Re: A Journalist Codes: 4 Lessons Learned
As someone who's in the exact same boat, David, this is ringing an awful lot of bells and rounding out my end-of-year retrospecting quite nicely. I have no formal programming training either, but for some reason, I decided to embark on my own journey to learn this year. Software design is certainly a lucrative career, but not often for those without degrees. It's a lot like picking up an instrument (and the reasons are similar, too), except much more time consuming and not nearly as immediately satisfying. To say I have a new appreciation for people who do this daily is an understatement, but you're right - those daily lessons scale up to the enterprise level quite easily, and the benefits are always forthcoming (not the monetary ones, the other kind).
APIs are a godsend, but one does wonder if we're losing something from the days of yore. It's great to just plug something in and see immediate results, but it almost ends up being a case of too many cooks spoiling the soup. In other words, when things become too extensible, portable, and customizable, we end up with feature creep out the wazoo and tons of redundant software that does the same thing as something else, or that fills a niche that doesn't exist. Competition with 'because that's the way it is' is definitely an unforseen hurdle that I'm feeling hugely. I suppose musicians, artists, etc. experience this too, but you can't get the same immediate 'this looks/sounds nice' as easily with software. It's very easy to create something and have it literally have 0 clicks or downloads. That's rough, and another good lesson at the enterprise level. This was a refreshing holiday read.