How software development environments are making us lazy!

By | September 24, 2006

I have been convinced! The newest generations of programming languages and development environments (like Visual Studio, Netbeans) are making the developer lazy and stupid. The environments are taking so many tasks away and slowly remove the intelligence from the programmer.

Let’s back my bold claim up with some facts and evidence. The new Visual Studio has improved a lot, including the options to create get and set functions or auto complete. Nothing wrong with that. It speeds up production, but if you are to comfortable with it you may get in trouble. The autocomplete in C++ for example is far from perfect, and is very comfortable in recommending wrong code.

A good example of this is an object that is a pointer, but then again Visual Studio will accept the dot notation during auto complete. So code that should have been class->someFunction() becomes class.someFunction()

Not a big deal you may think, but the message returned by the compiler is somewhat vague and if you don’t know much about the working of C++ you will not find the bug easily.

A few years back Microsoft introduced .Net to make programming and creating programs easier and safer. Well safer for them anyway!

Why am I so against .Net, well easy it makes you dumb. Don’t get me wrong I believe that .Net increases production speed. But it’s build to hide what actually happens. No more pointers, no more clues as to how the OS communicates to the application, unless you are willing to override almost every class in the .Net foundation.

A year ago or so Joel Coehoorn wrote about how Visual Basic made him somewhat laze this way. Charles Petzold wrote an article as to how Visual Studio rots the mind. No their also are a lot of people that disagree, just read the reaction on Charles Petzold’s article.
As to whether I agree with time, well to some extend. I do believe that newer language like VB.Net and C# take a lot of direct knowledge about the OS your working with away. You no longer have to know how and why you get keypresses or an event that notifies you of a mouse click. Nor do you need to know the basics of IPC.

Now I’m inclined to agree with the opposition that developing time has decreased. But if you are missing click events in .Net and you don’t know about the windows messaging system could you solve it? I seriously doubt it!

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