2004-02-12

Chasing the Technology

A big problem I have with people who consider themselves programmers is that they spend most of their time chasing the technology.  They spend more time whack-a-mole code hacking and no time trying to learn the basics, like source control, methodologies or algorithms.

I personally lack in these areas because I do not come from a Computer Science background, but I strive to overcome this.  My favorite computer books deal with ways of thinking about and doing programming, not just code cookbooks.  I observe my programming habits and change them to be better.  I make the effort that I don't see these others making.

I see the chase in people I work with and friends of mine.  I see it in people that think they are doing a great job just because the project they are working on compiles, runs and the client likes the pretty interface.  Unfortunately they have taken so many short cuts in building their monolithic bag-o-crap that the slightest requirements change pops the poop bag leaving a big nasty mess to clean up.

Or they make a change in the code then forget why they changed it and what they changed now the program breaks.  If only they had used soruce control they could roll back to a working copy.

I love the blank stares I get from these chasers when I say that, instead of learning xyz programming language, they should read a programming book, like The Pragmatic Programmer or The Mythical Man Month.  They look at these books and ask "But where is the CODE?"

This is when I realize that I have real job security.