Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Good vs Vanilla Programmer

Recently, I came across a post, that detailed about how a good progammers acquire skills. How if one goes thru the rigors of coding and understanding the simple routines ( like string reversal) can teach you much, because you build such routines using the basic functions provided by the language.

I agree for becoming a good programmer, one should have undergone the rigors you have mentioned. This gives you the understanding of how, why and what is happening.

But, I believe the market has moved to a point where anybody who can drag and drop controls over a form is calling himself/herself a programmer. Is the use of IDE's made life easier ? Yes, to a point they have taken out of the pain out of the job. When you meet these people and they are not able to comprehend or appreciate the code or the design, people tend to get upset.

The analogy to the same is the car making. Robots dish out cars in the assembly line. All looking same and doing the same function. But that does not mean, the market for custom cars or niche cars is over. The car makers making custom cars/niche cars command a premium for thier work. So, over the time, the tools(software) will become more intelligent to the point that they can generate the code themselves. All kind of applications that offer no more intelligence then what can be programmer will write2, will be rolled out by the tools. The market for the drag and drop programmers will vanish. But the market for custom, hand written software will still exist. The real programmers will command a premium and they will be able to carve out a niche for themselves.

How long the intelligent tools will take to appear? My guess, once the cost of the programmers goes beyond a certain level, the cost of creating such tools will become justified. Just like the oil vs the bio fuels.