Obsolete skills

After having Outlook completely "forget" to update a couple of my feed subscriptions I decided it was time to go back to RSS Bandit. Once installed I found that RSS Bandit had added a few feeds that I had long discarded. Of course, Robert Scoble was one of the reentrants. On of the first blog entries I came across was titled "Obsolete skills".

Francine Hardaway is here and we're talking about obsolete skills. Things we used to know that no longer are very useful to us. Here's some we came up with. How many can you come up with?

1. Dialing a rotary phone.
2. Putting a needle on a vinyl record.
3. Changing tracks on an eight-track tape.
4. Shorthand.
5. Using a slide rule.

That brought back a thought I had a while ago. It seem like the world of programming is moving beyond "native code" (C/C++). The thought was cemented when I was a part of interview loops where candidates that could not write C or C++ code were hired. Inside Microsoft "managed code" (VB but mostly C#) is taking over.

When I look outside I see a lot of discussion about full blown systems written in Python and/or Ruby plus JavaScript. That's just scripting code, stuff you'd use to glue other stuff together. You'd never build a "real" program out of a scripting language.

Of course, that's just how obsolescence works. It sneaks up on the current state of the art and ultimately overthrows those practitioners with a better, or often just easier, way of doing things.

So, how long until this ends up as number twelve on Scoble's list?

12. Programming in C/C++.

And then...?

13. Programming in VB/C#/Java.

Eventually, I suppose we'll end up programming by just dragging dropping big Duplo blocks on the screen. <smile/>

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