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    Apologies in advance if this comes off harsh or overly critical. I’m open to feedback on how I can raise criticisms without being confrontational.

    Not only am I pretty unconvinced that IDEs (or other modern tools that lower the barrier to entry for technical tasks) constitute “crutches,” I think it’s a bit questionable how the article equates the need for a “crutch” with a departure from being “normal” or “robust” on the part of the user. “Normal” can mean entirely different things to people with different perspectives. I think there are better ways to get at the idea that knowing and using simpler tools can be a useful skill. I also recognize that this article was written back in 2009, but this seems relevant to discuss with it being reposted.

    One comment quoted in the article resonated with me:

    […]

    The revolution we are experiencing is for every one who chooses to participate, not just those who poke bits well.

    What may be a “crutch” from one persons perspective is simply how someone else accomplishes their goal. I don’t think it should bother you just because someone solves a problem differently than you do … even if your way is better.

    I also think the issue brought up at the very end, of everyone “who know[s] how everything really works get[ting] out of the field” seems overblown. Plenty of young folks have the skills and curiosity necessary to learn the underpinnings of the modern computing stack, and I believe many are actively learning “how everything really works.”

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      This was a followup to a previous post where I said “the culture is totally alien to my way of thinking.”

      At that point, I had spent several years as a Unix admin/network admin/Unix programmer (wore many hats at a very small company) and I regularly had to fight the Unix “control panels” the owner of the company was using. An issue would come up, I would know how to fix the issue (or configure Apache to do the weird customer request) yet my hands were tied because of the “control panel” that the owner used. I was being paid to help run Unix systems, not play second fiddle to an overly restrictive program.

      I’ve also experienced those who rely entirely too much on GPS (and nearly got killed because of it).

      Plenty of young folks have the skills and curiosity necessary to learn the underpinnings of the modern computing stack, and I believe many are actively learning “how everything really works.”

      And I’ve encountered where the young folk have no interest in learning how things are currently done and want the new shiny. There’s only so many times I can explain how syslog works to both fellow developers and operations people. Or the semantics of files on POSIX systems. Hell, the concern these days are students who have no idea what a file even is. And speaking of students, would you consider it cheating if a student uses Copilot for assignments?

      So again, when does technology move from being a tool to being a crutch?

      (Sorry for my tone—I seriously think work is getting to me and I need to quit.)

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        So again, when does technology move from being a tool to being a crutch?

        hopefully as often as possible, if we are defining a crutch as “a tool that works so well that anyone can use it without even having to learn how they could do the same thing manually”! the existence of “crutches” does not mean people who want to know how things work are unable to, it just means you don’t have to go through the trouble of learning in order to benefit.