Recently I’ve noticed a pattern that’s evolving around rapid development. The development process has shifted it’s time consumption from writing the actual code to system setup and configuration.
I was just wondering, where the hell are all the developers disappearing. For one, everybody loves to abstract things as much away from the original language/system as possible, thus turning a simple process of product publishing into a factory of armchair leather covers with extended spikes and delegated maid. At first I was like – guys learn to f-ing code, you don’t need to use every possible framework or abstraction just to print out an image and a price. But delving deeper I saw a much larger pattern.
Let’s look at the WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation) and Visual Studio – you can write an app without ever touching any line of code – everything can be bound together with data which in turn will update every UI element on it’s own. The same goes for events and other stuff. Of course you need to write a line or two to make some system specific tasks, but by every iteration it’s getting closer to writing almost no code at all.
Next. I had a talk with one of my ex-colleagues who’s working in this huge cubicle and tie oriented software development company. They are building large enterprise systems, but everything he has done in the past couple of months was configuring modules (by checking check-boxes!) in one of the most popular open-source systems. Not a line of code from him.
So I had a thought. Maybe we should start treating this as a separate profession – the Configurator, if you will. Because I’m afraid. I’m afraid of writing a job offer for a real developer who’s willing to write the code, and every single candidate would only know how to install a module and drag a few objects together WITH A MOUSE! It seems to me that the real developers are either fading away into some underground lair or just dying out.