Monday 29 August 2016

"What do you want to be when you grow up?"

My son met one of his heroes, vlogger and YouTuber, Dan TDM. I suspect a majority of you aren't familiar with him and his work, but if you have children they will probably know.  As he introduced his show, 50% of the audience know who he is and the others will have no idea!  He is a man who is famous for playing games on YouTube... 

But before you ridicule the idea, it's much like a DJ who gets famous playing other people's music, a sports commentator or a television presenter.  Rarely do these people create the content they are commenting on, but add an extra depth or dimension to the viewer/listener.  

If you don't understand the concept, you may have become the "grown up" or "old fart" we ridiculed when we were younger.   I remember 30 years ago being mocked for saying decks were instruments, by people who later embraced EDM more than I did!  It's thoughts like this that made me explain to my son that his future career may not exist yet, which was difficult for him to comprehend (as he's the next great gamers/vlogger/YouTuber, obviously). 

Thanks to the inventor of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee; he released it to the world 25 years ago.  I currently work in IT security, but the World Wide Web didn't exist when I was speaking with career advisors at school. 

The IT industry talks about skills shortages in the marketplace, but I have to say that many people ask for unrealistic experiences, such as demanding experience that is longer than the technology has been available.  We should train our workforce, and give them the technical skills and competencies, but you can't teach attitude or aptitude.  

We need to build a workforce for the future, even if we don't know what those roles could be.  Do I think there is a skills shortage?  Possibly, but do I think it could be overcome with the right people given the right education, mentoring and chance, definitely

Do I know what my son will do for a living in the future? Of course not!  Can I help him have the right attitude and aptitude?  I can only try!

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