A discussion thread on the ever-vigorous Slashdot is taking all sides concerning a whimsical Computerworld list of developer skills whose future value is certainly grist for debate. IMS or SNA, anyone?

Worth pulling out of that fray, though, is this alternative list from poster Stochastism of skills that are less alive than they should be:

  1. Communicating with people instead of machines
  2. Commenting and documentation (actually, that’s a [skill] computer people never had)
  3. Coders that know how computers work
  4. Coding to a limited memory budget
  5. Using debuggers effectively
  6. Coding fundamental data structures (like lists)
  7. Figuring out computational complexity (why is it taking so long!)
  8. Assembly level coding of critical routines
  9. Coding/testing/debugging across a slow serial link
  10. Reading other people’s code

The more we talk about technical progress giving us hardware price/performance margin to spare, and about higher-level tools easing communication between the owners and the implementers of business processes, the more we find that new device domains and connectivity challenges keep these core skills relevant. Caveat coder.

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