Tuesday, November 23, 2004

The death of programming

Why don't people create their own software anymore?

1) They don't have to. They can just buy what they need.

While this is true, there are so many times when packaged software doesn't do exactly what is needed. There are also so many kinds of useful software that could be written that will not make it onto store shelves.

2) They don't know that they can create their own software.

In fact they may even wonder why they should bother. They don't know what they're missing if you ask me. Programming is a much better way to spend brain cells than watching TV or surfing the web.

3) It is really hard to create software with the popular languages (Java, Perl, C++).

This is not possible to overemphasize! Why these intractable wrecks have become popular is beyond me. Don't get me wrong. These languages have their place (except for Perl, I mean), but they aren't suitable for the average guy or gal. These are programming languages for lawyers.

4) The computer doesn't come with an easy to use programming language anymore.

This is SOOOO important. It used to be that when you turned the average computer on, the first thing it did was start BASIC. You could start programming immediately, and it was very easy to pick up. Nothing bad happened if you made a mistake, and it was fun!

5) People think that programming isn't an important part of computer literacy.

Everyone will admit that it is good to understand cars if you are going to drive one. It helps you to drive more safely, and if you break down somewhere you stand a chance of helping yourself out of a tough spot. It is no different with computers. If you learn to program computers it helps you to take advantage of them, and not the other way around.


Welopez said...

Amen to that! I still consider myself a novice, but when I got my first TRS-80, there was very little software which could be purchased. If you did find something, it might be similar to what you wanted, but never exactly what you wanted.

Thank goodness programming in basic was easy to learn! I was away from the computer and programming for about 10 years when I retired to Mexico, but I'm back now (Hey! His Internet thingy is great! What will they think of next?) and pleased as punch to have discovered Liberty Basic! Thanks for a great tool for us old pharts to play with!

rhoadesb said...

The first computer I played with to see how the contraptions worked was the Vic-20. As you say, other than a few plug in modules, all was basically, :) basic.

As a society, we are lazy. So am I for that matter, but I find basic programming interesting, fun, relaxing, and valuable.

Arlin said...

Programming died when computers became fancy television sets, electronic morphine. As mentioned elsewhere here, it used to be relatively easy to grasp the basics and produce something that worked. There does not seem to be a development path that starts at home.

I happened on to LB by chance and thought it sounded interesting. I didn't even know that any form of Basic was still used for programming of any sort. I associated Basic with command line prompts and the perpetual black screen of the blinking cursor, the merciless interogator.