The future of tech: How can technologists benefit from the tech evolution?
National Techies Day takes place in the US during October, honoring technologists and encouraging the next generation of techies to embrace the medium! We think techies need more than just a day, so we’re celebrating technologists throughout October, sharing insights, tips and advice to ensure you’re up to date with the latest in technology, and prepared for what’s next.
The best way to predict the future is to create it.Peter Drucker
Technology: From past to present.
Technology existed even before Homer recited tales about Achilles and Odysseus in Greek amphitheatres. But the word technology actually derives from two Ancient Greek words, techne and logos. Techne, or τέχνη, means art, skill, craft, or the way, manner, or means by which a thing is gained. Logos, or λέγω means word, the utterance by which inward thought is expressed, a saying, or an expression. So, literally, technology means words or discourse about the way things are gained.
Fun fact: Ancient Greek scientists are credited for inventing the first analog computer. In 1900–1901, the Antikythera mechanism was found in the Antikythera shipwreck, which was thought to have sunk around 150 BC. It’s thought that to be an analog computer designed to calculate astronomical positions and was used to predict lunar and solar eclipses based on Babylonian arithmetic progression cycles.
Over the centuries the meaning of technology, and technology itself, has evolved. And the last two hundred years have seen a seismic shift from the Industrial Revolution – factories, mills and agricultural technology – into our present era: the Information Revolution, aka Industry 4.0.
The future of tech
The future is coming, and sooner than you think. Emerging technologies are dictating our health, our careers and our lives. The world has witnessed a period of immense technological improvement in the last half century, and current innovations are forging the career paths of technologists in all mediums of technology.
Industry 4.0 is founded on two technologies:
Internet of Things. Also known as IoT, the Internet of Things is a network of interconnected smart devices that allow each separate device to interact (i.e. send or receive data) from other devices on the network.
Internet of Systems. Business-owned systems that can collect data from IoT networks to make independent decisions about your business’ marketing campaigns, sales, etc.
And from these technologies, its thought that the future of tech will depend on:
AI and automation
Big data analytics
So how does this tech evolution affect technologists? As the Internet of Things becomes more mainstream, smart devices have more access to data allowing them to become more independent. Eventually, smart devices might have enough information to make autonomously make decisions and control key business processes like supply chains without human input. Sounds scary right? Not necessarily…
More jobs and increased productivity
The future of tech is aligned with the future of work, and it appears that now is the time for technologists to shine. To upskill, learn and look for new roles that match their expertise.
Increased productivity: 38% of businesses believe AI and automation technology will allow employees to carry-out new productivity enhancing jobs.
New jobs: Over 25% of companies think automation will result in the emergence of new roles.
There are four roles in particular that are predicted to be in demand over the next few years:
Dubbed the ‘sexiest job of the 21st century’, data scientists are the hidden gem within any company. As organizations collect and use more data, the demand for skilled experts has skyrocketed. With opportunities to work in almost every sector and industry, from IT to healthcare, it’s the responsibility of data scientists to compile, process, analyze and present data as essential insights for a company. We’ve even created an exclusive career roadmap for Data Scientists here at Andela!
2. UX Designer:
UX designers ensure that software, websites, or apps meet the consumers’ habits, motivations, behaviors and needs. With more businesses turning to digital platforms to promote/sell products or services, it’s never been so important to ensure the user journey and experience is the best it can be. We’ve also created a career roadmap for UX designers!
3. Robotics engineer
As technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace, robotics engineers constantly analyze, reevaluate, configure, test and maintain the prototypes, robotic components, integrated softwares and machines they create for the manufacturing, mining and automotive service industries, among others. It is a highly technical job which requires patience and rational thinking.
4. Machine learning engineer
Machine learning engineers use big data to create complex algorithms to program a machine in order to perform and carry out tasks like a human being. Economic forecasting, image recognition and natural language processing are implemented so that the machine can learn and improve without human interference.
Rise of the Microenterprise
Where does this leave technologists? Today, it’s easier than ever to found a start-up. In fact, a very small team with little to zero resources can solve a big problem. A close knit team of 3-4 people can provide the same services as a team of 50, from 30+ years ago, thanks to:
Smart software development tools
An increase in data measurement and processing capabilities
This is resulting in the rise of the Microenterprise – Small, flexible teams that form by mutual selection and can collaborate over networks of platforms and people to accomplish the company’s goals.
And as microenterprises increase, so does the need for skilled remote workers and distributed teams.
The future of tech is remote
Flexible hybrid and remote roles are increasing. Since 2016, there’s been a 78 percent increase in job posts that provide work flexibility.Get Smarter, 2022
Previously, being able to work from home was considered a ‘perk.’ As the population demographic and way of life changes, flexible and remote work is increasing. Organizations are starting to recognize this and act on it – since 2016, there’s been a 78 percent increase in job posts that provide work flexibility. Emails, conference calls, instant messaging, and video chats have enabled technologists to stay in touch with their co-workers from anywhere.
Organizations can choose the best talent from across the globe to join their teams, and with smaller teams, and seamless collaboration tools, tech leaders can now become true coaches and enablers — not micromanagers. Remote is the future, and today’s businesses focus their core capabilities on their value:
Leveraging current and emerging tools.
Building small teams of independent experts.
Remote, specialized teams of the future
Organizations seeking to build teams for the future of tech are seeking the talents of:
Freelance, long-term technologists
Organizations are building specialized teams that can jump on projects, complete them, add value and move to the next project – freelance long-term workers can earn more per hour as a result.
‘Gig’ culture technologists
For shorter projects, a gig worker, who someone who works part-time, on contract, and has no long-term employer-employee relationship, is an attractive option. But… the rate at which remote work is adopted will outpace the rate at which companies adopt the gig economy, with only nine percent of HR and people managers indicating that they hire ‘giggers’ to fill skills gaps that exist within their teams and organizations.
How does remote work benefit you?
Diversity, equality, inclusion: Increasing numbers of remote roles are providing opportunities for technologists across the globe, opening doors to techies from all walks of life. Companies are discovering that, by supporting and promoting a DEI workplace, they’re gaining benefits such as innovation, creativity, and agility
Increased freedom and flexibility: By offering flexible or remote working conditions, companies can also improve their competitive edge by attracting and retaining top talent.
Improved work-life balance: People are choosing to move jobs in order to improve their work-life balance, to spend more time with their loved ones, travel or find new hobbies. Time is as valuable an asset as money.
Higher salary: As competition increases, so do rates for technologists!
How can you prepare for the future of tech… and the future of work?
As technology evolves, so does your career. Embracing new innovations, and remote-first companies, can help you to level up your career path, and increase your chances of working for exciting global companies, and landing senior-level roles!
Here are some steps you can take to prepare for the future of tech and the future of work:
Upskill: Being one step ahead can make all the difference to you getting hired. Andela’s Learning Community is a great resource for technologists looking to hone their craft!
Learn how to work asynchronously: Get rid of routines! Asynchronous communication happens on your own time and doesn’t need scheduling!
Become an expert. Does a programming language or technology interest you? Then dive right in! Solve problems using your expertise quickly and effectively, to make employers sit up and notice.
Become the leader who makes decisions on how to solve problems within your team.
Apply self-discipline and self motivation when developing projects.
Be agile: change manage yourself!
Remember, the future is bright. If you can stay ahead of the curve and keep up with the latest trends, you’ll be best placed to take advantage of the many opportunities that the future of tech holds for technologists.
Happy Techies Day (and month) from Andela!
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