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My profession is mostly made up and that’s a great thing! I don’t mean that we’re faking it or that the value isn’t real. It’s very real. We build things out of thin air and can turn those things into economic juggernauts (think Ebay, Amazon or Google).
Companies like that work in the real world and yet their core moneymakers, their websites, are just a bunch of files sitting on servers. Now consider this, those mere files on servers led to online retail sales totaling over $142 billion in 2010. People spent billions of dollars on a product or service they saw on a website, merely by looking at a photo and reading a short description.
The Internet has only been publicly available for about 20 years, and yet look how far we have come. I mean, we spent $142 billion online in just one year and it’s still a very young industry. We’re only just beginning to see the great things that the Internet can do. There are even countries who have fought dictatorial regimes and won in part thanks to the Internet. Think of how amazing that is!
This industry is constantly moving forward and developing better solutions. It’s solving problems for companies, industries, countries and people. New languages are written that take what we can currently do and build upon it. In three years these solutions will most likely be obsolete because we’ve come up with something better. Every year the accessibility and usability of the web gets better and better even as the complexity continues to grow.
For me, this means that my education will never end. In this industry if you stop learning for just one second, you will be left behind. Things change that fast. Just think, several years ago the idea that we would be able to view websites on a mobile phone was unheard of. Today it’s commonplace and expected. We work on mobile apps every day at Synapse. We now have to develop ways to offer the best possible website experience on a mobile screen that’s 3.5″ wide to a television screen that is 52″ wide, because that’s possible now as well.
There is no telling what my industry will look like in 5 or 10 years. The best part of it all is that right now we have an entire generation growing up that has always had the Internet and computers at their fingertips. It’s a common part of their lives. There’s just no telling what these young individuals will come up with. I only know that it’s going to work better, faster, and do more than what we have now. We can’t predict the future, but I promise we are inventing it.