Debunking the conventional wisdom

What do you think, are younger people better programmers? Are they more productive, more clever, work longer hours? Or do older people have some advantages? Here’s a bit of research that says they do!

NC State News :: NC State News and Information » Older Is Wiser: Study Shows Software Developers’ Skills Improve Over Time:

There is a perception in some tech circles that older programmers aren’t able to keep pace with rapidly changing technology, and that they are discriminated against in the software field. But a new study from North Carolina State University indicates that the knowledge and skills of programmers actually improve over time – and that older programmers know as much (or more) than their younger peers when it comes to recent software platforms.


David Weinberger has flat feet: Programming

Check this post The flatfooted learning society from Joho the Blog:

But, I am a flatfooted “programmer” and always will be. I have limitations that would have kept me from ever becoming a professional. I have an odd inability to handle indirect relationships, e.g., pointers; I did fine with C, but bombed at C++. I have problems with recursion, so although I once did a fair bit of hobbyist Lisp “programming” (I once wrote a beginner’s guide to Lisp as a document extension language), I can’t handle the self-reflexive capabilities that turn Lisp into a super-tool for Paul Graham. I’m terrible at math. I simply could not have become a pro. (from: The flatfooted learning society)

David Weiner, author, speaker, thinker, turns out to be a programmer too! Read his musings of what it’s like being a flatfooted programmer.

But the reason I really cite this is because it reminds me of Google’s new tool to easily create applications for Android. It’s called AppInventor. I’ve studied it a little. It looks interesting and cool but it raises in me an old bias against visual programming environments.

Take a look at this out of context screen shot. I wonder whether you can really program visually. I think it was Dave Winer who said years ago that programming is more like writing and less like drawing. I think I agree.

I wonder what the flat footed developer corps thinks. Does Visual Programming help?