Monday, 11 August 2014

Programming and tools

Someone asked on Slashdot some time ago whether using an integrated development environment ("IDE") makes you a bad programmer. I think it's equally valid to ask the counter-question: does it make you a good programmer to refuse to use an IDE? In the end, probably not. Since this is a question about tools, let's pose it a different way: does it make you a bad carpenter if you use a nail gun? Does it make you a better carpenter to use a traditional hammer? Looking at it that way, without even getting into the concepts of programming at all, then answer should be a very obvious "What? No, of course not."

The other side of the question is: what defines a good programmer? Is it one who can use power tools to produce something very large with a fraction of the effort of an old-fashioned manual labourer, or is it the craftsman's skillset that lets him produce the perfect, elegant solution? It's probably a combination of both.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Or else there's room and a need for both kinds.
PPS - I'd probably rather have the craftsman's skill, with the power tools option.

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