vrijdag, augustus 25, 2006

Mashup Programmer loves Bastard Pop

My 13-year old son recently told me that he wants to be a computer programmer. A devastating announcement that threw me back into deep, introspective thoughts. You start to imagine all sorts of things. Where did it go wrong? Did he have a nasty accident in kindergarten and the teacher never dared to tell me? Does he eat enough fiber? Shouldn’t I have talked more with him about all the great things you can do in life?

Let’s be honest. I was utterly depressed.

Finally I came to reason, about three or four weeks later. I started to discuss with him. My son had not yet an idea of what programming language he wanted to learn. Some fuzzy MSN buddy had suggested him to dive into C++. It’s remarkable how calm you can stay under deep pressure. I felt this almost Buddhist joy of forgiveness when I told him – without shouting – which crimes have been committed in the past twenty years in the name of C++. That many of his crashing applications have been written by C++ programmers that love to do silly, funny things with computer memory. That the so called buffer overflow has inspired a whole generation of hackers. That C++ teaching books are no longer allowed in hand luggage at Heathrow. That the programming language is ridiculously complex, like its modern brothers Java and C#, and that you have to be an expert in math to understand it.

Especially this last argument had effect. Math! That's for losers and nerds.

Dit is de Engelse bewerking van de binnenkort in Software Release Magazine verschijnende column. Nu al in zijn geheel op Capgemini's CTO blog.

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