The Ignite Your Coding live webcast series starts this Thursday, March 4th at 2:00 p.m. Eastern (11:00 a.m. Pacific) with me and John Bristowe interviewing Andy “Pragmatic Programmer” Hunt! Join us as we talk with Andy about how he got into software development, how he became a writer and publisher, his book Pragmatic Thinking and Learning and much more. After we’re done asking our questions, we’ll turn over the interview to you, and you can ask Andy your questions!
If you’d like to catch the live webcast, you’ll need Live Meeting, which you can download here. We’ll also record the webcast and make it available in MP3 form.
Who Else Will Appear on Ignite Your Coding?
Here’s a complete schedule of the Ignite Your Coding webcasts we’ve set up so far. You can find full descriptions of each of the upcoming shows at the Ignite Your Coding site.
Andy Hunt Pragmatic Programming, Thinking and Learning
Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and just a natural part of the way the world works.
Anything that is invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
Anything invented after you’re thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
It’s an interesting quote to keep in mind when discussing that demographic known as “Millennials” or “Generation Y”. While there aren’t any hard and fast rules for defining the boundaries of a generation, it’s generally accepted that when we’re talking about Millennials, we’re referring to a group of people born after 1982.
By Douglas Adams’ maxim above, even the oldest members of this generation, who were 15 in 1997, would consider the web and mobile phones that actually fit in your pocket as normal and ordinary and just a natural part of the way the world works. Members of this generation who are in university or just about to enter the job market probably can’t even remember a world where the internet and mobile phones weren’t household items.
How Millennial are You?
I followed a tweet from my friend, co-worker and fellow Generation Xer David Crow which lead me to the Pew Research Center’s How Millennial Are You? Quiz. David scored 51/100, which suggests that his tendencies fall somewhere between Generation X and Millennial. Here are my results:
I don’t know how I should feel about that score (I was born in 1967). Millennial tendencies or not, I don’t think you’re going to hear me blasting any Justin Bieber tunes out of my car anytime soon.
Millennials: Under the Microscope and With Mobile Phones
The quiz led me to the Pew Research Center’s study titled Millennials: A Portrait of Generation Next[1.25 MB PDF]. It’s subtitled with “Confident. Connected. Open to Change.”, and it’s a pretty interesting read if you’re the sort of person who likes to know what makes people tick (and if you know me, I’m just that sort of person). It’s also worth reading – at least parts of it are – if you’re planning to get into developing for Windows Phone 7 (and yes, any other vendor’s smartphone platform, but those don’t pay my bills).
Millennials grew up in the networked world and spent at least part of their adolescent years in the era of what Microsoft Research’s danah boyd calls “networked publics”. They’re the first “always connected” generation, having grown up with broadband, wifi and mobile devices. They’re more technophilic than previous generations, as the chart below shows:
(Note the use of the phrase “cell phone” – clearly an Xer or Boomer wrote the study.)
The stats about mobile phones are worth repeating:
88% of Millennials use their mobile phone to send text messages
80% have texted in the past 24 hours
64% have texted while driving (how you do this, I don’t even know)
Of those who’ve texted in the past 24 hours, the median number of texts they have sent and received is 20.
Here’s another observation: 83% of Millennials sleep with their mobile phones nearby, according to the chart below:
Most Millennials have a mobile phone, and many of them have the mobile as their only phone (as opposed to having a land line at home):
Millennials are also big on wireless ‘net access:
In the past 24 hours, Millennials are more likely to have watched an online video, posted a message to an online profile and played a video game than the other generations. Here’s a chart showing “Past 24 Hours” activities for various generations:
Motorola on Millennials
Given the Millennials’ technophilic tendencies, it’s not surprising that a number of high-tech companies have researched this generation. Here are a couple of videos posted by Motorola Media Center:
This Week on Channel 9, or TWC9 for short, is a weekly digest show hosted by Microsoft’s Dan Fernandez and Brian Keller covering the developer community news they find most interesting after sifting through hundreds of blogs, videos and announcements. It’s aimed primarily at .NET developers, but if you have any geeky tendencies at all, chances are they’ll cover something that appeals to you!