Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 27th Dec 2012 10:19 UTC, submitted by anonymous
General Development "Computers are ubiquitous in modern life. They offer us portals to information and entertainment, and they handle the complex tasks needed to keep many facets of modern society running smoothly. Chances are, there is not a single person in Ars' readership whose day-to-day existence doesn't rely on computers in one manner or another. Despite this, very few people know how computers actually do the things that they do. How does one go from what is really nothing more than a collection - a very large collection, mind you - of switches to the things we see powering the modern world?"
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RE: Comment by Luminair
by kwan_e on Fri 28th Dec 2012 01:19 UTC in reply to "Comment by Luminair"
kwan_e
Member since:
2007-02-18

talk about whether the march of great mature open source software will kill the need for employing so many programmers.


It probably won't. Not because of great mature open source software, anyway. Great mature open source software, at least today, seems to give great business opportunities and seems to have resulted in more people being employed to program than it is driving people out of it.

If that happens, what next? When good software is unchanging and ubiquitous like the microwaves and toaster oven designs that seem unchanged in ten years, will the new goal of programming be... to make programming different so new types of people can participate?


Yes. People seemed to miss my point on that. For whatever reason (possibly lack of foresight and imagination), they seem to think I'm arguing that people in the future would need to learn programming at the systems level as a basic requirement.

We've seen how the SGML based and HTML-like languages had changed the accessibility of the average user to program computers. Yes, it resulted in Geocities homepages for pets in the beginning, but that would be a ridiculous counter-argument. At the very least, you can't stop people from making what they want.

Will everyone use the same twitter client for 50 years like they and their parents ate Cheerios?


No. People haven't even used the same social networking sites for 10 years.

Or will it be like fashion, and the next great thing for the individual isn't just done by a professional somewhere, but also by little girls after Christmas, thanks to the bedazzler or nail polish patterns someone kindly invented so those other than the professionals could participate in creation too?


Yes. It only seemed like a short time ago that even knowing how to use computers was considered nerdy and uncool. Now even your average bimbo has an iPad.

Of course, we also need to remember Admiral Grace Hopper. The computer scientists at the time not only thought that compilers were impossible, they thought opening up computers to a greater audience would RUIN EVERYTHING. What they didn't anticipate was that computers and their programming models themselves changed to adapt to people.

It's funny to see the same macho types today trying to fence off programming for the "elites", not knowing they are just repeating history with their short-sightedness and pretend-OCD.

Just sayin


Nobody is ever "just sayin". If they were, they wouldn't need to end with it.

Just breathin

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