") - should be singled out separately. It requires professionals who are accustomed to steer in a particular community, flexibility and willingness to respond to the challenge of hordes of amateurs. Habr is no exception. Popularization brings not only good, but also new organizational tasks. Now in the coming years, many predict an increase in the number of Internet users due to the spread of cheap smartphones and other devices to most of the world's population. The "rising billion" of users is a powerful and undoubtedly useful resource for all of humanity and itself. But you should take into account his current educational level, beliefs, psychology. The phenomenon of “shit comments” and “shit sites” is from here. We have already seen. how hundreds of thousands of economically illiterate people climbed into MMM, having the opportunity to promote their dubious ideology through the Web. Of course, they messed around and could not help but messed up, but before that they managed to spoil the information space and, instead of productive activities, draw economic resources into the pipe. I want to draw attention to the fact that, as the Network and its services become more popular, there can be more such destructive memetic phenomena, they should be recognized and, if necessary, developed protection against them, including monetization, as recently shown by anti-DDoSer guys . but before that they managed to obscure the information space and, instead of productive activities, draw economic resources into the pipe. I want to draw attention to the fact that, as the Network and its services become more popular, there can be more such destructive memetic phenomena, they should be recognized and, if necessary, developed protection against them, including monetization, as recently shown by anti-DDoSer guys . but before that they managed to obscure the information space and, instead of productive activities, draw economic resources into the pipe. I want to draw attention to the fact that, as the Network and its services become more popular, there can be more such destructive memetic phenomena, they should be recognized and, if necessary, developed protection against them, including monetization, as recently shown by anti-DDoSer guys .

    In conclusion, I slightly rephrase the beginning of the author's post.

    When I started working with PCs in 1993, I had no idea that this would become my profession.

    When I examined Windows exactly 14 years ago and realized that IT was mine, I had not even heard about the laws of Moore and Metcalf and had little awareness of the essence of accelerating progress in this area.

    When in 1999 he suddenly realized all this, he already realized that he would first have to become someone there, then a programmer, then someone else there, regularly retrain that significant, sooner or later, significant things would begin in economics, education, medicine and even politics. changes influenced by IT and the Internet (and even suggested a tentative date of 2010) that IT employees’ revenues will grow and hardware will become cheaper, but at the same time it has completely fried off the mobile revolution, and the social network in its modern form too!

    When in the 00s he took up IT translation and went into freelance for business reasons, and in the meantime read about the futurology and future technologies of authors known in some circles, it didn’t even occur to me that once I would do something similar and I will personally know these authors ...

    ... and now I do not want to once again quote Socrates, but rather to derive the maximum practical benefit from his position, not only in the form of modest or not very earnings and a victorious “yeah, I said. that it will be so! ”, but also in the form of, so to speak, regular dents in the Universe :).

    Many thanks to the author of the original post for inspiration and may your brain not be scanty for fresh ideas!

    Comments and additions are welcome :)

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