Are We Making Programming More Complicated

When I started, oh gosh here we go again.  Pipe down!  When I started developing code we had the awful programming language of Assembler.  I almost failed this class in College but managed to escape with a barely passing grade.  Let’s be clear, it was hard.  You had to manage everything.  One could say is was too complicated for the average programmer.  Of course, there were plenty of what was called back then, 3rd generation languages like COBOL, Fortran or RPG.  Later, we started to see 4th generation tools that allowed non-programmers to develop code that while not perfect, did the job.

Over the past decade, I have been using a product that developed websites in SharePoint called SharePoint Designer.  The product allowed you to do some very simple or very complex development tasks.  Depending on your needs, you could bring in an expert or have a generalist come in and get the job done.  However, the newest release of SharePoint Designer took away the visual interface.  In other words, they removed the GUI interface or WYSIWYG as it is commonly referred to as.  Why?  I get it that most of your development tools are moving this direction including WebMatrix which is the replacement for Frontpage (Also removing the WYSIWYG).  I took a look at some of the SharePoint development boards and what I saw was rather interesting.  The praise for removing the functionality was more along the lines of getting rid of amateur programmers.  Comments like, “Now, we can write code the correct way” or “it means more work for me”.  The development community seems to be accepting the change not for increased productivity but for ensuring employment.  Is that what we have become?  Maybe we should build a wall around the development community.

Now, one can say oh that’s just one example and that’s Microsoft so it’s an anomaly.  True, but I was taking some of our Role of the Future training that focused on Hive, Pig, MapReduce, and Yarn.  These are Big Data development tools and frameworks.  What struck me was the usage of notepad editors and Linux OS command line interfaces.  Things we used back in the 1980’s.  After 30 years, we still use complex methods to develop code?  Since it’s an election year, my mind has to race over to conspiracy theories.  Could it be we are making programming more complicated in order to keep it for ourselves?  Maybe I should have stuck with Assembler.  Surely, I would have learned it by now no matter how complex it was.

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