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    To be blunt, the modern programming world we’ve created for ourselves is optimized for the sheepish and incurious.

    I don’t totally agree with this, but there is certainly more “showiness” to programming these days. Today’s currency being status, as the author puts it, is not far off the mark.

    The feel I get at the end of this essay, though, is that the way it used to be is the “the way” and we need to return to that. I don’t see how that it necessarily better. I’ve been working with some old system—even typing in old programs found in magazines—and it is not the joy the author may be remembering. Maybe it was a joy 30-40 years ago, but it is certainly not joyous compared to now.

    Also, how is today’s programming not exploring? Because you are not bit twiddling? Or not digging into operating system internals? Where is it determined that these kinds of things are necessary conditions to producing decent code? I say this as a bit of an old-timer who works on compliers targeting (very small) embedded systems: we decry the bloat in software all the time but we also forget just how useful the systems are to us. To be honest, I only notice the “fatness” when it causes actual interface issues, such as typing lag.

    Of course, this can be taken to extremes but the point is that, despite lots of modern software being esthetically displeasing to me, I can’t say that it is all garbage. I curse it a lot, but then I step back and realize that I am actually accomplishing things and that it’s easier than it use to be.

    At the end of the essay the author moans about the terminology changes turning off the “freaks and geeks” and that it will “shift the focus away even more from the practices that built the internet and made it purr like a kitten”. Here’s where the author really tips their hat to the idea that the way it was is better. I’d argue those “freaks and geeks” did a terrible job of making the Internet a great place because they completely missed the notion of the social space it created. Looking back, it’s amazing how short-sighted the whole “independence of cyberspace” ideas really were. And yet, this is supposedly the kind of culture we, as programmers, should be embracing in order to produce better code.

    I think this essay is worth reading. Then you should think about why it is wrong.

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      To be blunt, the modern programming world we’ve created for ourselves is optimized for the sheepish and incurious.

      The author concludes this mainly from the availability of package repositories and stack overflow.

      Perhaps he doesn’t see that the pioneering challenge in coding today is completely different than that of 20 years ago. He even describes it himself:

      with large parts of our stacks now so tumorous only megacorps can even try to maintain them

      It is managing complexity. And this is a challenge the geeks and freaks of today get plenty of room for to innovate in.