Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Bret Victor - Inventing on Principle

Yesterday I posted a little bit about what our ideas of a software developer are. Here is a video that is along those same lines. I warn you, the video is a little long, the concept and analogies are a bit odd but it's still worth watching:


Monday, February 27, 2012

What Makes a Good Software Developer

I've been thinking more about the video I posted the other day. It's a good video about what it's like to be a software developer; The current standard for what makes a good software developer is a person that is good at playing computer in their head. Software engineers have to be able to visualize code and data structures in their head, twiddle bits in their head while taking into account the constraints of the particular data type. Interviews are geared toward this mindset. Developer tools support this. We have all become complacent.

There are those who are very good at these things I mentioned above and there is nothing wrong with that. I just have a lot more important things to think about than play computer or to do hex math in my head. That's why we have computers. I like to think that there is room for different kinds of software developers. And I think the tools are still not quite there. Development environments such as Delphi, C++Builder, Visual C# and even Visual Basic are the best development environments that I've used. I haven't used every environment out there but I've looked at a lot of them. There is a reason developers using these environments consistently write applications faster than with any other programming language and environment. The paradigm and environment support quick prototyping without having to play computer in your head. So the bar to become a developer is shifted a bit to support less traditional software developers and different kinds of thinkers. The approach and ideas these people can bring to the software world will only make it better, but for that what we all need to expand our view of what makes a good software developer by changing the interview process and making better developer tools.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

So You Want to be a Developer

This is a great video on what it's like to be a software developer.