Dangerious Ideas Seminar: Why I hate programming

If you’re in the New England area next week, you should check out the “Why I hate programming” seminar at MIT. The abstract sounds interesting:

Over the past thirty years a host of new ideas about programming have
emerged from this building, yet the average engineer has seen little
change in the drudgery of day to day programming. Why is it that have
we not seen large-scale improvements in our programming environments
and methodology? To answer this question I will share a few lessons
and trends picked up from industry and the implications I think these
have for the future.

I will argue that, in part, we have not been solving the right
problems. Far too little of the techniques learned in the pursuit of
AI and the advancement of computer science are employed in our
programming environments and these environments are of too limited
scope. I argue that visibility into behavior is more important than
specific language semantics. I illustrate why testing is more
fundamental to good programming than coding. I explore why the
ambiguity in most projects is actually backwards; typically found in
the design specification and not in the implementation. I’ll propose
that languages hurt abstraction and reuse by requiring programs to be
too specific and introduce some ideas on how to avoid this.

This talk addresses the fundamental question of how to make Moore’s
law work for programmers as well as users: enabling software to be
faster to create, easier to evolve and more robust to run.

More information can be found at the Dangerous Ideas site.

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