Will history look back on developers as 21st Century coalminers?

4 Oct
2010

I’m in the backroom right now, handcoding some HTML for my wife’s website.

The kids are going to sleep in their room down the hall.

I suddenly get the feeling that the future may not look on developers as shining guardians of morality and common sense, whose hard work and openness shone a beacon for the rest of the world.

No. I’m bashing away at keys here like a coalminer bashing away at the coalface. My kids aren’t going to see me leave a legacy. My work will be washed away with a rising tide of shiny technology.

With the arrival of Web 10.0, or Web X, our kids will look back at today’s developers wondering why on earth they did what they did, just as we look back and laugh at the pure absurdity of  the Victorians dragging icebergs back to Blightly so they could have icecubes in their G&Ts.

“You had to hit pieces of plastic with your fingers?”
“Yes, we called it a keyboard”
“And then characters appeared on the screen?”
“yes, but you would often have to type thousands of characters on the screen before the server would do what you wanted”
“you couldn’t just talk to the computer?”
“well, you could talk to a computer boy called Milo, but all he wanted to do was go and fish. He wouldn’t help you code your website”
“That sounds lame”
“it was quite fun, actually. Some of us felt we were making a difference”
“Did you?”

Now that’s the big question…

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