As discriminatory as this is going to sound, this one is for the old-timers. If you started programming after the turn of the milennium, I don’t know if you’re going to be able to follow the trend of this post—not out of any serious deficiency on your part, hardly that. But I think this is something only the old-timers are going to identify with. (And thus, do I alienate probably 80% of my readership, but so be it.) Is it me, or is programming just less interesting today than it was two decades ago?
Well, friends, another year has come and gone, and it's time for me to put my crystal ball into place and see what the upcoming year has for us. But, of course, in the long-standing tradition of these predictions, I also need to put my spectacles on (I did turn 40 last year, after all) and have a look at how well I did in this same activity twelve months ago.
As has already been announced, CodeMash 2012 has selected me to give a keynote there this January. The keynote will be my “Rethinking Enterprise” keynote, which I’ve given before, most recently in Krakow, Poland, at the 33rd Degrees conference, where it was pretty well-received. (Actually, if it’s not too rude to brag a little, I watched an attendee fall out of his chair laughing. That was fun.) For those of you who’ve not seen it (and I hope that includes all or at least most of the 1200 of you attending CodeMash), the talk is an attempt to offer some advice about how to re-think the design and architecture of applications in this new, NoSQL/REST/1-tier/agile/mobile/etc era that we seem to be facing, particularly since some of the “old rules” (app servers, transactions, etc) seem to be fading fast.
Many of you have undoubtedly noticed that my blogging has dropped off precipitously over the last half-year. The reason for that is multifold, ranging from the usual “I just don’t seem to have the time for it” rationale, up through the realization that I have a couple of regular (paid) columns (one with CoDe Magazine, one with MSDN) that consume a lot of my ideas that would otherwise go into the blog.
As so many of you know by now, Dennis Ritchie passed away yesterday. For so many of you, he needs no introduction or explanation. But sometimes my family reads this blog, and it is a fact that while they know who Steve Jobs was, they have no idea who Dennis Ritchie was or why so many geeks mourn his passing. And that is sad to me. I don’t feel up to the task of eulogizing a man of Ritchie’s accomplishments properly right now; in fact, I don’t know that I ever will.
I received the news that Steve Jobs passed away today while packing my kit to fly down to LA tomorrow morning to attend the funeral of my step-grandmother (my father’s stepmother), Ruth Neward. The reason I mention this is that Grandma Ruth is and will always be linked to the man she married, my father’s father and the man for whom I was named, Theodore Chester Neward, who died a few years ago after a short battle with cancer.
Andrew Binstock (Editor-in-Chief at DDJ) has taken a shot at Oracle’s Java7 release, and I found myself feeling a need to respond. In his article, Andrew notes that … what really turned up the heat was Oracle's decision to ship the compiler aware that the known defects would cause one of two types of errors: hang the program or silently generate incorrect results. Given that Java 7 took five years to see light, it seems to me and many others that Oracle could have waited a bit longer to fix the bug before releasing the software.
Recently I got an email from Bohdan Zograf, who offered: Hi! I'm willing to translate publication located at http://blogs.tedneward.com/2006/06/26/The+Vietnam+Of+Computer+Science.aspx to the Belorussian language (my mother tongue). What I'm asking for is your written permission, so you don't mind after I'll post the translation to my blog. I agreed, and next thing I know, I get the next email that it’s done. If your mother tongue is Belorussian, then I invite you to read the article in its translated form at http://www.moneyaisle.com/worldwide/the-vietnam-of-computer-science-be.
Those of you who’ve seen me present at conferences probably won’t be surprised by this, but I do a lot of conference talks. In fact, I’m doing an average of 10 or so talks at the NFJS shows alone. When you combine that with all the talks I’ve done over the past decade, it’s reached a point where maintaining them all has begun to approach the unmanageable. For example, when the publication of Professional F# 2.0 went final, I found myself going through slide decks trying to update all the “Credentials” slides to reflect the new publication date (and title, since it changed to Professional F# 2.0 fairly late in the game), and frankly, it’s becoming something of a pain in the ass.
Back in June of last year, at TechEd 2010, the guys at DeepFriedBytes were kind enough to offer me a podcasting stage from which to explain exactly what “multiparadigmatic” meant, why I’d felt the need to turn it into a full-day tutorial at TechEd, and more importantly, why .NET developers needed to know not only what it meant but how it influences software design. They published that show, and it’s now out there for all the world to have a listen.