Are Programmers Decadent?
I've spent most of my waking hours this past week pondering a question I consider to be truly important to computing's future: Are programmers decadent? What I mean is this: Have we forgotten why we program and instead become lost in marketing trends, quickly devised hacks (short-sighted programming), ideology, and sanitized "best practices"?
In the dawn of computing, programmers did not code with any greater purpose than to solve a problem generated in a narrowly defined domain--be it a program to decode military transmissions, a program to calculate a sequence of numbers, etc. In our decadent age, programs try to "do it all": Microsoft Windows and many GNU/Linux distributions, driven by an ideological envy for Windows, are bloated with more features than anyone could be expected to know or use.
Our decadent age in computing must, therefore, be fueled by a decadence in ourselves. We flatter ourselves, calling our code art and poetry. We are lazy and write inelegant code because of this. We stuff our faces with caffeine-saturated drinks and high-calorie snacks as our compilers munch on line after line of our decadence. We rely more and more on automatic code completion, ultra-abstract APIs, and optimizing compilers to simplify our duties.
Have I overthought this? Or...am I onto something?