Programming a dead end?

Discussion in 'Mac Programming' started by Mac Player, Jan 28, 2007.

  1. Mac Player macrumors regular

    Jan 19, 2006
    Im sure some programmers visit this board so i want to ask them if they think computing (programming) is a dead end job.

  2. toddburch macrumors 6502a

    Dec 4, 2006
    Katy, Texas
    Is this a joke?

    Certainly not. If you're programming in the right language on the right platform, it pays big bucks too.
  3. Eric5h5 macrumors 68020

    Dec 9, 2004
    Of course not. Everyone knows these "computer" things are just a fad. Why spend all that time and effort on something that'll be gone by next year? So yeah, programming is a dead end job all right. Hot tip: abacus operators are going to be the in thing by 2008!

  4. SMM macrumors 65816


    Sep 22, 2006
    Tiger Mountain - WA State
    The FORTRAN programming language was first introduced in the late 50's. The lead program manager (IBM) was John Backus. He was credited with stating, "Every program that will have to be written, will be written in the next 5 years". Others have also been given credit for this statement, but the message is clear. There is no current end in sight for the need to develop program code. Will it always be this way? Probably not at the level it is today. However, there will always be a need for creative people to design SW systems. The need for creativity never goes away.
  5. macman2790 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 4, 2006
    edit: sarcasm filter not working properly, sorry.
  6. jhande macrumors 6502

    Sep 20, 2006
    Every few years the 'programming is dead' meme resurfaces. I remember when CASE tools were supposed to put us out of a job (programs creating programs). Was that in the eighties or nineties??

    'Programming never dies, it just moves to a higher level'. I can't remember who said that, but he was absolutely right.

    While programming itself is getting easier, due to libraries, tools, updated methodologies (when done right), the scope is also increasing so that what you do as a programmer often has to do 'more' than before.

    Where I can see 'dead-end' programming, is in the case of spending your life slavishly creating procedure/methods on spec, without having any idea of what the program/object is you are programming to.

    I had a brief stint doing that kind of programming many years ago, and that truly sucks.
  7. aLoC macrumors 6502a

    Nov 10, 2006
    It's not a job that will go away. But it is what it is: sitting at a desk writing programs, and a lot of companies want quite boring programs written.

    But if by "dead end" you mean there's not much prospect of promotion, there is some truth to that. People from accounting or marketing are more likely to be promoted up to CEO level than someone from the programming dept.
  8. Amuraivel macrumors member

    Jan 31, 2006
    I read the comment to mean:

    Does programming offer many opportunities in the way of advancement as compared to other jobs; do you constantly stay the tekki?


    Will the demand for programmers dry up.
  9. gavd macrumors 6502a

    Jan 30, 2006
    I could be wrong but I think Eric5h5 was being sarcastic...
  10. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    Lighten up Francis.

  11. iW00t macrumors 68040


    Nov 7, 2006
    Defenders of Apple Guild
    Programming is not a dead end of course.

    Just American programmers :rolleyes:

    With all this outsourcing going on your jobs will go the way of the dodo :apple:
  12. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
    To the OP, one area that many folks forget to consider when thinking about programming is your everyday type items such as elevator control systems, your automatic coffee pot, microwave, dishwasher, fridge, VCR, DVD Player, etc. Also things like car emission and control systems. And of course power transmission systems.

    I could go on an on but I think you get my point. Almost every type of industry that uses a microprocessor needs to have it programmed. Programming these types of items can be fun as well for those who are interested in programming.

