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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RE: Depends on the developer
by TemporalBeing on Tue 2nd Oct 2012 17:15 UTC in reply to "Depends on the developer"
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I'm a modern programmer that picked up assembly early on and it has given me a greater appreciation for the workings of higher level languages. Not that everyone needs to do that, but I do think the more familiar a developer is with the lower layers (whether that be OS, CPU, Assembly code, etc) the more likely they are to turn out efficient, well-designed code.

Personally I would argue that all developers - even Web Developers - need to have exposure to Assembly programming as it just changes the way you think, and how you approach programming. It's just one of those things that really makes the difference between an Okay developer and a Good developer.

On the other hand, I know programmers who have been in the field for decades who are terrible developers who like to just go wading into the middle of a pile of code, deleting and copy/pasting stuff without any idea of what the code does or why it works the way it does.

And what was their background? Computer Science?

Short version: Being a good developer isn't a generational thing, it's a combination of experience, education and attitude.

The "generational" side of it is that the older good programmers were EE trained, not Computer Science trained. Computer Science has really not done much but lower the standards; and honestly we need a good software engineering programming in the engineering departments that takes on the roll of training programmers for industry; leaving Computer Science to the academics - kind of like the difference between a Physics Degree and a Mechanical Engineering Degree; related but not the same thing.

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