Coding our lives

December 28, 2016

The power of the human mind is intense. It is capable of achieving things that any artificial intelligence is far from reaching. All of this and more, it all is possible because of the human mind’s ability to evaluate and analyse situations; the human mind is capable of reasoning; it is capable of assessing; it is capable of using logic.

Computer programmers have attempted creating systems as complex and as powerful as the human mind, and while they still have miles to go before they accomplish such a task, the impact that programs have on our lives today is beyond imagination. Ranging from video-conferencing to online banking, several hundreds of services today are based on simple logic, in a script that a computer can understand, code. This script diversifies into several different languages, each with its own specific syntax, with its own specific purpose. HTML is used for coding websites, Java can be used to program applications, and Apple Inc.’s Metal serves the specific purpose of creating applications on iOS devices. Briefly, all coding languages follow one common rule: logic.

In reality, rarely do we observe the presence of code, even while we use these coded services to large extents. Coding can be challenging, as there are several complex issues, previously unprecedented, that may turn up. Coding can also be extremely time-consuming, although the result in many cases is worth the time spent on it. It has helped mankind achieve things that were formerly declared impossible, and in the end, codes are nothing without innovation, just like any piece of art. Several real-life examples may be given to prove the power of coding; in verifying that programs can revolutionize an entire industry. Some of the standout examples would be Uber and AirBNB, as these two firms are amongst the first and most impactful firms that incorporate technology with another industry.

In metro cities around the world, catching a taxi has never been easy. Well, that was the truth atleast until Uber came into existence. The entire mission has been based on this one idea, one single innovation. And when this innovation was turned into code, dreams became reality. Hours of waiting in line at a taxi stand were cut short by a taxi waiting at your doorstep, ready to meet your demands and set to go miles with you. The idea started off slowly, but when it caught wind, it exploded. Today, Uber has inspired the introduction of an entire new industry, the online taxi industry, with competition from other smaller brands like Ola Cabs, in India.

Similarly, AirBNB took the issue of booking hotels and private villas for a holiday and created a solution that takes the industry to the next level. It was a known fact that small-scale rental apartments provided cheap and quality lodging, but given the amount of such apartments, there were problems booking such places. Firstly, there was the issue of trust. Nobody knew that these places weren’t frauds, and nobody wanted to rely on pictures that most likely would have been photo-shopped.  Further, these lodges were hard to contact. There was no single database where you could find several options to choose from. So, innovators looked for a solution to this, and they found one in technology. So, they created a portal where users could choose from the thousands of hotels offered on the website. All based on complex programs, written using code.

While technology would be incomplete without a scribe, it would be just as incomplete without a script; without a coder or a code; without a programmer or a program. Technology wouldn’t exist without either, and if it did, the creation of the missing fragment would be inevitable.

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