12:00 AM, November 30, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, November 30, 2018


If you've been told that your field of study is going to be rendered obsolete within the next two decades because of the rise of AI, you've allowed yourself to be misled. AI will replace humans in a lot of jobs that humans are hired to do today, but who will be designing these AIs? Programmers, yes, but individuals in their own fields can take advantage of the imminent revolution in information technology today. All they need is to combine their knowledge of a certain discipline with a working knowledge of how to instruct a computer to do a job more efficiently than themselves, and they could make themselves essential in the upcoming revolution.


Accountants deal with a lot of numbers, and while there are lots of softwares and tools that are in use today, an accountant with knowledge of programming could come up with the solution to a problem that is specific to the company they're working at. Data analysis using a language like Python could up their game, give insight and understanding of the numbers an accountant is dealing with that may not have been possible without it. Spreadsheets can, admittedly, accomplish a lot, but a solid grasp of programming languages and using those languages to create visualisation tools will help spot inconsistencies that would not be apparent otherwise.


This is a field that is going to become more and more data driven as years go by, with a huge chunk of consumer interaction now taking place online. If marketing, and by extension digital marketing, is going to become more and more reliant on data about how users react to content, then marketers need to take control of this flow of data and be able to design tools that can more accurately classify interactions, and deduce what triggers said interactions. A rich knowledge bank on how users react to content will help predict movement of consumer needs in the future, giving the marketer an invaluable resource to get ahead in the game. Once again, Python is the go-to language for data analysis and a solid grasp of it is soon going to be an all powerful weapon in the field of marketing.


Teachers do some of the most important work in our society, and while we're far from the days where the responsibility of nurturing young minds will be passed down to robots from humans, information technology is becoming more and more of a dominant presence in classrooms all over. Teachers can contribute greatly to the design of these tools that are going to become the norm in schools, colleges and universities. Our country suffers greatly from a lack of teachers, which makes it difficult for a teacher to dedicate themselves to the case of one individual student and their development. Tools that are able to analyse a student's output in exams and in class and inform teachers about the right pace of study for that specific student or the classroom in general would do an excellent job in making learning easier for everyone. Teachers need to be involved in the designing process of such tools to provide perspective and a real life point of view to make these tools more efficient.


For engineers, the knowledge of programming can relieve them from a lot of heavy duty calculations that'd otherwise take up hours of their time. If they're having to do a projection over and over again, designing a tool that does it for them will save tons of time. There are tools that are used industry-wide but certain projects often throw specific challenges that would take an ordinary engineer a lot of get around, but an engineer with a knowledge of programming could design a tool for that project and make life a lot easier. Programming can also help design machines and project output, giving an option to double and triple check vital calculations where a small mistake could cost a company tons of money.


The vitality of data is a recurring theme in this article, and that's because data is vital. The information age has made it clear that the collection of data, proper archiving, and using it to project outcomes is the rough formula for most fields of study. Research in the social sciences deals with data the same way, using patterns and recurrences to understand various social phenomena. Programming is essentially the skill that allows you to handle data in a meaningful way, and that is why it is a skill with much importance in the fields of social research. Tools that are designed the proper way will help make sense of vast amounts of data quicker than the human mind, and that is why programming is so important here.

Programming is often talked about as a survival skill for professionals in different fields, a shield to protect them from the impending doom where technology will replace them. What gets lost in translation and may be the most important thing to remember is the fact that knowledge of programming could redefine how a certain discipline is even supposed to impact human lives, and that is a change professionals need to make themselves a part of.


Azmin is a sub-editor at Shout, the youth magazine of The Daily Star. Reach him at azminazran@gmail.com.

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