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So little actual software development in software engineering roles

On 01/12/2011 10:38 AM, Kent Borg wrote:
> Mark Woodward wrote:
>> I'm so tired, it seems like "software development" is more=20
>> "software integration" these days. Maybe I'm old and washed up.=20
> I am so old I remember a Byte magazine issue all about reusable softwar=
> components and how they might ever happen.  The gist was that the=20
> software types were feeling left out, that hardware folks got to plug=20
> together components, but software was always written from scratch.  And=
> what could be done about it.  A entire fat issue on the question.  No=20
> clear answers.  (It would be interesting to look at that issue again an=
> compare that perspective with what has happened since.)
> Times have, indeed, changed.  There is a lot of powerful software out=20
> there that is both specialized and not-too-specific (apache being the=20
> canonical example).  There are various programming languages that are=20
> better suited to some tasks than others, there are enormous libraries o=
> useful code written for these languages.  There are big ways to plug bi=
> things together (XML and HTML and...).  There are successful object=20
> frameworks, but oddly, they seem less important that I think was guesse=
> from the '80s.  Much of this stuff is free.
> So something that old timers once wished for has come true.  We have=20
> become integrators, but we also get to work on higher level problems=20
> now.  (Jeepers, what a little Python can do; put it behind apache and i=
> can even be big-time useful.)
> My advice: Keep moving forward.  Learn new things, and learn new ways. =
> Use your long experience to bring valuable perspective, but be up to=20
> doing battle with the young-whipper-snappers on their terms, too.  ("Ol=
> age and treachery always overcome youth and skill", I think the old=20
> Waylon and Willie song goes.)
> We had an co-op/intern for a few months this summer and fall, and I was=
> astounded by what he didn't know (aren't *I* smart) and I was astounded=
> by what he learned (aren't I in trouble).
> -kb, the Kent who also had a long unemployment stint recently.
> _
One issue in our industry is that technology changes fast. We need to be
able to use out skills in new areas. As you implied, there is a lot of
applications that are written to use a web interface so that the
programmers really don't have to write X or Windows apps per se. Android
uses Java, and most Android apps are written in such a manner that the
screen geometry can be coded in relative terms so the same app with work
fine on a Samsung Galaxy Tab or a Motorola Backflip. Virtually all the
widgets are available to you. Of course there is not a lot of money you
are going to make with an Android or iPhone app.

Jerry Feldman <gaf-mNDKBlG2WHs at>
Boston Linux and Unix
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