That has changed in the last years, and thanks to new materials, and new algorithms, even new computational systems in a short period not far from the present, we'll be using applications which use tremendous quantities of data. But I'll explain the details:
What's exactly Big Data?
Wikipedia description use this sentence, if I may quote:
"Big data is an all-encompassing term for any collection of data sets so large and complex that it becomes difficult to process them using traditional data processing applications."And that's why we can't treat it like just more information. For non familiarized to programming and data structure people, it's difficult to understand the difference. In this case 2 + 2 it's not 4. Computers can't deal with that much more information the usual ways. It need to switch data structures, so then every program built so far can't interact directly with the new ones just like that. It need a bridging technology to make them usable, compatible, and from now on, building everything Big Data compatible. Why everything? Because Internet is globally connected and you don't want to become obsolete in a short period.
In the next picture you can see a deeper understanding about it:
How is it gonna affect my daily routine?
In every possible way. News, communications, using anything, saving incredible amount of time to
It'll start slowly, but it won't be a uniform progression, not linear, it will be more like an uniformly accelerated event. The develop will be faster as it grows in technology, science, spreading across the globe, and mind changing.
Why do we need that?
Because our actual bandwidth would be collapsed all the time, disabling us to communicate at all.
See the next image:
Should we be chasing it?
It doesn't matter if you don't do it in your particular way, it's coming anyways, whether we like it or want it, or we don't. It's a fact. Many many jobs we'll be terminated, and people need to start focusing on the future, studying and improving their skills, or they'll be put aside.
What if I'm a programmer, or wanna be one? What language should I learn?
Before telling you more... Read >>this<<
No, Java isn't dead or dying (not yet), because if you've been paying attention to emerging languages, you'd have noticed that the new ones are as high level as Java is, or even more, but not everyone. They are specializing: "R" for statistical analysis, "Swift" for object oriented C for mobile platforms, "Python" as a powerful and easy tool to create many programs in no time, Java as a multi platform for many devices, which by the way are growing fast.
In any case, Java is growing right now, but it won't be like this forever. The main reason could be the booting time to load the JVM (Java Virtual Machine) whenever you start an application, applet, or whatever it requires the interpretation.
That's how it works in your smartphone. It's ok if you just need to load it once and then work with it, depending on your algorithms, but it won't be as responsive as a C program as you'd want.
We'll be seeing a jump in Java technology, as Swift was to Objective-C, simplifying and speeding up the execution of the code to make our devices more responsive.
So if you ask me what languages you should learn, my answer won't be simple: You need to learn about Big Data, about encryption, algorithms, and then, the specialized languages used to program whatever technology you'll be using then. We can't predict the future, but we surely can, and must, prepare for it.
What's Internet of things?
There are studies that says we'll have more than 20.000 millions of items connected to the Internet, and communicating to each other all the time. That we'll need a powerful connection, faster one, and responsive.
It means your freezer will be telling your smartphone when your supplies need to be refilled; your car will be telling the car ahead of you that you're late for a meeting, so please get aside so it can past forward that position, or even calling your office or sending a message to let them know that you're stuck in traffic and you're gonna be late... Among other things.
Internet of things is an Internet which most of communications will occur between things, not between these and people, or viceversa (our current model).
What changes are we gonna see in the relative near future?
Probably graphene as a faster conductor and battery material, new programming languages -Bid Data oriented-, new high speed bandwidths using higher frequencies, much more powerful smartphones, self driven cars which avoid accidents, artificial intelligence for the first time -true one-, autonomous cars, and more.
I think that will happen before 20-25 years from now. So that means you'll probably have to deal with it during your lifetime. Even Mars first settlement, and much likely Moon space station with 3dprinting ready and working. But... I'll post an extended article in the future about these subjects.
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http://www.graphenano.com/ (Spanish graphene company)
http://www.ted.com/talks/kenneth_cukier_big_data_is_better_data (video, Ted Talk)
http://www.ted.com/talks/susan_etlinger_what_do_we_do_with_all_this_big_data (What to do with BD)