Tuesday, 17 July 2007

The "Internet" is just a passing phase

Today I was advised by a software developer who mainly works commercially in C and C++ on Linux, that I should broaden my skillbase and consider moving away from web work since there is nothing interesting there. It would make me more employable too - which I didn't realise was an issue.

At first I was unsure of whether I should be offended or laugh openly. Now, I think neither. Let's sit back and let the future decide.

Are there any other developers out there who think this web thing is pretty much over?

And here I was thinking that only heroin is so passe.


Sanson said...

It is a very interesting question that your colleague poses. I personally don't think the web is passe so to speak. Speaking as a non-developer, I see the internet as an huge communication network with its own technologies and architecture. It is still the quickest way to create, display and disseminate content. I cannot picture the web dying a slow death at this stage.

The interesting thing I believe is that the computer/desktop/laptop will one day return to being a dedicated work tool. The ubiquitous mobile phone pretty much now does everything else. Most phones can now have multimedia, pda, web and phone functionality. Youth of Japan are pretty much giving us a glimpse of the future. Apparently in high-tech Japan, computer literacy is actually declining as all kids there use their mobile phones to websurf, send emails, blog etc. Given their access speeds and network coverage, they can achieve all this without the need to learn how to use a computer.

Anonymous said...

Of course the web is a fad. That whole dotcom thing could never happen again. Uh, hold on a second...

aquaman said...

I promise we're not all quite that... umm... out of touch with reality?

Some of us even hate our language with a vengeance and really wish we were using something else.

To be fair though, have you ever tried to do anything web-related (parse XML, generate HTML, blah, blah, blah...) in C++? Ugh! It's a nightmare, I tell ya.

That'd be why they just want it all to go away. They can't really be that behind, can they?

Mana said...

You all know me - subtle as a transformer on a petunia patch... Just so I am clear:

The web is not over. Video killed the radio star and then web + broadband have sent the offline world off to join the dinosaurs.

m3ga said...

Aquaman, since I am the developer Tropical Snowflake is talking about I think I need to clarify a few things.

Firstly I agree completely that C++ is completely horrid for any task involving strings (and most others as well). For tasks requiring a lot of string mangling I would choose languages like Ocaml (my current favourite) first and Python (which I know but don't particularly like) second.

As for the web, I think most of the interesting problems have been solved and from here on all people are doing is reimplementing variations to the same solution time after time. So yes, the web is not dead, but are there any interesting or difficult problems left to solve?

With regard to TS, I was simply amazed that we managed to find a developer with her wealth of knowledge and experience willing to work on web projects. TS rocks!

However, as an developer who works mainly on embedded linux, but also has interests across the fields of digital signal processing, computer algebra systems, numerical analysis and compilers, I don't find the web particularly compelling.

aquaman said...

There is a world-wide market for one computer. Programmers (and companies) who choose not to write software for that computer do so at their own peril.

Oh, and that computer is not made of 'strings.'

Colin said...

My feeling is that developers will have to broaden their scope to cater for both web and traditional usage of their applications.

Sure there will be web-only apps and there will be desktop-only apps (do people really want to CAD or serious video editing on the web?) but wouldn't it be nice to have a rich client application experience (traditional desktop programs) when you were working on a powerful PC at home? Then you could switch to a lighter weight model for your phone or PDA. Data could be synched or stored on a server somewhere. Seamless and simple.

Then again, I develop a profiler for Visual Studio so I'll be writing desktop-only software for a while yet.

Mana said...

Colin, that's the idea I like. It's all just data with many views on to it. How the user chooses to see it depends on their needs.