Gary Allison's Leadership Blog

Effective Software Projects and Tech News01 Feb 2009 11:08 am

Do you know what this is?

load AX, BX

Then chances are you know how computers really work, and chances are you are, what’s the word, old?  I’m currently working on a presentation for an upcoming conference that describes how Software as a Service, cloud computing, and web services are changing the landscape for education.  The thought occurred to me recently when working on the outline of the presentation that many of today’s computer science students have no idea how computers really work.  Systems level knowledge of programming and operating systems seems to be arcane. Maybe that’s good in a way.

No you can build full-on applications in scripting languages, deploy them in the cloud and not worry about load balancing, firewalls, and nusiances like memory management.  Maybe in 10 years, developers of the future will laugh at us when they recount, ” yea, you used to have to write applications in this complex language called Java, now you just drink it, ha, ha, ha”.  I used to laugh at the PL-1 and FORTRAN programmers.

Maybe this is good.  Now, developers can focus on solving business problems and spend less time on the nuainces of programming.  Or, maybe they actually have less control and are forced into the confines of what is offered in the toolbox of Google, Amazon, Salesforce and the like.  And, since soon they will lack any real systems development skills, maybe they give up all chance of getting outside of those boxes?

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