I’m a voyeur when it comes to software programming. I enjoy reading the accessible things, like Frederick Brooks, and I’ve even worked through a good part of the “wizard book“. Why? Perhaps oddly, I think having some minimal understanding of programming is equivalent in our age to knowing some foreign languages. But I’m certainly not a programmer, or anything like.
Joel Spolsky is one of the best people to read. The evidence is all there in Scott Rosenberg’s interview in Salon with Joel. I particularly liked his analogy between the working method of Isaac Bashevis Singer and the connection between a specification and the actual code. An original mind.
Both contributions are well worth reading. Cowen captures the sombre tone both adopt: “As it currently stands, the job is a morass, not an opportunity.”
One other thing struck me. Neither DeLong nor Cowen are introduced in any way, nor are there links to their sites. Very odd. In contrast, both pepper their contributions with helpful links, completely unlike the WSJ or any other newspaper online. An excellent study in contrasting philosophies of media.