Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Programming Businesses IT Technology

The Technologies Changing What It Means To Be a Programmer 294

Posted by samzenpus
from the keeping-up-with-the-times dept.
snydeq writes Modern programming bears little resemblance to the days of assembly code and toggles. Worse, or perhaps better, it markedly differs from what it meant to be a programmer just five years ago. While the technologies and tools underlying this transformation can make development work more powerful and efficient, they also make developers increasingly responsible for facets of computing beyond their traditional domain, thereby concentrating a wider range of roles and responsibilities into leaner, more overworked staff.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

The Technologies Changing What It Means To Be a Programmer

Comments Filter:
  • Not changed much (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jmyers (208878) on Monday August 11, 2014 @05:39PM (#47650955)

    I don't see many changes. Vendors, managers, and salespeople change the buzz words every few years and talk of great paradigm shifts. Programmers continue to write code and produce actual results. In a perfect world the programmers get to choose their own tools. In the real world we have to use whatever buzz word compliant tools are thrown in the mix each year. They never actually live up to the hype and you have to dig in and find the code buried within and build stuff that works. I remember when the salespeople were touting dBase II and how programming would be completely changed. Right.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 11, 2014 @05:59PM (#47651091)

    As a former COBOL programmer way back when during the mainframe era, and as somebody who has had to develop and maintain JavaScript code over the past several years, I can say without a doubt that I much preferred using COBOL.

    Although COBOL is a verbose language and not always the easiest to use, at least it isn't shit-for-brains stupid like JavaScript so often is. When I use JavaScript, I often sit there wondering, "What the fuck was Eich thinking when he came up with this stupidity?" and then I wonder, "Why the fuck hasn't the JavaScript community fixed these fucking stupid misfeatures?"

    So many things about JavaScript are just so stupidly broken, and there's absolutely no reason why they should be like that. They're so idiotically wrong that it's totally worth breaking compatiblity with existing code if it means fixing these problems. COBOL, while not the best language, was never anywhere near as fucking moronic as JavaScript usually is.

  • Sensationalist BS? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 11, 2014 @05:59PM (#47651093)
    I don't see a single point in the article that would represent any profound change in how programmers work. In fact, points like 1 or 4 are laughable simply because even though these are true, they also happened decades ago. Point 9 is exactly like programming in Lisp (do everything in a single generic language), the only difference being using Javascript instead of Lisp. Others are of interest as deployment techniques, not as a programming workflow change. Etc.
  • by bobbied (2522392) on Monday August 11, 2014 @06:07PM (#47651135)

    Here we go again with another silver bullet?. It seems that every generation of noobs comes to this same conclusion and are just as wrong as we where when we said the same thing. It's almost a rite of passage, just like the rebellious teenager or terrible twos kids go though.

    Yes, programming has changed some since I started doing it. However, in the long run, nothing has really changed. Programming is Programming, the same skills I used to need when doing assembly, are useful when I dabble in Java. What HAS changed is the programming model and the languages we use. Yea, we can automatically generate a boat load of code and come up with stuff that would have taking years to do in assembly in a few hours, but nothing is really new. When we went from Assembly to C, we could do things in C so much faster than in assembly, but programs only got bigger and slower. C to C++ bumped that up again, but not that much. Java bumped that up, adding mufti-platform capacity, slowing the programs down and making them take more memory. That's how this goes, new tools, bigger programs that run slower, but still requires a programmer to make useful things using those tools.

    Truly there is nothing really new for programmers, the job still requires the same kinds of skills and still requires that you know the programming model. Yea, we can pull ready built stuff off the shelf more easily, but like before, new advances really only make programs bigger and slower and still require programmers who know how to design and implement. We keep trying, but this will not change.

    So, nice try there syndeq, I think you are wrong. My generation of programmers thought we had achieved the same things you are claiming when we where noobs. We where wrong too. There may be new tools, but you still need a skilled craftsman to use those tools or you get garbage for a program.

    I strongly recommend you go get and read "The Mythical Man Month" by Frederick P. Brooks, Jr.. In my day his experience and insights where eye opening for us, and it will be for you too. You don"t have to make the same mistakes we did. I've met some of you guys/gals you can do better, just take my advice.

  • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Monday August 11, 2014 @06:11PM (#47651161)

    What's not modern about using assembler where it's appropriate to do so?

    Because it is InfoWorld. Seriously.

    Here's item # 3.

    Developer tool No. 3: Libraries

    Do you remember the first time you used a library? But they're new because programmers 5 years ago did not have libraries.

    It gets better:

    Developer tool No. 4: APIs

    Yeah. That's a radical new concept there.

    Fuck it.

    Developer tool No. 6: Browsers

    Tonight we're gonna party like it's 1995.

