Google Trends: UNIX


 
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The Lounge What is on Your Mind? Google Trends: UNIX
# 1  
Old 04-16-2019
Google Trends: UNIX

Over the years I have a lot of experience with people and their opinions of technology, toolsets, programming languages, software architectures, and of course forums. These opinions come from all walks of life and range from "unix.com changed my life and got me though the university... thank you Neo!! " to "Neo, it's your fault that there is declining traffic at unix.com." I learned decades ago to listen to everyone, but in the final analysis I have to make decisions on what I think is best.

Here is a graph from Google trends for the keyword unix from 2004 to now, covering a 15 year period. In this graph, you can easily see that according at least to Google trends, the interest in unix has dropped nearly 95% since 2004. That is a huge drop.

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Now, we look at Google trends comparing unix and javascript over the past year. Both trends show a decline, but what is remarkable is that the interest in javascript is about four to five times more than for unix, at least according to Google trends. My experience on YT is that its even higher, as there is a current explosion in the javascript library space.

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If we look at the Google trend for unix v. javascript v. php we see a decline in all of these great technologies, but javascript shows a better and stronger trend line that PHP (or unix).

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Finally, (for this post) here is the Google trend for unix v. linux over the past five years;

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What is important to keep in mind, at least in my mind, is that it is natural for the traffic at unix.com and other mature tech forums to trend downward. The downward trend is not related to individuals or people, but the general overall technology trend.

A number of years ago, I was not very active on unix.com (busy with tech scuba diving and then coding for cybersecurity projects). The downward trend was very dramatic. However, recently the trend reversed and began to go up a bit after I created a decent mobile site (and most of the legacy sites in the same space do not have nice mobile sites), which brought the site up in Google search referrals because Google also penalizes when a site is not mobile friendly and responsive. However, I am not fooling myself thinking my coding at unix.com is going to reverse a dramatic downtrend in unix and linux interest. The world is changing rapidly.

Times have changed dramatically over the years, and most people do not need to create an account on a web site to get the information they need on older and mature technologies like unix and linux. They just Google and BOOM. It's there. The amazing cyber-library just works. No need to even login for the most part. The reason for this is obvious. There is already a mountain of information available from Google search from every corner of the web, in just about every language.

I expect the interest trend lines in unix and linux to continue to decline over the years as the interest in newer technologies rise and 90-something percent of unix and linux related questions have been already answered on the net, somewhere. This is the natural order of the universe and we should always remember to embrace change.

Occasionally someone comments to me that this is a "unix" site and not a "javascript" site. Normally, I remind them (falling on somewhat deaf ears) that very powerful javascript engines run in the unix and linux shell (for example node.js and the Javascript V8 engine written in C++) and so there is not that much difference from awk, sed or javascript from the "unix and linux" perspective except the fact that the younger generation tends to use more modern tools in the shell (like node.js) and the older generate tends to use the more traditional (older) tools in the shell.

In my view, it is strange for any great unix or linux person not to embrace javascript or python or any other modern software which runs in the unix and linux shell as much as they embrace awk, sed, curl and wget as tool sets. All these toolsets are written in C++, generally speaking, and run in the shell.

The only constant in the universe is change and it's important for technical people to keep learning new things. It's also good for the mind.

Over time, mature forums like this one will continue to lose traffic as the trend lines tend downward, knowledge is abundant and freely available in cyberspace and continues to expand, and new ways of learning and social interactions rise and fall. Most people I know go straight to a YT tutorial when they embrace a new technology these days; and also Google and read a lot of web tutorials.

On a typical day, I write most of my code in javascript orders of magnitude more than traditional unix shell scripts. Do I still love the unix shell? Yes! I work in the shell every day. Do I love the new tools like the C++ based server side Javascript engine V8 and node.js? Yes!! I use them in the unix and linux shell every day as well.

It's very cool to continue to learn new technologies and just because you love unix and the unix shell or you love some other mature software tool, there is still a lot of very cool modern things to learn like javascript, python and more.

Keep learning forever! Embrace change! Be happy!
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# 2  
Old 04-16-2019
Quote:
I use Excel more than BASH lately. Our jobs have both changed.
Shame on you!
Smilie
# 3  
Old 04-16-2019
Sorry for editing out from under you, I decided not to argue. You quoted probably the most relevant part though.
# 4  
Old 04-16-2019
Great post by Neo.

I suppose he gets a "kickback" for pushing javascript and py...j/k
# 5  
Old 04-16-2019
Quote:
Originally Posted by samthewildone
Great post by Neo.

