plus ça change

the new york times has an article about how the fast pace of innovation is creating mini-generations.

while the story focuses on the users of all these technologies, the part of it that is of more immediate interest to me is the makers, since i’m one of them. the craft of making computers do what you want is progressing at least as fast as their uses.

new languages, new techniques, new environments. there are people who stand aside and laugh at the reinvention they see, but i would not count myself among them. there are people in the thick of it that think the current new thing is the one that will change everything. i am not one of them, either. there are people who get caught up in an eddy, where what was once the new thing has become their only thing. they are the next generation’s cobol programmer.

i think i am becoming one of them. i don’t think i mind. i don’t code in my free time any longer. i am moving on in other ways. my value as a programmer is not in knowing the newest things.

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