"Where have all the hackers gone?" + a way to discuss programming languages

🎵 The song for this post is CHEMICAL LOVE, by "Kaleb James and Chey" for the game Bust-a-Groove. 🎵


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://morepablo.com/2023/05/where-have-all-the-hackers-gone.html
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Couldn’t reply on the original post, and it redirected me here. I couldn’t agree more with post that I had to read it all (belonging to the 30Sec shorts culture). Even though I believe/want to associate myself with the ‘Soil’ but knowing that I am inevitably at the ‘atmosphere’ layer; and a lover of tech discussions, I mostly get nodded off when I even try touching layer DOWN irl because internet is already filled with the authoritative voices to bring you down; and then there is LinkedIn to cherry them reticent moments.

Hey! Thanks so much for the kind words, and leaving a comment! :smile: I know it’s a bit of A Process to comment here (the site is a static S3 site, which has advantages, but dynamic content like comments becomes harder) :stuck_out_tongue:

Even though I believe/want to associate myself with the ‘Soil’ but knowing that I am inevitably at the ‘atmosphere’ layer; and a lover of tech discussions, I mostly get nodded off when I even try touching layer DOWN

I like to believe we’re all types of engineers at different times; I also get self-conscious on certain layers I never really learned as much as I would have liked (OSes, for example. I’ve done well enough as an eng for my career but always wish I knew more…). And because so much of the game is in Atmosphere, it’s a great place to be!

Hope you have a great Thursday!

There are some schools of thought as well which can leverage the layering approach:

“As long as the surface is expressive & versatile, with a little atmosphere, the soil would inevitably improve”

this has been true for Javascript. NodeJS, Deno, Bun are like redoing the soil over and over again. Similarly can be said for python’s development.

Capture Atmosphere into Soil

Another idea we should pursue is to capture parts of the atmosphere into surface/soil. Let’s say the basic datetime library. Why on earth do humans spend so much time writing one for every language? Why don’t we have the universal write once, transpile/compile for all other languages approach?

I believe the future shines bright for the language which can transpile and assimilate libraries from other languages automatically with same interface boundaries. One degenerate way of doing it is interoperability like one can import java libs in scala, similarly for Deno, Bun.

Building along the same lines, the language server semantics should be extracted from the compiler and fed as data into a generic language server.

re: “Rockstar Developers” - A HORRIBLE goal! Rockstars trash hotels (code) are prima donnas and generally wreck development due to egos. Once they have done that, they leave for another company looking for more “rockstars”. Been there, seen that happen in MULTIPLE mid-large sized companies. In the worst case, these “rockstar” managers get promoted to include multiple development groups across multiple countries/timezones… And are heavily biased to the group in their timezone, EVEN WHEN THE CODE IS crap/crashing. A LOT.

Hi Richard! I think we agree.

In the post I think you’re replying to (this one), I don’t advocate for a “return” to the early 2010s, or the “rockstars/ninjas” era. The only use of “rockstar” is in the title. I put it there and because I thought it was catchy, and supported my main point: since the industry organically called its talent “rockstars,” they were modeling them as creatives who’d apply their skills in interesting ways, with the expectation of variable output.

I think the playbook most VC-backed tech firms followed in the 2010’s to normalize everything was dreadfully expensive and didn’t produce viable businesses, so I advocate for practices that challenge that playbook. But I don’t want to go back, and don’t mean to lionize the culture surrounding “rockstars:” I found it gross for many of the reasons you describe.