[TUHS] Generational development [was Re: Re: Early GUI on Linux]

Dan Cross crossd at gmail.com
Tue Feb 28 07:04:59 AEST 2023

[Redirecting to COFF; TUHS to Bcc:]

On Mon, Feb 27, 2023 at 3:46 PM segaloco via TUHS <tuhs at tuhs.org> wrote:
> I see the wisdom in your last line there, I've typed and deleted a response to this email 4 times, each one more convoluted than the last.
> The short of my stance though is, as a younger programmer (29), I am certainly not a fan of these trends that are all too common in my generation.  That said, I've set foot in one single softare-related class in my life (highschool Java class) and so I don't really know what is being taught to folks going the traditional routes.  All I know from my one abortive semester of college is that I didn't see a whole lot of reliance on individual exploration of concepts in classes, just everyone working to a one-size-fits-all understanding of how to be a good employee in a given subject area.  Of course, this is also influenced by my philosophy and biases and such, and only represents 4-5 months of observation, but if my minimal experience with college is to be believed, I have little faith that educational programs are producing much more than meat filters between StackOverflow and <insert code editor here>.  No offense to said meat filters, people gotta work, but there is something lost when the constant march of production torpedoes individual creativity.  Then again, do big firms want sophisticated engineers or are we too far gone into assembly line programming with no personal connection to any of the products?  I'm glad I'm as personally involved in the stuff I work with, I could see myself slipping into the same patterns of apathy if I was a nameless face in a sea of coders on some project I don't even know the legal name of any given day.

This is an extraordinarily complicated subject, and it's really full
of nuance. In general, I think your categorization is unfair.

It sounds like you had a bad experience in your first semester of
college. I can sympathize; I did too.

But a thing to bear in mind is that in the first year, universities
are taking kids (and yes, they are kids...sorry young folks, I don't
mean that as a pejorative, but consider the context! For most young
people this is their first experience living on their own, their first
_real_ taste of freedom, and the first where they're about to be
subject to rigorous academic expectations without a lot of systemic
support) with wildly uneven academic and social backgrounds and
preparing them for advanced study in a particular field...one that
most haven't even identified for themselves yet. For the precocious
student, this will feel stifling; for many others it will be a
struggle. What, perhaps, you see as lack of intellectual curiosity may
have in fact been the outward manifestations of that struggle.

That said...Things are, legitimately, very different today than they
were when Unix was young. The level of complexity has skyrocketed in
every dimension, and things have gotten to the point where hack upon
hack has congealed into a system that's nearly bursting at the seams.
It's honestly amazing that anything works at all.

That said, good things have been invented since 1985, and the way many
of us "grew up" thinking about problems doesn't always apply anymore.
The world changes; c'est la vie.

        - Dan C.

> ------- Original Message -------
> On Monday, February 27th, 2023 at 12:22 PM, arnold at skeeve.com <arnold at skeeve.com> wrote:
> > Chet Ramey chet.ramey at case.edu wrote:
> >
> > > On 2/27/23 3:04 PM, arnold at skeeve.com wrote:
> > >
> > > > IMHO the dependence upon IDEs is crippling; they cut & paste to the
> > > > almost total exclusion of the keyboard, including when shell completion
> > > > would be faster.
> > >
> > > Don't forget cargo-culting by pasting shell commands they got from the web
> > > and barely understand, if at all.
> >
> >
> > Yeah, really.
> >
> > I do what I can, but it's a very steep uphill battle, as most
> > don't even understand that they're missing something, or that
> > they could learn it if they wanted to.
> >
> > I think I'll stop ranting before I really get going. :-)
> >
> > Arnold

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