[clug] [OT] Bjarne Stroustrop on

Daniel Pittman daniel at rimspace.net
Tue Apr 6 18:03:58 MDT 2010

steve jenkin <sjenkin at canb.auug.org.au> writes:

> A lot of people on this list work full-time in Computing/I.T., many
> write/have written code for a living and even contribute to FOSS.
> Stroustrop wrote this piece for CACM and I wondered what others on list
> thought...
> "What Should We Teach New Software Developers? Why?"
> <http://cacm.acm.org/magazines/2010/1/55760-what-should-we-teach-new-software-developers-why/fulltext>

Well, my thought is that he has made me happy about my own predictive skills,
which is always nice — although it makes my consideration likely to be less
harsh on anything he gets wrong. ;)

Part of his thesis is that the IT industry is going to move to a certification
and licensing model, like medicine, law, and other professions.  This is, in
my opinion, an inevitable part of the change taking place as the industry
becomes older and more important to day-to-day life.

Before anyone panics, I don't expect to see this in my working lifetime, but
the early signs are there: it is already vastly harder to get a job in the
industry without a degree than it was when I started[1].

The biggest disagreement I might have is that he seems confident, from a
research and academic perspective, that law and medicine are the right
comparison industries.

I could probably be convinced without too much effort that, rather, working in
most of IT is more like being a plumber, or an electrician, and that the
certification and licensing model will follow those industry patterns.


...and, no, that licensing doesn't mean that FOSS will die or anything like
that; there is plenty of self-interest-driven work in those other professions
and all. :)

[1]  ...which is lucky for me, I guess.

✣ Daniel Pittman            ✉ daniel at rimspace.net            ☎ +61 401 155 707
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