Escape the Mud

You won't always have a calculator in your pocket

January 25, 2024

Embracing the Tech Tides: The Journey from Grade 8 Math to AI-Powered Futures

Back in Grade 8: The Calculator Chronicles

Think back to those school days, specifically Grade 8 math class. It was a simpler time, but not without its own set of dramas - especially over the use of calculators. We had them, we loved them, yet we couldn’t use them. Our teachers insisted on the traditional pencil-to-paper method, ensuring we understood the nuts and bolts of mathematics before taking the easy route. As a student who preferred the path of least resistance, I frequently lamented this restriction. “Why not just use the calculator?” I’d think, only to be met with my teacher’s almost mocking question: “What if you don’t have it with you? Do you think you’ll always carry one in your pocket?”

Well, fast forward a couple of decades, and the answer to that question is a resounding “Yes, and so much more!”

Smartphones: The Swiss Army Knives of Today’s World

Who would’ve thought that the device in our pockets would evolve into a mini-supercomputer? Our smartphones today are calculators, encyclopedias, communication devices, and entertainment centers rolled into one. It’s not just about crunching numbers anymore. We live in a world where not getting a physical menu at a restaurant is the norm, and where paying with anything but a quick phone scan feels archaic.

AI: Use it or lose it

And now, we’re on the brink of another tech revolution, this time led by AI. Remember when using a calculator for accounting was groundbreaking? Well, AI is about to give us a similar “hold my beer” moment across various fields, especially in software development. With tools like AI Co-Pilot emerging, it’s becoming clear: not integrating AI into your skill set might soon be akin to still using a flip phone. It’s not about replacing us but about pushing the boundaries of what we can achieve.

Shifting the Paradigm in Job Interviews

This technological evolution is reshaping the landscape of job interviews too. Back in the day, a key part of any interview was the ‘Google test.’ Interviewers were keen to see how you’d navigate the vast sea of information online to tackle a problem you’d never met before. It was all about your prowess in pulling the right strings on the internet to weave together a solution.

But now, the winds are shifting. We’re sailing into an era where AI is the new compass for exploration and innovation. It’s time we rethink our approach to evaluating candidates. Clinging to the old ways of manually searching for solutions is like refusing to switch from a paper map to a GPS. In this rapidly evolving tech landscape, not using AI is starting to look more like a red flag than a mark of authenticity.

In fact, the real test now should be how effectively you can harness AI, integrate it into your problem-solving process, and push the boundaries of creativity and efficiency. The ability to synergize with AI tools should be seen as a critical skill, not just a supplementary one.

So, maybe it’s time we flip the script: Instead of penalizing candidates for relying on AI during interviews, we should start questioning why they aren’t. After all, it’s about working smarter, not harder, and AI is swiftly becoming the smartest tool in the shed.


Anyone who knows me knows am I not this well written. Who could the ghost writer be?

Escape the Mud is a developer centric blog that covers a wide array of topics. Written by Dennis Marchand