Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 28th Sep 2012 21:51 UTC, submitted by MOS6510
General Development "When I started writing programs in the late 80s it was pretty primitive and required a lot of study and skill. I was a young kid doing this stuff, the adults at that time had it even worse and some of them did start in the punch card era. This was back when programmers really had to earn their keep, and us newer generations are losing appreciation for that. A generation or two ago they may have been been better coders than us. More importantly they were better craftsmen, and we need to think about that." I'm no programmer, but I do understand that the current crop of programmers could learn a whole lot from older generations. I'm not going to burn my fingers on if they were better programmers or not, but I do believe they have a far greater understanding of the actual workings of a computer. Does the average 'app developer' have any clue whatsoever about low-level code, let alone something like assembly?
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It's because the learning curve is higher
by WorknMan on Fri 28th Sep 2012 22:36 UTC
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The author asks:

We have so much. I would have never dreamed in 1995 that I would be carrying a library of technical books with me whereever I go with my Kindle Fire. I have a laptop that I can use to develop stuff in several languages for multiple platforms and products. We are empowered now more than ever.

Why aren’t we learning more?

Well, the truth is that we ARE learning more, but there is so much more to learn now than in the old days that we learn a lot less about everything. For example, if you programmed on a Commodore 64 in the early 80's, you probably coded in either BASIC or 6502 assembler. These days, there's probably 328302439230 languages to choose from, with at least as many frameworks for each language. Thus, it would literally be impossible for us to be as knowledgeable as people were back then. I've heard that it used to be possible to know everything there was to know about PCs. Now days? Perhaps if you had NZT or something ;)

The most you can do is to try and become an expert in a specific language. (Or maybe 2 or 3, depending on whether or not you have a life.) For example, if you're coding web apps for a living, it probably wouldn't serve you as well to become an expert at hardware, as much as it would if you were coding close to the metal on embedded devices.

I hear some people bragging about how much more they understood their C64 than the modern computer user, but I can do far more useful and productive stuff using just AutoHotKey than they ever could on those old machines, so as far as I'm concerned, they can suck it ;) I give more props to people who can actually get more productivity out of a machine than to someone who can explain in detail what each register does inside of my CPU.

Edited 2012-09-28 22:37 UTC

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