Programming warps the brain.  That is what all the programmers that I know say.  Maybe it is the obsessiveness required to make things work.  Programmers follow a process, always learning because things are always changing.  The old solutions are always going away, sometimes because better solutions appear, sometimes because it  is such a fad driven field.

Programmers are bombarded with  marketing hype all the time.

  • Structured programming will solve all your problems.
  • Modular programming will solve all your problems.
  • Language X is the best language.
  • Object Oriented programming will solve all your problems, it is the way people naturally think.
  • Design patterns will help you get past the obstacles to designing object-oriented programs.
  • Anti-patterns addresses the problems of misusing design patterns.
  • CASE will solve your problems.
  • IDE will come to your rescue.
  • Methodology X will solve all of your problems.
  • Framework Z will solve your problem.

Everything comes with a learning curve, lets not mention that inconvenience.  Is it suitable?  What are the real costs?  How does it fit with everything else?  It feels like juggling live scorpions.

When someone says “We’ll deliver a single sign proof of concept that requires no coding on your part in six weeks and we can handle all of the issues you’ve brought up and there are magic SAML tokens”, you can tell that someone doesn’t have a clue, but you give them a chance and spare some time in the hopes that they can make it work.  When that someone says “We need you to convince the third-party application framework provider to modify their security component”  after a year of messing around. You wonder what happened to the little programmer that tagged along that seemed to have a clue, but you saw only once. The screen scrapping solution that you though was really a request reading solution to find the stuff needed during authentication seems to be abandoned for a more lower common denominator solution, because they really couldn’t do screen scrapping with the magic federated magic tool.  So your initial suspicions are confirmed and you continue to work on the other projects and are happy that the wonder kid did not consume more time and resources.

Then an annoying commercial comes and the ghost of  Diogenes haunts you  from years of trying to find the true in the mountains of marketing hype.

  • Straw man marketing guru.
  • Why is raised without antibiotics meaningless marketing?
  • By federal law must be clear of antibiotics.  This doesn’t support the assertion that raised without antibiotics is meaningless marketing.
  • Seems glib and deceptive pretending to be folksy and level-headed.
  • An air of desperation.

I liked this site that lists some of the  logical fallacies.  How many I have committed?

There are lots of programmers that blame  brain damage on this tool or that tool, this language or that language.  Trying to avoid the equivalent of the language wars.  The brain warping that I am talking about is more the approach and thinking process and the need for clarity that borders on obsessive.

The following TED talk is all about why you should trust scientists, but I thought it was more interesting because of the approaches discussed rather than the conclusions.  My thinking is that it is tangentially related to this topic, but then I have a warped brain from decades of programming.

One more tangential TED talk.

Long ago I read “a working program is one with undiscovered bugs”.  Don’t  have a clue who said it.  Will find out some day maybe.  Or not.

There is always something wrong, but I don’t know what it is.

Babbled enough.