    Some have mentioned C++. Common language. But there are so many others. Ones that I have programmed in that I can remember of the top of my head are:

    - Ada
    - Basic (Many different versions. Most favorite was the one HP used on their HP-71.)
    - C
    - C++
    - COBOL
    - FORTAN IV (Done on punch cards!)
    - FORTRAN 77
    - Forth
    - JCL (Job Control Language)
    - Lisp
    - Modula
    - Pascal
    - PL/1
    - Smalltalk

    And my all time favorite...Assembly language! :)

    Edit: My point for listing all these languages is to illustrate that there are many paths to follow and opportunities can be had. Sure there is outsourcing going on these days. But a good programmer can make a decent living. Also, don't forget about VB and Excel Macros. I have friends who only do this and make a killing.
  13. Eric5h5 macrumors 68020

    Dec 9, 2004
    LOL! I am a programmer. How you can read a comment that includes "abacus operators are going to be the in thing by 2008!" and not realize it's a joke is beyond me. Here, let me program you a new sarcasm filter; obviously yours is defective. ;)

  14. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
    Oooh! ;)

    Might have to pop his stack! ;) :p :D
  15. bozigle macrumors regular


    Expensive coders are! here in Europe so much coding is outsourced to India and other similar places.
    They have great education, seems to have more motivation, and are still cheaper... so outsourced it is.
    But there is still a lot of design and architecture and higher qualification... jobs.
    Funny enough people who ended in those place where people who have been doing some lower task before (like coding) ... so here some people are promoted without having their hand dirty before... i do suspect that the same previous outsources countries will soon (already) have the knowledge to have those higher positions filed too for still a lower price.

    I wouldn't worry too much though... there is still a huge amount of job opening for every kind of position related to computer enginering (in Europe at least)
  16. aLoC macrumors 6502a

    Nov 10, 2006
    That's old news. Outsourcing has been going on for years now and still everyone can find a job.
  17. iW00t macrumors 68040


    Nov 7, 2006
    Defenders of Apple Guild
    I guess those whinging Americans on /. are wrong :)
  18. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
    Basically yes! We have lots of outsourced contractors in India. We also have lots of local programmers and are now moving to "near shoring". Basically the same as outsourcing but to a location in the same time zone line Belfast.

    For some work outsourcing works well, for other work local contact is required so there will always be a place for the on-site programmer in large organisations.
  19. iW00t macrumors 68040


    Nov 7, 2006
    Defenders of Apple Guild
    That is good news.

    There is nothing more patently ******** than a major corporation starving out the livelihoods of local people while profiting out of the very same people.
  20. aLoC macrumors 6502a

    Nov 10, 2006
    That's my experience also (8 years commercial development). Some projects are done by an offshore subcontractor, some are done locally, some are done by a joint team. Depends on the specifics of the project.

    There was a lot of hype about outsourcing, but in the end the Indians didn't replace the industry, they just became one more part of it. One more option in the manager's toolbox, but not the entire toolbox.
  21. Mac Player thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 19, 2006
    Thanks everyone.

    My biggest concern indeed is outsourcing. Every study i read keeps saying that programmers jobs will all go overseas, but the number jobs for software engineers will increase. What are the differences between a prgrammer and an SE?
  22. bozigle macrumors regular

    Well the vocabulary is quite flexible
    a SE can be an architects (who see the overall of the program) then a lead designer (he is breaking up the tasks in smaller task) and the SE that is implementing the task. If there is no freedom left on the implementation, and the job is only converting the human language into programing language... then this is the job of a programmer.
    Where i work we all have some freedom on the implementation and we contribute to the program by other means... so no one is a programmer in the strick way of the term but no one cares about being called programmer or coder...

  23. Sayer macrumors 6502a


    Jan 4, 2002
    Austin, TX
    If the locals would get more than a basic education or stop demanding 100k/year for entry level positions then locals would get hired on.

    And are you saying people in developing countries with worse conditions than in Europe or America are don't deserve better lives through high-tech work? Typical elitist hypocrisy; screw the rest of the (developing) world as long as your 4 month-long vacations and 4 day work weeks and perpetual employment are preserved.
  24. whooleytoo macrumors 603


    Aug 2, 2002
    Cork, Ireland.
    Just remember - programming will be the last job to be automated! (I'm not sure if that's a good thing or bad - but certainly it's not a dead end job!)
  25. caveman_uk Guest


    Feb 17, 2003
    Hitchin, Herts, UK
    I think you're talking bollocks because I've never seen a job like that for a normal employee - where do these mythical dream jobs happen (except in the company boardroom of course)

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