Joel: Programming is too hard

Joel Spolsky: Lord Palmerston on Programming. A few great snippets:

There are lots of other programming worlds. There’s the world of people developing for BEA Weblogic who know J2EE, Oracle, and all kinds of Java things that I don’t even know enough about to enumerate. There are hard core Macintosh developers who know CodeWarrior, MPW, Toolbox programming in System 6 through X, Cocoa, Carbon, and even nice obsolete things like OpenDoc that don’t help any more.

Very few people, though, know more than one or two worlds, because there’s just so much to learn that unless you have to work in one of these worlds for more than a couple of years, you don’t really grok it all.


Java attempted this but Sun didn’t grok GUIs well enough to deliver really slick native-feeling applications. Like the space alien in Star Trek watching Earth through a telescope, they knew exactly what human food was supposed to look like but they didn’t realize it was supposed to taste like something. Java apps have menus in the right places but there are all these keyboard things that don’t work the same way as every other Windows app and their tabbed dialogs look a little scary.


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