A programmer is not a PC repair man. Ritesh Kumar Gupta
One of the 9 truths that computer programmers know that most people don’t..
A programmer is one who deals with algorithms and design principles, not the one who repairs a computer. We may know how the internal workings of a computer work, how code fits together (or rather hacked together as I explained in Fact #1). But, that does not mean we know how to fix hardware. That does not mean we know how to fix that issue you’re having with chrome that makes it crash everytime you open it, or why your computer is always overheating and the battery dying. Computers programmers, at the least, know how to program computers, not fix them.Sawyer MacLeaod
Published via MarsEdit
…for the most part, … introductory tools do a great job of guiding you like a child in a crosswalk past the big scary variables and conditional statements and through the early phases of programming syntax. As you conquer one after another of their gamified challenges, your confidence rises. Maybe you can do this after all! How hard can it be? You’re basically a developer already!
I’ve written code since I was about 13 (1980). First BASIC, then later Pascal, assembler, C, C++, Perl, Java, PHP etc. Back in the 1980s, everyone was self-taught. You either figured it out or you didn’t. No Google. No online tutorials.
Learning a new language — the basic syntax etc — takes time is you’ve never done it before. Being good enough at it so that you can build an application on your own or as part of a team takes longer.
My daughter is learning to code now — she’s teaching her self — and I want to encourage her. But I also want her expectations to be realistic. I want her to understand that coding isn’t just putting little boxes with code snippets into a graphical web GUI.
I want her to be wary of hyperbolic claims about learning to code and becoming a developer in just a few weeks.
I think about how I used to fill my time with coding. So much coding. I was willing to dive so deep into a library or framework or technology to learn it.
My tolerance for learning curves grows smaller every day. New technologies, once exciting for the sake of newness, now seem like hassles. I’m less and less tolerant of hokey marketing filled with superlatives. I value stability and clarity.
I’m scared that either the job “web developer” is outpacing me, or my skills are atrophying.
Marco Arment links to developer Ed Finkler who is ageing and finding that keeping up with every flashy shiny new language and development framework is just exhausting and no longer interesting.
I’m almost 48 — Marco and Ed are most likely much younger — and as a former1 web developer I’m already living into my own dystopian future. I haven’t a clue about Ruby on Rails or Scala. I dislike the formatting cage of Python and I barely know (or used) Objective C and Java. I absolutely hate C.
Then I’m going to learn how to break code.
Because the application layer is where the black hackers and criminals have gone. The future will be filled with (more) data piracy and breaches, and cyber attacks. So I’m learning how to break the code and start a new future.
I still call myself a web developer but the technologies have rapidly outpaced my motivation. But I have a plan.
Posted via Desktop Publishing Machine