Note: This is a “classic” article from my old blog, but with some new revisions. This article was where I started with the idea of simplicity in computing, and I’ve been going on that idea ever since.
Computers have created a major societal change. The reason is that you can do more work with fewer people. That’s really the entire value of a computer—it can do a lot of work, really fast. If a person was to do, by hand, all the math that a computer does just when it starts up, it would probably take the rest of that person’s life.
So that’s great.
Problem is, they break. They break all the time. If anything in my house broke as frequently as my computer, I would return it. Most of the people that I know, their computer crashes at least once a day. Almost every day, I see a computer break in a way that I’ve never seen before. That’s been pretty much every day since I was about eight years old, so I’ve probably seen a computer break over 41,000 different ways, now.
That’s not great.
Why do computers break so much? For software, there’s one reason, and one reason only. Bad programmers.
Now, I didn’t used to be a programmer, and so I wondered about this sort of thing. I suspected that there were bad programmers, but it was sort of like blaming “witches” for a bad crop harvest. I didn’t really know anything about the subject, so there was some reasonable doubt.
Now that I am a programmer, and I have worked for a long time in a professional setting, and have talked extensively to other people who have been professional programmers for a long time, I can confirm that it really is bad programmers.
So, what is a bad programmer and why would somebody be one? This term, “bad programmer,” is pretty ambiguous. Also, most of the people I’ve ever met aren’t totally illogical, so there must be some reason why they would do “bad” programming.
Basically, it all revolves around complexity. Keep Reading