Much admired software guru "Uncle" Bob Martin wants to take away all our fun and make us into responsible "disciplined" programmers.
I watched his talk The Future of Programming recently. His beef is that, if we carry on as we are, the authorities will regulate us. So we need to regulate ourselves, make software programming a profession, create and enforce standards, etc etc.
Coming from the 70s dark ages where perhaps most projects were for military, space exploration, or some big industry project you can speculate why he may think this way.
In essense coding requires mathematical nous, and a high level of discipline that older programmers had because they became programmers later in life. Now there are lots of youngsters who don't have the discipline yet and what we do can kill people.
Lol what low percentage of us actually work on software that could end up killing someone. FFS.
Of course there are airplane systems, factory controls, social media tools that encourage suicides and terrorism, etc etc.
However, most of us work in website development helping businesses look good and be more efficient. Even a fintech solution shuffling large amounts of money around needs to be kept in perspective. There are critical parts to the code where errors could make people bankcrupt and there are soft parts that are just about winning and keeping customers with a great UI.
On the other hand a modern take on coding is that it is like writing and should be taught as such in primary school. Some people literally think anyone can do it and everyone should be able to. The bootcamp I went through - New Zealand's Dev Academy - pretty much had this attitude. In retrospect I think they overstate it.
So we have two extremes and the problem is not that we all need to be regulated. Would you force a poet to use a particular style? Does every novel have to have 3 dramatic stages? No. Should an aircraft manual be structured, detailed and constantly updated? Yes.
The issue is that some software development needs more rigor and oversight than others. Where there is development of critical systems for likes of spacecraft and airlines then bring on the regulation. Even if it means people there have to program in last decades' languages when a modern language would be better. There are plenty of people who like the old languages and have the experience to make that code bulletproof.
Segregate that lot and leave the rest of us in peace. We are having fun creatively developing frameworks, languages and solutions at dramatic pace.
There's this idea that young developers are reinventing the wheel all the time because they dont understand enough yet. Is this a case of aging developers who may want to maintain their position in a fantasy heirachy. News flash - very few people care, they are having a ball.
Young people are experimenting, having fun, finding multitudes of ways to express themselves and solve problems with code. The best learning happens through play!
Ok. Let's face it, the amount of effort put into JS in recent years was stupid and unproductive. We ended up with the dueling nightmares of React and Angular. Node was like the warm up performance. We also got a crazy amount of other backend language options. It's all driven a hugely inefficent industy in learning and recruitment.
But for all that, this creative surge got people excited, interested and in my view it's all very healthy. The ease with which people could and can pump out libraries, frameworks and languages has democratised language development.
The lead has been well and truely wrested from the cohort who kicked off this industry so many years ago. Yes they should be respected for it, despite writing huge boring books about subjects such has how to keep your code clean and overcome the defiencies of OO. :)
Out of an apparently ridiculous situation will come better things and like many I'm putting a lot of faith in functional programming. Go on, check out Elm and Elixir if you haven't already. There is huge opportunty for evolution and revolution. Enough to keep young programmers excited for decades to come, and with a lot of the discipline built in!
Otherwise, the populace don't need nostalga buffs telling us what to do, warning that the sky is falling, and taking away our fun.