Computer science

Technology is growing at an exponential rate. Thanks to Moore’s Law, we can expect the abilities of our technology to double about every two years. In your personal world this may seem like a double-edged sword. Yes, the new camera on the iPhone 6S is amazing. But how long until Apple releases the iPhone 7, complete with its updated bells and whistles?

It’s hard to keep up in the professional world as well. These updates call for advanced employees who understand how to use this new technology. To maximize the effectiveness of this technology, the employee must understand it completely. Unfortunately, Moore’s Law applies to these skilled employees as well. They are becoming harder and harder to find as technology continues to grow.

The demand for technology professionals is increasing. Between 2010 and 2020, output in computer systems design and related services is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 6.1 percent. To keep these jobs filled (and keep the unemployment rate down), we must teach the future to code. But this is easier said than done.

One of the best ways to master a skill is to start training at a young age. So you should just enroll your child in computer science classes, right? Unfortunately, computer science classes can generally be expensive and scheduled during inopportune hours for children. It may be almost impossible for a child to attend these classes, since they are geared towards adults. Even if a child were able to attend these classes they may grow bored. Looking at pages of HTML and learning how to layer on Photoshop doesn’t sound like the ideal Thursday night for a 10-year-old.

So, how do we find classes that cater to teaching children the importance of computer science and coding? And how do we multipurpose these classes so adults can enjoy them as well? How do we empower these students (of all ages) to pursue computer science knowledge above and beyond what is offered in these classes?

Enter Code.org. According to their website, “Code.org is a non-profit dedicated to expanding access to computer science. The vision is that every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn computer science.”

This organization teaches students (it’s open to children of all ages, from 4 to 104) through their program called The Hour of Code. According to their website, “The Hour of Code is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries. These courses are a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify code and show that anybody can learn the basics.”

The goal of the Hour of Code is not to turn these students into professionals. Rather, it is to empower these students to understand that computer science isn’t as scary and confusing as they may have once thought. The course features fun and interactive lesson plans, which allow students to learn the basics of computer science in a comfortable and familiar way. The Hour of Code hopes that their lesson plans may inspire these students to look into learning more about the world of computer science, possibly attending more computer science based classes and eventually seeking employment in the field.

Women using computers

Having computer science knowledge is important. And, thanks to the exponential growth of technology, this importance is growing daily. It’s easy to see how computer science knowledge is important for jobs such as “app developer” or “computer programmer”. But how does computer science knowledge apply to the printing industry? Do printers even need to know anything about computer science or know how to code?

The simple answers is yes. The images on printed materials don’t magically appear because a button was pressed. They’re designed by a graphic designer, who either works for a client or for the printing company. Sometimes these graphic designers need coders to make their designs reality; although most graphic designers are increasingly learning computer science principles as technology continues to advance.

Graphic designers who understand computer science are in high demand, as they should be. Employing these graphic designers is a cost-effective way to streamline the design process, especially in the printing industry. When a graphic designer is able to design and code their own work, the entire position of coder is eliminated, saving the business both time and money. Also, these graphic designers can be sure their designs are produced exactly how they created them. This is especially important in print, since re-doing a project requires a lot of extra time, money, and materials. Lastly, these graphic designers can be utilized to design and code websites, e-mail blasts, and e-newsletters.

These graphic designers are sure to be utilized because the printing industry is predicted to boom. Their computer science skills will ultimately need to be put to test in the near future due to the predicted increasing volume of print orders and requests from clients. Printing companies will need to continue looking for technologically savvy employees if they want to maintain a competitive advantage in the industry and provide their clients with quality printed materials.

So, just how big is this growth? According to printing.org, the volume of digital printing is expected to grow between 2.5 and 3.5 percent per year. With 27,000 plants and 850,000 employees predicted for the year 2020, the printing industry will continue to have a large economic footprint and continue to provide career opportunities. The 2020 printing industry will hire, on average, 50,000 new employees annually. The printing plants of 2020 will be ”multiprocess”, providing conventional printing integrated with digital printing. They will act as a one stop shop that can match the technology to the job and combine multiple technologies in the same job.

With a company like Visualogistix, who specializes in printing and online marketing asset management, having employees who know how to code is vital. These employees help to ensure the success of both Visualogistix and our clients. Our employees are in charge of setting up the individual, personalized web portals for each client. They also make sure that all the client’s pre-approved artwork is print-ready. Without the coding and computer science knowledge our employees have, all the amazing functionality that comes with the personalized web portal would be rendered useless.

Learning about computer science is important for any position of future employment. Everyone from sales representatives to graphic designers can benefit from this knowledge. Technology is growing at such an exponential rate that if you sit back and watch it happen you will get left in the dust. That’s why organizations such as Code.org are so helpful and important. Even though you are no longer a child, the lessons you will learn from one Hour of Code course will help you take charge of your career. It’s so important that everyone has at least a little bit of computer science knowledge. Without it there is no growth.

We are excited to see where the growth of technology and computer science knowledge will take the printing industry. We’re sure the possibilities are about to be limitless.