Today I got a mail from my barber. He is a successful and smart businessman with a good running business, employees and happy customers.
He had another problem though. He was still trying to get his phone system supplier to show him the names of his clients instead of regular caller ID. I helped him out before with this particular case when I helped him convert the export from his client database to the format the phone supplier needed it in. But now it turned out they could only import 500 numbers, not all his 2000 clients. Could I help him out once more to filter the list?
For experienced, and even inexperienced, programmers the problem is pretty trivial. Parse the file with names, parse the file with names and phone numbers and only write the line if the name is in the list with names. Easy. The reason it took me a whole 8 minutes is that my Python is a bit rusty.
Scotland defines illiteracy as:
“The ability to read and write and use numeracy, to handle information, to express ideas and opinions, to make decisions and solve problems, as family members, workers, citizens and lifelong learners.”
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This problem is still fairly trivial and not core to his business yet, but how long till one of those problems is?
How long until having no clue about software development means not being able to make a decision what tools to pick for your business, not being able to serve one of your customers or even to find information hiding in one of your databases?
I am not saying everyone should be a full-fledged developer, but a rudimentary knowledge of a language like Python, variables, simple data structures and control flow is not too hard and immensely helpful in the near future.Tags: 48hourstocode, illiteracy, python