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If we are to change the scenario you rightly describe, we cannot justr wait until it happens. We must make it happen.
With a strong organization, I think we can define the process by which software is developed. I'm not sure how (my job here is not to direct but rather to propose) but once organized the issues can be addressed.
Your points are a sad commentary on today's state of programming. They're more reason to organize.
Organizing programmers is NOT going to fix faulty management.
".45 ACP - because shooting twice is just silly" - JSOP, 2010 ----- You can never have too much ammo - unless you're swimming, or on fire. - JSOP, 2010 ----- When you pry the gun from my cold dead hands, be careful - the barrel will be very hot. - JSOP, 2013
I agree. There is a vast difference between "coders", "programmers" and "analyst programmers".
Coders write code to fulfill the complete specification that are given. Sometimes they given the basic code to enter.
Programmers have the ability to flesh out less well defined specification by getting answers to the undefined parts of the specification.
Analyst programmers read and question the specification they have been to ensure that the specification meet, and will resolve, the problem for which the specification was written.
In addition, consideration has be given to the working environment and management of the project. I have worked in organisations in which management not only dictated the specifications for the features or issues, they also dictated the time estimates to complete the feature or resolve the issue. This environment makes it very difficult to raise questions or even make changes to obvious issues.
Why not push back a little and outlaw bad languages that allow software to be easily, yet poorly constructed?
Go after the root issue -- the devs who create bad languages and require them to provide languages in which the dev cannot create bad code.
That's a smaller set to deal with and more likely to happen.
I mentioned Microsoft. The problem that I have with MS is the continuous update of the C# language. When I was a member of the ANS X3J9 technical committee (Pascal) we were limited to a language update every five years.
Most developers are not in a position to dictate language standards. Nor are they usually listened to by large companies.
The problem is really systemic to the programming community - except we don't have a programming community!
During my 50+ year career, I have been employed by 16 companies, each for varying periods of time. At the end of it all, guess how much of a retirement fund that I have - $0. Guess how much insurance I have - $0. Basically, I have no benefits that accrued over the 50+ years. Nothing was done illegally. In large part this situation was caused as a result of my decisions. But, when you're 34, you seldom have the wisdom that you have when you are 60. The other side of the problem was that in 2 cases, my salary was significantly higher with recent to that of recent graduates. I believe that a professional organization would have protected me against myself.
If you made software-engineer wages and didn't put anything away for retirement, that is so totally your fault. A union with a mandatory-participation retirement plan to "protect you from yourself" is the kind of union that union-haters particularly dislike. It's an organization with enough money to make it ripe for abuse and racketeering. This is the wrong model IMHO.
When I started programming for a major software services company in 1973, I was paid $12K per year. I received 10% pay raises every 6 months. Because I was cheap and good, my job was secure. In 1998, I was earning $103K per year. But when I left my then-current employer I also left all of my benefits: six weeks vacation, a retirement account, health benefits for my partner and myself, and most importantly a job. The reason for my departure was the need to reallocate discretionary funds to Bosnia training (I was a contractor for the US Army at the National Training Center). When I landed in a new job, I was paid $25K per year (my choice to get a job). By the time I finally left commercial programming, I was earning about $50K per year.
Because of my life style, I didn't need savings: no kids, no college, no weddings, etc. I thought my whole salary was discretionary (with the exception of mortgages, automobile loan, etc.). I am not complaining about my foolishness. I have Social Security, Veterans benefits, an annuity, and a trust fund (the latter two established by my family who recognized my financial planning shortcomings). In a quick search, I turned up an Experian survey that suggests that I was not alone in the manner in which I spent money.
The take-away: a professional organization for programmers may well have solved my financial planning problem. Not necessarily, but possibly.
Only a fool counts on others to protect them against their own foolishness. If a professional society solved your problem, it would be by accident, not by design. It's not a good reason to found a professional society.
I disagree that there is any "change" in the industry. Ive lived through wide variety of hardware platforms ranging from mobile devices to mainframe computers to PCs to specialized military hardware and microprocessors and a large number of development platforms. Except for read-in time, I find programming to be the same.
By the way, X3's insistence on a five-cycle was to allow programmers to become knowledgeable of the current standard implementation. FYI, during my programming career COBOL was the most stable.
The original point I responded to was about only updating programming languages every 5 years. Technology moved much slower back then and so it worked. It moves way too fast today to stay on a 5 year update schedule. Things have changed a ton!
Social Media - A platform that makes it easier for the crazies to find each other.
Everyone is born right handed. Only the strongest overcome it.
Fight for left-handed rights and hand equality.
The world in which programming occurs may change rapidly, but the art/science of programming does not. Consider COBOL. It hasn't changed in years. Yet most mainframe financial software (that drives most of the world's economy) is written in COBOL.
If one accepts Dijkstra's writings, one must come to the conclusion that programming languages are tools, just like screw-drivers and pliers. Their worth is not how often they change but rather how well they were initially conceived. Of all the languages that I've used, Pascal was the cleanest. X3J9 did nothing but to formalize the User Manual and Report. Wirth made one error - you could not link modules together (the reason that Pascal could not compete with C).
But look at C#. Releases almost yearly. How can a serious programmer keep up? I program using tried and true methods, not the latest fad. So as C# has "advanced" I have remained static knowing I can program everything I need with C# V3 and the Win 32 API.
The problem is really systemic to the programming community
We are the problem _and_ the solution.
except we don't have a programming community!
Very true. it's the wild, wild west out there a lot.
I mean just read a couple of StackOverflow answers and you'll know that no one agrees on anything.
Well, except that everyone agrees that every dev is disagreeable.
Isn't CodeProject a great example of a community ? Do you think "community" is dependent on lack of conflict, lack of strong opinions, lack of diversity ?
Yes, I definitely think of CP as a community.
I was just saying there doesn't seem to be specifically focused community related to directing future dev practices. It would be quite difficult to get such a body of people together.
I think the original Agile people did that (when they got together and came up with the Agile Manifesto[^]) --- before Agile even had a name.
But, yes, CP is actually one of, if not the absolute best, communities for devs. There are few (maybe no other) sites where devs of all types come together the way they do here, even amidst all the wild opinions and personalities.
@Raddevus Hi, If there's one thing I am sure of, it's that I'd be proud if you thought I was in your community
I consider some of the Quora groups, like [^], and [^], and various SIG groups at the ACM [^], to be virtual communities where you often find people sharing/discussing topics at higher levels of abstraction than specific OS's, languages, hardware.
«Where is the Life we have lost in living? Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?» T. S. Elliot
modified 25-Jun-19 21:09pm.
Last Visit: 2-Dec-20 19:27 Last Update: 2-Dec-20 19:27