[FoRK] Speaking of Qt

Joseph S. Barrera III joe at barrera.org
Thu Apr 11 17:56:06 PDT 2013


Back in the OLD days, there were only one or two commonly used 
languages. E.g. C and Pascal and maybe Modula. (Not counting languages 
for maintaining old systems.)

There were no frameworks or libraries except the "standard libraries" 
that came with the language.

Programming skill was about, well, programming. What you wanted to do 
was something you needed to write code for. So you wrote the code.

Nowadays, there are like 20 commonly used languages out there and each 
of them has an enormous collection of libraries. At SLAC we use probably 
20 packages in our standard build of python.

So being a software engineer these days is much less about programming 
and much more about being a good librarian, knowing where to find the 
answer that already exists.

In particular: if you are writing your own sort routine, you are surely 
doing it wrong. (And yet we require programmers to know, in school and 
in interviews, several different types of sorting, from bubble to heap 
to quick to whatever.)

Not sure where I'm going with this, except that I'm helping my step-son 
prepare for his AP Computer Science test, and what he's being told to 
study is (1) Java and (2) some clap-trap version of somebody's version 
of what Software Engineering is all about. Really, it shouldn't be 
called AP Computer Science -- it should be called AP Java. I'll have to 
double-check but I'm pretty sure there's not even any mention of big-O 
notation.

- Joe



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