I suppose he gets a "kickback" for pushing javascript and py...j/k
Thanks. Haha... Nope, I have never received a "kickback" in my life, and so I kindly and generously assume your "supposing a kickback" was meant as a joke. But, for all who might read this online, we should and need to be clear, because without integrity there is no honor and without honor, all is lost. So, in my view, it's best to not joke about a person's integrity and especially not mine Smilie It's not really a joking matter, in my view, but I understand it was meant to be a joke and so no harm done in that. But let's also be clear, Ihave never received a "kickback" in my entire life and would never accept one. That's just me. I prefer honor and integrity to money and always will. I have done very well financially by dealing with everyone honestly and with high integrity.

Regarding "the trend line", I can would like to mention a few things.

First of all, like many here, I know many long time, very talented unix people who are out of work and/or struggle financially. On the other hand, I don't know a single very talented Javascript or Python programmer who is struggling to find work or great a high paying job they like. Encouraging people to build on top of their great core unix or linux skills and expand into newer technology areas is nothing different than I have always done my entire life. Learn a technology and build upon that knowledge to learn more technologies and keep improving my / your skills.

Second, for the "younger generation" I see that they consider the unix shell a core, basic skill (not the ultimate skill) which they need to do "generally, good enough" to move on to bigger and greater things. For example, getting around the unix shell makes it much easier to trouble shoot a node.js problem when you are trying to figure out why your web app is not compiling. Those great system admin skills come in really handy when troubling-shooting a Restful AJAX call across the network and the ability quickly dance in the unix shell is a great skill to have. But, for those who watch a lot of YouTube tutorial videos, we see that most YT'ers treat the shell as a "fundamental" skill set before moving on to the "red meat" of their tutorial.

People who have great unix and linux shell skills have an advantage over those who do not have great knowledge of the shell; but they must build on that knowledge to learn new tools and frameworks like Javascript and Python. Being a shell expert is not the end game, but a building block to bigger and better things, if you want to command a top salary these days.

Recently, I was taken aback a bit when someone kinda attacked me (privately) for promoting Javascript here at unix.com. Their attitude toward me (surprisingly to me, but then again not surprising) was something like "this is a unix forum and so go somewhere else if you love Javascript so much!!" I thought to myself, I run npm and node.js in the unix shell no different than I used to run awk or PERL or curl years ago. I love all those shell tools and remember the days I was infatuated with PERL, but that was 25 years ago. I do not process text in PERL anymore because there are newer tools which like run in unix shell in 2019.

So, when I login to my unix-like shell on a linux server these days, I tend to run very powerful tools like node.js and NPM when developing code. I troubleshoot problems in the shell as well, but I generally don't process a text with shell scripts. Generally when I process text, it will end up being rendered on the web, so I need to process the text in a way which makes it interactive and reactive in the web environment using a standard format as a JSON object.

I love the unix and linux shell; but there a lot of very "2019" cool technologies to learn and run in the shell, so it is not correct in my view to call the V8 Javascript engine (or any technology written in C++ and which runs in the shell), "not unix". UNIX embraces and encompasses all of those technologies. The shell is fundamental.

For those who are at a stage of their life where they are finding it hard to find the work they enjoy in unix or linux because of the long downward trend in unix in general, I encourage you to build on those skills. Like I mentioned in many post here, I work in the unix (actually linux) shell every day and I tend to login and bring up five shell terminals every morning when I wake up and have a coffee. I cat and vi log files, review the health of critical systems, and then fire up npm on my unix desktop (MacOS) and start developing in Javascript, writing and checking code syntax in Visual Studio Code. When I deploy to the server, I use ssh and scp and work in the shell to vi files as needed and check logs. The shell is fundamental, but the shell is not my objective of the day.

In my view, when we are great at one language or tech area, we can be great at other languages and technical areas, and so it is best to remain very flexible and to stay on top of the state-of-the-art, if you want to maximize your earnings potential and stay on top of the game.

Change is the only thing which is constant.

"Rust Never Sleeps" - Neil Young.
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# 6  
Old 04-17-2019
Hi Neo,
Good style. You can start writing a book. Read with interest and without a dictionary. Smilie
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# 7  
Old 04-17-2019
Quote:
Originally Posted by nezabudka
Hi Neo,
Good style. You can start writing a book. Read with interest and without a dictionary. Smilie
Thanks, but every time I have started to write a book in the past, I get bored after a few pages and go back to writing code. Honestly, I have started around three or four books in my life and never got very far at all!

Also, I used to dream to write science fiction; but I'm not very imaginative at all for writing fiction.

I have a lot of respect for writers, but I just don't have the patience or interest to write books. My bad, for sure.
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