My grandmother, who could do very many things, couldn’t work the video remote. When I first realized that I asked myself if, when I get to that age, I would be able to program in that new language of the future? Or will I think of it as a newfangled video player that I can’t control? At the time I was programming Pascal and Modula 2, and considering using the cutting edge dBase III for database driven applications.
What reminded me of this was coming across Paul Graham’s Blub Paradox. To quote:
“After a certain age, programmers rarely switch languages voluntarily. Whatever language people happen to be used to, they tend to consider just good enough”
The future is looking bleak. Unless of course, we all take action. The good folk over at The Pragmatic Programmers teach: “Learn at least one new language every year”
Good advice. So don’t grow old. Stay young by learning Apex and the Force.com platform by downloading the developer library! (Free, registration required, though that gets you the developer edition account, which you’ll need ‘cos the language is in the cloud).
Another quote from that piece by Paul Graham is:
“Programs that write programs? When would you ever want to do that? Not very often, if you think in Cobol. All the time, if you think in Lisp.”
He is arguing here for how a different language teaches you to think differently, making you a better programmer. I wonder what the equivalent quote will be for DaaS/PaaS/multi-tenancy and so on. Suggestions?