by Cesare Rocchi

Osteopathy and C++

by Cesare Rocchi

I bet you’ll never find such an “alternative” title for a blog post :)

My backbone has issues. I periodically schedule visits with an osteopath. He’s a doctor, that manipulates bones to unlock mobility of parts of the body and “reset” posture issues.

During sessions we chat. He knows I make software. He once asked “do people still use C++?”. Honestly, really honestly, I didn’t want to chat about it but I rolled with it. It turns out he was supposed to become a developer. Lucky him (and me!) he went with osteopathy in the end.

We had quite an entertaining chat, especially about the issues he had with C++, when he was “forced” to learn it. This was more than 10 years ago. The essence of his observations was that “you needed to know too much stuff to see the first significant result”.

That is so true. People are discouraged since the beginning if the learning curve is that steep. Apple announced Swift playgrounds on the iPad today. Things are going to change. My kids will probably learn programming using that kind of technology, or something like that. Does that mean the learning curve is not as steep as in the past? Probably. And yet, I can’t help but counterbalance that thought with this

On one hand I am happy to know that we have simpler and easy to use tools to learn programming. On the other hand I am bit concerned that such easy-to-use tools might lead to think that “programming is easy”.

In my experience it’s not easy (yet). I don’t wanna discourage anybody that has been inspired by the Everyone can Code video. If you feel you have to learn coding, please do it. All I am saying is that not everything is “bells and whistles” as it seems. There will be:

  • deprecated APIs
  • compilers that you can’t find anymore
  • projects that you’ll be forced to update
  • radars to file
  • tests to update
  • tools that change their behavior
  • issues in figuring out a framework
  • problems in finding the documentation

and much, much more. Am I being a downer? No I am singing the counter-melody.