    And, finally:

    The work involved in telling computers what to do is markedly different than it was even five years ago, and it's quite possible that any Rip Van Winkle-like developer who slept through the past 10 years would be unable to function in the today's computing world.

    No it is not. Not they would not. Windows XP was released in 2001 and there are still people using it. That's 13 years ago.

    InfoWorld sucks.

  • by sribe (304414) on Monday August 11, 2014 @06:13PM (#47651181)

    I've been doing this full-time since 1985, and the most distressing part is how little real change there has been in all that time!

  • by 0xdeadbeef (28836) on Monday August 11, 2014 @06:23PM (#47651265) Homepage Journal

    The work involved in telling computers what to do is markedly different than it was even five years ago, and it's quite possible that any Rip Van Winkle-like developer who slept through the past 10 years would be unable to function in the today's computing world.

    This is quite possibly the stupidest article ever posted to Slashdot.

    Ok, this month.

  • by gweihir (88907) on Monday August 11, 2014 @06:28PM (#47651319)

    No mission critical stuff is done on JS anywhere. This joker confuses GUI scripting and programming. And sorry, JS is a real piece of trash. The only "awesome" thing about it is how wrong it gets most things. Of course, when your comparison is PHP, then JS may look pretty good.

  • by mrchaotica (681592) * on Monday August 11, 2014 @06:28PM (#47651325)

    In a perfect world the programmers get to choose their own tools. In the real world we have to use whatever buzz word compliant tools are thrown in the mix each year.

    In hobby programming, which is not the real world, the programmers get to choose their own tools. In the Silicon Valley startup bubble, which is also not the real world, programmers have to use whatever buzz word compliant tools are thrown in the mix each year.

    In the real real world, programmers use C, C++, .NET, Java, or some other constantly-claimed-by-idiots-to-be-dead language. (And they usually use it to write boring, vertical-market billing software.)

  • by machineghost (622031) on Monday August 11, 2014 @06:38PM (#47651379)

    To you, someone who obviously isn't a Javascript programmer, maybe. To someone who writes Javascript code every day, like myself, nothing at all is "broken" with the language (though obviously, like any language, it could use some improvements).

    But I'm sure if I started writing COBOL I'd think plenty was wrong with it ...

  • by machineghost (622031) on Monday August 11, 2014 @06:46PM (#47651423)

    Yeah, it only runs the front end of EVERY WEBSITE IN EXISTENCE (which includes tons of "serious" SaS applications, and more and more "thick client" sites where the bulk of the code is in JS and the server is just used for database work). But yeah, other than that nothing mission critical at all.

  • by Dutch Gun (899105) on Monday August 11, 2014 @07:54PM (#47651769)

    It's pretty obvious this is written through the lens of a javascript-focused web programmer. Seriously, libraries are a hot new trend? That's hilarious stuff. Read each item in this list as "From the viewpoint of a Javascript/web developer...", and it seems to make a bit more sense.

    It's pretty clear he only has a vague notion of game development either (my profession), and gets some basic facts wrong. He calls Unity a library (it's a game engine, better categorized as a framework). In a different article, he claims that game frameworks are in, while native development is out. The first part is true, but the second part certainly is not. C++ is still used almost exclusively for large-scale AAA game development. Unless by "native development" he meant "roll your own game engine", in which case he's using the wrong terminology.

  • by Snotnose (212196) on Monday August 11, 2014 @08:06PM (#47651837)
    I've used a lot of languages in the last 35 years, I've only actively hated 1. That would be Javascript. I find it amazing you can test your code for weeks, but as soon as you let someone else run it everything breaks in mysterious ways because they have a different environment than you do.

    Javascript needs to die, and I'll find another job before I waste any more time programming this POS "language".
  • by msobkow (48369) on Monday August 11, 2014 @10:26PM (#47652369) Homepage Journal

    ...and the server is just used for database work.

    And that mentality is precisely why so many web applications suck farts off dead chickens for performance and scalability.

    The first step to designing a scalable application is designing a scalable and flexible database model. The database is not an "afterthought", it is the heart of an application.

    The code which accesses the database can be tweaked and fiddled, but once you've created your database, it becomes very expensive to change it in the future because of the costs of changing not just the code, but creating and testing database migration scripts to move the data to a new model.

    But you go pat yourself on the head that you're a 'leet programmer because you know a scripting language.

    And then hang your head in shame when you realize that JS runs in the browser and is only a presentation layer, not the application itself. Only a fool puts the business logic in the client if they have any understanding or concern for transaction consistency and application reliability. You have to assume the presentation client is going to break half way through processing something and leave the database in an inconsistent state if you put the business logic in the front end.

Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurence of the improbable. - H. L. Mencken

Working...