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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Low level
by kwan_e on Sat 29th Sep 2012 01:15 UTC
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I would agree the programmers of the past were a lot better, but I would not attribute that to the knowledge of low level workings of a computer. They just had to work out things for themselves a lot more than they need today.

The "low levels" are just implementation details. Assembler isn't some kind of old magic* passed down from wizard to wizard. Assembler is just another programming language. There are a lot more functions and a lot more side effects and a lot more detailed documentation about those side effects but there's nothing that makes it different from problem solving in general.

Problem solving skills are what's important. If your solution to a problem is shit, no amount of good coding can save it.

* JCL is though. You never write your own JCL. You copy it from a colleague who's worked on z/OS longer than you, who've built up their own JCL book of spells in the same way. You add and remove cards as you need. There is a mystical 71 character limit and none of the wizards remember where the continuation column is.

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