Wednesday, July 14, 2010

On the decline of programming as a serious professional field

From Is LISP dying?
something important happens when a previously privileged position in society suddenly sees incredibly demand that needs to be filled, using enormous quantities of manpower. that happened to programming computers about a decade ago, or maybe two. first, the people will no longer be super dedicated people, and they won’t be as skilled or even as smart — what was once dedication is replaced by greed and sometimes sheer need as the motivation to enter the field. second, an unskilled labor force will want job security more than intellectual challenges (to some the very antithesis of job security). third, managing an unskilled labor force means easy access to people who are skilled in whatever is needed right now, not an investment in people — which leads to the conclusion that a programmer is only as valuable as his ability to get another job fast. fourth, when mass markets develop, pluralism suffers the most — there is no longer a concept of healthy participants: people become concerned with the individual “winner”, and instead of people being good at whatever they are doing and proud of that, they will want to flock around the winner to share some of the glory.
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