Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Memories of past Languages

I am interested in others feedback as to what they are doing and using. I am interested in your experiences, good, bad, ugly and indifferent. Knowing the results of an experience is very valuable.

Thomas Edition was once asked by a reporter how it felt to be such a failure. He replied I beg your pardon? The reporter stated, Mr. Edition you have tested a 1,000 things and none have worked, so how does it feel to be a failure? Mr. Edition responded, Sir, that was a 1,000 things that we did not know that would not work. My good man he said, that is not failure; that is success. Mr. Edition tested 3,000 things before he finally discovered the right elements to use to create a light bulb.

My first programming language was basic on the Apple IIE networked with a micro mainframe. We it took 15 minutes to logon. We booted, used the rest room, got coffee and stacks and prepared for long nights in the computer lab. My second language was COBOL. I got an A+ in the class, but I hated that language more that anything. Pulling out your fingernails was better than coding in that language. Next was Fortan, PASCAL, and C that was the end of my formula training. I had enough understanding that most all computers languages are the same just different syntax. I went on to self teach myself C++, Assembler, Visual Basic, SQL, Access, VBA, VScript, Jscript, HTML, ADO, ASP, ODBC, PERL, AWAK, WSCRIPT, XML, DHTML, and a bunch of other obscure languages. I was on the beta test teams for ASP.NET long before it was called DOT NET. I was working on DOT in 1999 and 2000 when it was called NEXTGEN. All these languages had their own headache and issues. A lot of languages were not forward nor backward compatible.

Microsoft would have you to believe that you need Visual Studio to be a productive rapid application developer. Well having been on campus in Redmond working with the people who invented the dang stuff, they do most of their work at the command line console or in notepad. Notepad is the universal editor.

Now I mostly write in Access and WScript for desktop and server automation. I have rewritten the same utilities in the same language and others some many times I am just burned out on writing code for a living. Since the dot com bomb days, the big projects are much harder to come by. I enjoy writing utilities and scripts that get used over and over. I enjoy the tech support as the life of a coder is never ending as there is always one more line of code that needs to be written or rewritten.

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