My mother used to code a good 30 years ago (embedded development for plane engines), but nowadays always fear doing something wrong on her computer/smartphone.

It's a bit depressing to see how someone who used to be a developer is now so fearful of computers.

On the plus side, she is very respective of my time, and will wait 2/3 weeks for me to come home to fix a simple thing, and generally don't bother me with things she can do herself, once I explain to her how to do it.

Last time was cleaning laptop fans. Seeing how you need to disassemble half of it to clean that, I can understand anyone not wanting to do it.

  • 26
    Tell your mother she's cool!
  • 5
    Respect +
  • 12
    Because 30 years ago everything was simple, and everyone who was a developer understood everything about the machine they were using. They did more with less... now everything is so complex... we do less with more, nothing is optimized ... everything “just works” nothing is “engineered” anymore everything is about quickly making releases to please the non technical investors or managers .... we definitely screwed up sometime between 1990 and 2005... but I don’t know exactly what point was the pivotal point of failure ... maybe it was the idea to make very abstracted languages so it’s easier to get more people “programming” with less initial effort of learning and understanding... I think that was the point.. when they turned it from something engineered to something as easy as legos and presented as such
  • 3
    @QuanticoCEO I get what you are saying and I do mostly agree, however I feel this is bit of a generalization.

    Most of what is built wouldn’t be possible without abstracted (higher level) languages. They come with a price of course but for building huge systems that can scale and be maintained I would choose something higher than say C. Standing on the shoulders of giants is a natural direction mankind goes and it can be a beautiful thing if done correctly.

    I don’t believe modern languages were created to entice anyone to program, but rather to make development faster and more maintainable. I could only image the amount of time it’ll take to build a backend system like Facebook entirely with C/C++. Yikes. Hopefully my point is clear, yeah abstraction come at a cost and it may attract “less serious” developers, but with a curious and disciplined developer it can be a great thing.
  • 4
    Having worked for stuff on planes, if it's a system that could potentially doom hundreds of people, it is tested to death and coded very carefully. When your mum used to code, stuff was probably very precise and done slowly because mistakes and reruns etc would take forever to turn around, that might be why she is so hesitant now with modern tech. Whereas we treat a lot of it now as throw away, or switch off then switch on again then start over.
    P.S. Your mum's awesome, I've seen some of the old aircraft coding, design, tests. Some of it was works of geniuses to get that stuff working.
  • 0
    @dalastTomCruise I have to disagree, Linux all C, every device that has an embedded controller on it is running ASM, C or C++ ... the entire automotive industry is running and still running C ... even the autonomous vehicles...
  • 1
    @QuanticoCEO yep, C was made solely for developing Linux, but has been stretched as a general programming language... embedded systems never need to scale with requirements and user growth.... so don’t see your point there. My point is there’s a lot gained with higher level languages that you’re missing. Are they slower? Yes. But boy do they make maintaining huge monolithic (or distributed) systems easier. I would love to see a platform as huge as Facebook use only C. Let’s C (pun intended) how long a requirement change will take.
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