I have used the Basic, ASP, Java, Progress 4GL and DataFlex languages to some degree within the past week. (…as well as operating system specific programs which are another form of programming). Each of these were used with different tools for different applications. For Each (…there I go looping again) there are syntaxes which are very similar to identical, and at least for this brain, easily confused. Thankfully, many of the tools provided for development today shield the programmer from the intricacies of the language.
I’ve said in past blog entries that I believe this to be a wonderful time in application software development. In part I say this because I don’t really consider myself a “real” programmer — and today’s tools provide me with an ability to create the required highly sophisticated applications with an absolute minimum of “getting under the hood”. I refer to a “real” programmer as one who truly loves to dig into the intricacies of the code – and that isn’t where I want to be. Furthermore, as the tools just seem to be getting better and better it becomes a non-requirement.
Given that the tools continue to improve I find myself looking at more and more options to accomplish a given application task — different methods become possible, and different tools allow even one with limited knowledge the ability to create very useable applications.
We are further aided in our development by increasingly better “standards” which allow access to multiple data sources, which in turn exponentially increases the value potential of applications drawing from those multiple data sources. It’s exciting to me to have all these options available. The limitations of proprietary systems have pretty much disappeared – more and more of the data in these proprietary systems have become available through the development tools now available – unlocking potential long dreamed of. Where do we go from here?