Web Development

what's all this web development about then...?

Oh many many years ago when most people were confused about Amiga's and BBC Micro's I was programming 'stuff'. Yep, me Tim Berners-Lee and Bill Gates. Those boys made a fortune (well Bill did anyways!).

Life was so simple then. Yep all we had was one or two assemblers or compilers. You know the stuff, 'C' or Pascal or that lovely BASIC. We only really had one flavour of each, so we just had to make the most of what we had.

Then the Webby thing came along and everything just 'grew' and grew (sorry I have an inclination to put things in speech marks for some reason!). Well blow me down, we then had about 1000 compilers, online and offline tech, graphics standards, html5, responsive design, PWA, Google Glasses and about a million trillion other things. What was to be done...?

Well, no one could now be a so called programming expert! No Sir! There was too much 'stuff' out there. Way way too much stuff out there. What was to become of the like of ... well me? You know, the guy that has a good understanding and knowledge of most things. We got fewer and fewer (less and less? Not sure which is correct).

Some of us managed to escape into IT Management (yep, that was me). I could not express my knowledge to others, and get them to do the work. Sure, we had the solutions, but just not the incentive to actually do it. That's management right?

Anyway all those young things, trying to make their mark on life in the big world of 'Tech' did the work and thought (still do...) that they were brilliant. Things got boring... VERY boring.

You now spent most of your time looking at 1000 different ways to solve a problem. Then discussion and having meetings about the solution. Then going through implementation, etc. Meanwhile new solutions came out and the one you chose was no longer relevant. SO you went round the loop again... Oh! The tedium of it all ...

This repeats itself over and over again when you are young... Until... you reach an age. I guess I'm at that age where it all moulds into itself and you stop trying to find 'solutions'. There are just too many solutions out there. "The solution is out there..." so they say. Well, certainly the solution for today and tomorrow. The day after...? well there will be another solution. Best leave that to the young'uns. They still have the energy to debate the merits of these so called solutions.

Funny you know. In my experience I've found that the really old 'tech' seems to bind together the 'new' stuff to make it work. You know, the old system routines written by "old Joe' back in the day when he was in corporate world. Still running. Still ticking away in the background doing it's thing. Still working. Someone screwed up and turned it off once! WOW did that cause problems. Yep, some young thing looked at the modified date and thought "No Way is this thing actually doing anything...". So he/she turned it off. Big mistake. The corporate systems 'refresh' system stopped dead in it's boots!

What to do? Of course, switch it back on again - pronto! They do... It works again. Phew! Good old Joe, that man knew how systems really worked... you know, back in the day.

Back to web development. WOW there is a lot of 'stuff' out there, right? It's such a time waster. Great way to spend an afternoon (when your boss has pissed you off), just looking at stuff. Getting excited as some new website called something like 'theb4lls.info' or some'at. Nice little web thing'y... let's add this gem to my bookmarks and then tell everyone else about it at the coffee machine. Whoops, that's 3 hours gone. Hope those customers can afford to pay for this.

Are we more productive with all these new 'development platforms' and 'frameworks'? Nope Sir. It's just more stuff for the moment. More stuff to get into - to break the tedium so to speak. Back in the day you had ONE compiler! You made that baby sing and work around all it's little faults. But hey, you knew that compiler/assembler inside out. There was NOTHING you could not do with that little tool. BTW that little tool fitted quite comfortably on a 360k (yep I said 360k) floppy disk. Single sided, single density 5.25" floppy. Oh, and yes included the compiler, linker and of course all your work... on the same disk LOL

Now these days the graphic icon for the compiler logo is bigger than that. HA HA LOL. It's so funny I could pee myself. These days I need a £2k, Pentium iX processor, and graphics card with more memory than Apollo 13 to even fire up the software. Plus of course about 10Gb of space on the old SD card to install it. My word, how we have progressed over the years...

Business systems used to run on mainframe/min computers that your mobile phone could now outperform! We used to run systems with over 150 people using the CPU at the same time on little more than 64mb of memory and a gig or 3 of storage. Laugh? nearly pee'd myself again...

Good luck to all the new stallions out there. Pushing for their place in tech history. I salute you all. It's going to be a hard slog to get your head above the parapit. Do it though. Make sure you stick to your thoughts and inspirations. Remember good old 'Joe'. You know that weird system that tick away in the background. Still 'doing what it does' - really well. You know the thing that keeps all the other things working... right...