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Way back when, I was a Professor of Computer Science (mid-eighties) and I thought I might know as much as 85% of what there was to know about computers and software - and I was upset about not knowing the other 15%.
Nowadays I think I know about 0.0085% of what there is and falling behind about 0.001% per week - and am happy not knowing all the rest!
- I would love to change the world, but they won’t give me the source code.
Wise choice bro. I might have gone insane if I forced myself to learn all these AngularJs, BackboneJs, EmberJs, WEb Toolkit, jQuery, MooTools, React, OpenUI5, Smart Client, UnifiedJs, VueJs, and Webix.
Some of my coworkers are in their 60s and can debug any problem like it's nobody's business, because they learned low-level skills that have followed them throughout their entire careers. They have inner-working understanding the n00bs can only dream of.
These days there's too many people in this field who'd have to resort to calling their IT support department because you disconnected their keyboard while they were away at lunch time. The framework, library, or language of the day they were experts at 3 years ago is useless today, and their skillset simply can't be adapted to new environments/situations. Those who are worth keeping around in the long term are few and far in-between--that's why there's so many job-hoppers.
Unfortunately a lot of that useful knowledge that's indicative of a serious programmer gets drowned out in today's application process. I applied for what was described as a senior position a couple months back with a local government bureau. An actual part of the interview I remember:
Them: "So what's an interface?"
Me: "A contract. It specifies a minimum requirement without specifying a concrete implementation. Kinda like 'I don't care what object you are, as long as you can do X, Y, and Z we're good.'"
Them: "What's a WHERE clause?"
Me: "A predicate to filter SELECT results."
Them: "Ok, any questions for us?"
Me: "No questions about design patterns, architecture, query optimization, PK/FK decisions, index clustering, version control, deployment, etc?"
Them: *Look at each other* "No."
I never heard back I think I'm just terrible at interviews
I got the impression one person was definitely HR and one probably a developer. The third person I honestly couldn't place as he didn't say much beyond the greeting. I was just kinda dumbfounded. If I was hiring a carpenter to build a house I wouldn't ask him "Do you know what a hammer is? What about wood? Alright, that's all I need."
These days there's too many people in this field who'd have to resort to calling their IT support department because you disconnected their keyboard while they were away at lunch time.
With a vast array of desirable business technology needs people specialize. Just as long ago the person that built a log cabin could dig the outhouse latrine but today I do not expect the cable guy to fix my toilet.
While I agree with your assertion in the general sense, are you saying it's ok for people to never try to do anything, ever, that deviates from the only script they've learned to follow? If that's the case, then the automation revolution can't get here fast enough, because clearly nothing of value will be lost.
I wasn't there either, but if I understand correctly, you didn't learn all three.
You picked your career path and then learned COBOL or FORTRAN or ASSEMBLY.
Or, you learned Pascal and BASIC and hoped to get a job teaching.
In the end, it's all about breaking down and solving problems. I'll gladly learn a new stack/framework if it solves a problem at hand. (makes or saves $) That said, I usually don't (aside from maybe reading articles) invest in learning something new just to add a feather to my cap.
On another topic, with the answers to the universe at out fingertips these days, getting by on your wits is much easier than it used to be. Either I've done it (or something like it) and can re-use the code/logic, or I can usually find something useful in less than 10 seconds using google. This is why I haven't bought a real programming book/manual in more than 5 years. These days the only mastery required is in phrasing search terms.
One cannot simply learn everything that the industry uses, this could apply to other fields too.Considering the remarkable impact that computer and engineering has made on other disciplines and considering the modern trends in the industry.Older systems and technology gets replaced by newer system and programming languages.....On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero...
"Progress doesn't come from early risers – progress is made by lazy men looking for easier ways to do things." Lazarus Long
To digress a little.... Time was an intelligent and educated person could know just about everything there was to know. Literally. And from that grew the stereotype of the lone scientist in his lab coming up with some new invention to change the world... for a while, such people could exist, but not any longer. No one can know everything, not even within one subject area - the most anyone can be is a master at one or two (r more, maybe) disciplines within a subject, there is that much knowledge about.
So science now, and in the future, is and will be a collaborative affair. The big advances now - take nuclear fusion (if it ever happens), quantum computing, or a myriad of medical advances - these aren't and won't be made by our stereotypical white-coated lone scientist in a lab, but by the collaborative efforts of different research groups around the world.
We all have to stand now on the giant collective shoulder of those around us in order to see anything.
The code I am trying to maintain began with a definable message based API. It was a little slow on the under-powered embedded system we started with, so "optimizations" were made. This is my current contract interface: API[^]
I now have logic in some key processing that depends on the string content of a global value. Rather than just look at the interface, I am reduced to searching through all project files for all references of said global string variable. I have code from multiple targets in the wrong files, etc. I've never seen entropy attack so fast.
<italic>Stuck in a dysfunctional matrix from which I must escape...
"Where liberty dwells, there is my country." B. Franklin, 1783
“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” BF, 1759
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