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After as fanfare as big as the sound of a military marching band heralded its arrival, it has taken a week or two for the next saviour of IT to arrive.
With the Raspberry Pi at last set for a release, certification issues seemingly put to bed last week, excited social chatter will at last be put to the test and we’ll see if a credit card sized computer really can ‘make IT cool’.
It may just be us at CIO Blog but this year seems to be history’s starting point for a campaign to get kids into IT and not just computers. Blogs, magazines and IT leaders have all variously heralded new technologies as the tool to get them into programming basics - ‘replace Saturday Kitchen with Saturday Coding!’ read one tweet last week. The frenzy even caught on here as CIO Blog was compelled to join the stateside revolution Codeacademy in a January resolution which we confess hasn’t necessarily lasted to Lent.
Whether the Pi changes things and more broadly, whether IT is cool or the territory of unwashed nerds doesn’t so much matter in truth. A bigger issue for the IT leader will be as to how the latest portable gadget will have an impact on corporate IT in the future.
We have already noted a shift in the relationship between the business and its employees when it comes to using devices at present. So if corporate IT struggles to deal with John Smith using his iPad on the train, then how will it make sure it is more amenable in ten years time to little Johnny Smith who is currently programming his latest app?
Clearly there is a long way to go but it is important the Raspberry Pi kids remain engaged beyond their first toy. For that to happen it is up to the current and emerging generation of IT leaders to ensure that by the time they move into employment, corporate IT functions are flexible enough to deal with the instant, portable computing environment the Pi generation expect. A rallying cry for you if ever there was one!