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Programmers are becoming less competent and lazier in some ways, but more competent in others, though the C++ / VB divide isn't the reason or a symptom in my mind.

GenerallyUsing a GUI builder isn't lazy, it's just different, it's about tools for the job in hand. If an assembler programmer called a C++ programmer lazy you'd call bullshit on that (rightly) and the same is true of C++ and VB. VB allows you to do some stuff quickly at the expense of some control. The barriers to starting coding in it are certainly lower but that's a very different thing to laziness - you just learn different things and apply them in different ways. VB programmers are no more lazy than C++ programmers are unproductive, they just work and produce in different ways.

On the wider point, generally education of programmers is better now than it's ever been. The idea of not using source control for instance is pretty abhorrent to pretty much everyone now where 10 or 20 years ago that wouldn't have been so true. Similarly they're more likely to understand and want to use automated unit tests, continuous integration and so on, so in that sense they're more competent than their they were.

But what I think has changed is that people no longer know how to problem solve the way they used to and that's true of pretty much any mainstream language. The instant response to any issue now is Google and while that's great and works 95% of the time, I see too many programmers who have no idea what to do when it doesn't.

It's not that they don't understand the fundamentals (they don't but that's not actually that big a deal), it's that they can't break down the problems in such a way that they can even work out what fundamentals they need to be getting to grips with.

Pre-Google you had no choice. Your resources were your team, a few dozen physical books you might have access to and your brain. That set up means that if you find a problem the chances are you're solving it yourself from something close to first principals so you either got pretty good at it or pretty unemployed quickly.

And this was was true regardless of what language you used. VB is high level and hides a lot but that means that when it comes to problem solving that actually meant there was more you needed to be working around. If something didn't work you had to get more creative and work harder as you had less control. As a VB programmer (and I speak from experience) you didn't know less than the C++ guys, you just knew different things but you both knew how to solve problems.

But it's probably harsh to see it as a significant criticism of programmers these days, they don't develop the skills because they don't need them, but it is a weakness compared to those who picked up the skills from when they were necessary.

Programmers are becoming less competent and lazier in some ways, but more competent in others, though the C++ / VB divide isn't the reason or a symptom in my mind.

Generally education of programmers is better now than it's ever been. The idea of not using source control for instance is pretty abhorrent to pretty much everyone now where 10 or 20 years ago that wouldn't have been so true. Similarly they're more likely to understand and want to use automated unit tests, continuous integration and so on, so in that sense they're more competent than their they were.

But what I think has changed is that people no longer know how to problem solve the way they used to. The instant response to any issue now is Google and while that's great and works 95% of the time, I see too many programmers who have no idea what to do when it doesn't.

It's not that they don't understand the fundamentals (they don't but that's not actually that big a deal), it's that they can't break down the problems in such a way that they can even work out what fundamentals they need to be getting to grips with.

Pre-Google you had no choice. Your resources were your team, a few dozen physical books you might have access to and your brain. That set up means that if you find a problem the chances are you're solving it yourself from something close to first principals so you either got pretty good at it or pretty unemployed quickly.

And this was was true regardless of what language you used. VB is high level and hides a lot but that means that when it comes to problem solving that actually meant there was more you needed to be working around. If something didn't work you had to get more creative and work harder as you had less control. As a VB programmer (and I speak from experience) you didn't know less than the C++ guys, you just knew different things but you both knew how to solve problems.

But it's probably harsh to see it as a significant criticism of programmers these days, they don't develop the skills because they don't need them, but it is a weakness compared to those who picked up the skills from when they were necessary.

Programmers are becoming less competent and lazier in some ways, but more competent in others, though the C++ / VB divide isn't the reason or a symptom in my mind.

Using a GUI builder isn't lazy, it's just different, it's about tools for the job in hand. If an assembler programmer called a C++ programmer lazy you'd call bullshit on that (rightly) and the same is true of C++ and VB. VB allows you to do some stuff quickly at the expense of some control. The barriers to starting coding in it are certainly lower but that's a very different thing to laziness - you just learn different things and apply them in different ways. VB programmers are no more lazy than C++ programmers are unproductive, they just work and produce in different ways.

On the wider point, generally education of programmers is better now than it's ever been. The idea of not using source control for instance is pretty abhorrent to pretty much everyone now where 10 or 20 years ago that wouldn't have been so true. Similarly they're more likely to understand and want to use automated unit tests, continuous integration and so on, so in that sense they're more competent than their they were.

But what I think has changed is that people no longer know how to problem solve the way they used to and that's true of pretty much any mainstream language. The instant response to any issue now is Google and while that's great and works 95% of the time, I see too many programmers who have no idea what to do when it doesn't.

It's not that they don't understand the fundamentals (they don't but that's not actually that big a deal), it's that they can't break down the problems in such a way that they can even work out what fundamentals they need to be getting to grips with.

Pre-Google you had no choice. Your resources were your team, a few dozen physical books you might have access to and your brain. That set up means that if you find a problem the chances are you're solving it yourself from something close to first principals so you either got pretty good at it or pretty unemployed quickly.

And this was was true regardless of what language you used. VB is high level and hides a lot but that means that when it comes to problem solving that actually meant there was more you needed to be working around. If something didn't work you had to get more creative and work harder as you had less control. As a VB programmer (and I speak from experience) you didn't know less than the C++ guys, you just knew different things but you both knew how to solve problems.

But it's probably harsh to see it as a significant criticism of programmers these days, they don't develop the skills because they don't need them, but it is a weakness compared to those who picked up the skills from when they were necessary.

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Programmers are becoming less competent and lazier in some ways, but more competent in others, though the C++ / VB divide isn't the reason or a symptom in my mind.

Generally education of programmers is better now than it's ever been. The idea of not using source control for instance is pretty abhorrent to pretty much everyone now where 10 or 20 years ago that wouldn't have been so true. Similarly they're more likely to understand and want to use automated unit tests, continuous integration and so on, so in that sense they're more competent than their they were.

But what I think has changed is that people no longer know how to problem solve the way they used to. The instant response to any issue now is Google and while that's great and works 95% of the time, I see too many programmers who have no idea what to do when it doesn't.

It's not that they don't understand the fundamentals (they don't but that's not actually that big a deal), it's that they can't break down the problems in such a way that they can even work out what fundamentals they need to be getting to grips with.

Pre-Google you had no choice. Your resources were your team, a few dozen physical books you might have access to and your brain. That set up means that if you find a problem the chances are you're solving it yourself from something close to first principals so you either got pretty good at it or pretty unemployed quickly.

And this was was true regardless of what language you used. VB is high level and hides a lot but that means that when it comes to problem solving that actually meant there was more you needed to be working around. If something didn't work you had to get more creative and work harder as you had less control. As a VB programmer (and I speak from experience) you didn't know less than the C++ guys, you just knew different things but you both knew how to solve problems.

But it's probably harsh to see it as a significant criticism of programmers these days, they don't develop the skills because they don't need them, but it is a weakness compared to those who picked up the skills from when they were necessary.