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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Member since:

Well, for one you need to know all this stuff before being able to fully comprehend that it doesn't really matter.

Usually when this topic pops out somewhere, it's the people who have a firm grasp on the basics, detailed knowledge of their field, and a passing similiarity with everything else who form the most leveled opinions.

Yes, knowing how handling strings at the low level works, coupled with JIT familiarity will tell you when to use StringBuilder/Buffer in Java and when to stick with Strings. And some people will not rest until they know all there is to know. But still, what counts "outside" is getting the work done. What counts "inside" is your internal pride in craftmanship.

But if you want to compare I think you're stuck with "outside" comparisons, lest you risk a flame war, or whatever real-life equivalent (a row? heated discussion? fist fighting?)

Sometimes these two overlap if there are some serious problems (like that guy who has been laying down bathroom tiles for 10 years, and still botched the job at my bathroom)

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RareBreed Member since:

No, I agree entirely with what you said. My problem is with the a somewhat common perception (in my experience) that low-level programmers are somehow better.

I know exactly what you mean when you say that sometimes you just have to get things done vs. the pride in your work. In fact, that is why I switched from being an embedded FW developer to being a Test Engineer....and back to being a developer.

I became a Test Engineer precisely because I was tired of submitting half-assed, half-baked products that marketing deemed was good enough. Sadly, that first company I left didn't even HAVE a Test or QA group. So all I knew about QA/Testing was what I read. Of course, it didn't hurt I made a pretty good raise too.

But then I discovered it was the same thing packaged in a different form. Let test coverage slide. Make sure that checking off test cases from the test plan trumps whether we actually know we found any problems. I became a Test Engineer in the hopes that I could help build better products, but I realized it was really just the same thing in different clothing.

Reply Parent Score: 2