The backend of society

Software engineers are often referred to as frontend or backend specialists. Briefly, frontend engineers deal with web design while backend engineers focus on servers.

In society, the backend is all of the infrastructure necessary to facilitate living standards for the people living in it. What most people see and consume is the frontend.

I’m fascinated by the complexities of the backend of society. I seek to understand it so I can change it for the better.

Have you ever wondered:

  • How do international wires transfers work?
  • What does a bank do with my money when I deposit?
  • Who writes a bill? How long does it take to get approved?
  • Who’s responsible for cleaning the roads?
  • What are all of the parts in a car and who made them?
  • How does one become an air tower controller?
  • How does Bluetooth work?
  • What do people use infrared for?
  • How many animals exist in the world?
  • How does a climatologist’s job affect me?

All of the questions above underlie the products and services we use today and indirectly affect our lives in a multitude of ways.

When experiencing the frontend of society it’s easy to forget the countless hours of work and effort that someone had to put in to make a certain experience possible.

The power of understanding the underlying structure of society is gaining the ability to change it.

This reminds me of this famous quote by Jobs:

“Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it… Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.”

Steve Jobs

When going through the world, stop and think how can this be better? What do I need to learn to make it better? Then act!

Leave a Reply