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Looking ahead in 2018 – Software integrity, automation and skills upgrading

Automation will continue at a faster pace than ever before in human history. If you recall talk about the “information revolution” from 25 years ago when the web was in its infancy, you’ll wince at how wrong the pundits were. The real information revolution is happening now, and the robots are winning. That situation will get worse as more people are automated right out of the economy.

By Dr. Gary McGraw
Vice President of Security Technology, Synopsys Inc.

What does 2018 look like in the software arena? Let us examine automation and software integrity.

Automation will continue at a faster pace than ever before in human history. If you recall talk about the “information revolution” from 25 years ago when the web was in its infancy, you’ll wince at how wrong the pundits were. The real information revolution is happening now, and the robots are winning. That situation will get worse as more people are automated right out of the economy.

Cars, trucks, and buses will drive themselves. This will eventually put millions of people out of work, especially in small towns. The economy will change.

Even white collar jobs will fall to automation and machine learning. My immediate advice is to retool, learn to code, and become a technologist, now. We’ll need more techies than ever. But don’t pick a field where repetition is the main thing or processes are clearly-defined and algorithmic.

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IoT has a minor part to play in this revolution. Everything will be on the Internet, both chattering away about data it is gathering and automating parts of life that we didn’t even know needed to be automated. Security and privacy will play an important role.

Security will become more critical in 2018. Security is important, but FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) is bad. We need to change that. FUD is corrosive.

Technology providers, such as social media platforms, have to recognize that their tools can have far-reaching social implications.

In summary, though these themes may seem disparate and disconnected, they all share a common theme – software. Automation by its very definition involves software. In some sense software is eating jobs at an alarming rate, replacing people with bits. We will always need more than the ten million or so people working on software today to help us keep it under control and functioning in our favor as a species.

At Synopsys software integrity group, we staunchly believe that software should behave from ideation to deletion, and that security and quality must be built into all computer code, or users and organizations may have to suffer the consequences.

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Dr. Gary McGraw is the vice president of security technology at Synopsys (SNPS). He is a globally recognized authority on software security and the author of eight bestselling books on this topic. His titles include Software Security, Exploiting Software, Building Secure Software, Java Security, Exploiting Online Games, and 6 other books; and he is editor of the Addison-Wesley Software Security series. Dr. McGraw has also written over 100 peer-reviewed scientific publications, authors a periodic security column for SearchSecurity.

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