|MadSci Network: Computer Science|
I think your fears are completely justified, but for the wrong reasons. While I donít regret learning and using the skills I used ten to fifteen years ago to program, they are not the skills I use today. In the mid 80ís most of my programming was in assembly language or Pascal. Frankly, I miss Pascal. There are a lot of things about that language that are sorely missing in C++, but Pascal is not an adequate language for the kinds of programming we do today. Ten to fifteen years from now, the tools and languages we are using now will, I hope, be a fading memory invoking a little nostalgia. I also expect weíll issue a collective sigh of relief that we still donít have to do some of the truly hideous things todayís tools require. In short, I sincerely hope that your particular skills in C++ will be virtually worthless by then for real-world programming. Does that mean you should stop programming? Heck no. Learn C++ to the best of your ability. Write code until your fingers get callused. But stay on the lookout for emerging technologies, like Java, that will certainly earn a place in the skill set of a good programmer, and for the technologies we canít name yet that will eventually replace C++. While youíre doing that, keep in mind that fifteen years ago C++ was a tiny blip on the screen for most programmers. It was not very popular yet, and there was no clear indication it would win out over many of the other promising technologies of the day. As for your fear that a kid will someday write the same programs you struggle with today, again, I think youíre right. I hope you are. Todayís kids have tools that allow them to write programs that required skilled and gifted programmers just a few years ago. The doesnít mean there is less need for skilled and gifted programmers today, just that they are writing even more complex programs!
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