When seen from a traditional point of view the idea of a seafarer being required to list coding among his or her skill set to work in maritime jobs might seems to be an unnecessary reliance on marine tech. But like many sectors, the maritime industry is no stranger to digitization and an increasing dependence on technology.
Take multi-fuel propulsion systems and integrated bridge systems as an example - these complex tools and devices require a very specific knowledge when it comes their operation.
Should seafarers learn coding to work in maritime jobs?
Add to this the very nature of shipping, namely its dependency on its crew to resolve any issues onboard and it becomes clear that a seafarer who possesses technical know-how could be a very real asset to their vessel and be more sought after when it comes to filling vacant jobs at sea.
Ships are becoming more and more complex to operate: on-board systems not only need to be operated, but also maintained, and if needed, fixed. Having people onboard who can do that, whether or not they are directly responsible for resolving bugs and issues, will be a huge help particularly in the event of an emergency.
What programming languages could seafarers learn?
If a seafarer is interested in learning how to code, or if you’re a looking to hire a cadet or crew member looking into jobs at sea and who has talents that go above and beyond the traditional skills, such as an interest in maritime technology, which programming languages are the most useful onboard a ship?
Should learning to code be mandatory in maritime jobs?
Of course, there is the counter argument that maybe a seafarer shouldn’t try to be a ‘jack of all trades and master of none’.
After all the skills needed to crew a ship are very specific ones and it could be argued that seafarers would be better off concentrating on the skills they need to perform the tasks relating to their maritime jobs that they are hired to do instead of having to worry about learning about maritime technology and adding programming to their resume.
Jobs at sea are demanding enough and if a seafarer already has skills that relate to maritime technology, all well and good. But should they really be diverting their attention from the job in hand to be learning new, often complex, marine tech?
Wouldn’t it be better to provide crew members with technology and software that assists them in their roles in maritime jobs as opposed to forcing them to learn a subject they may have little to no interest in, or aptitude for?
Marine tech, maritime jobs and Martide
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