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Data Will Drive the World

By Steve Jones,

There's a well known essay from Marc Andreeson that talks about how software is eating the world. There's a lot of truth to this, in my opinion, and it becomes very important for more and more people to realize that software is going to become more and more of a part of their lives, all parts of their lives. Whether in business, in your personal life, in government or anywhere else, software is going to increasingly be used to interact with the world. This will bring about many opportunities for people in technology to help shape the way those interactions affect all of our lives.

However it's not just software that's important. The data that drives this software is arguably more important than even the software. This data drives the software algorithms to produce some result or action. Hacking the data to change values can even change the results from the software. Different software algorithms might interpret or react to data differently. If data isn't more important, it's equally important as the software that processes it.

We are seeing the additional recording and gathering of data allowing all sorts of new software to be written. Some of the software is performing jobs that humans have do in a faster and perhaps more efficient way. Other software is helping people understand the world in a way they might never have seen it. We even have software replacing other  software jobs. That feels quite surreal to me, but it's made possible by more and more data being available to help guide the development and growth of systems.

We are in a good business for the future, with the growing needs to process, manage, and manipulate more and more data in the future. It's up to us to learn the skills we need to do this efficiently, and in ways that can't easily be automated.

Steve Jones


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