Derek Brewster’s Adventure Trail


I would like to turn my thoughts this month to a matter which has been on my mind for some time. As I go about my everyday life I meet people, both young and old, who are surprised at what I do for a living and are then interested in just what kind of a world games software is. In particular, they marvel at how young programmers are, and at how easy it is to enter the field. These are factors which the average CRASH reader will be very familiar with. What deeply concerns me is not the youthful nature of this industry, nor the lack of job security for established programmers, nor the ever increasing standards of new software and the exacting nature of today’s programming. No, none of these things worry me and neither should they worry you. However, what should most certainly worry you is that you live in a society that ignores computer software for these very same reasons. We live in a society where people are more concerned with losing their jobs than entering new ones, more concerned with showing deference to employers than telling them what’s what (unlike Japan where workers are actively involved) and where factories are closed rather than improved or, heaven forbid, rebuilt.

Recently much time and space has been devoted in the media towards youth opportunities and careers, much more than in my day when there were far more career openings. All the old nonsense is still there about analysing your best skills, aptitudes etc etc. What use is this advice if it leads a pupil down a road where there are no jobs and where it is nigh on impossible to work on a self-employed basis in the field?

With all due respect to old people, the future of Britain as a trading nation lies with the young of the country. Young minds can be turned to useful occupations or be left to wander in a confused vacuum. The answer does not lie in better careers guidance. The answer does not lie in creating artificial work or forever raking up age-old teenage problems. The answer is to encourage high technology and to train young people in how to use it.