Software Developers in the Past were Much Better than Today (as a whole)
April 14, 2012
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Can it be argued with? It seems statistical truth. Back in the 70s, 80s and part of the 90s, way before everyone and their brother was a “Web developer”, there were few enough people doing the work that the percentage who were very good — with various language, scientific, mathematical and electronics backgrounds — was MUCH, MUCH higher than it could possibly be when MANY, MANY more people are doing it.
Let me put it another way: if the NFL decided to kick start a few thousand more football teams, do you think the quality of play would be the same as it is today? Wouldn’t there be a lot of people playing that currently don’t have the skill? There can only be so much supply for a highly-skilled profession. People can’t just choose to be good software engineers any more than they can go out and simply train hard enough to be a talented professional football player.
So the number of really good software people has gone from maybe 1 in 10 to 1 in probably 12,000, if you crunch the numbers.
An outcome of the same internet explosion that has outstretched the top quality supply is that everyone can spout off. It seems too, the amount of self-promotion is inversely proportional to meaningful understanding or communication. So there’s often this large, single, near-unanimous, overwhelming, AND HORRIBLY WRONG opinion or impression of a concept and how to implement it.
I have to say that it’s possible to be self taught and as good as the educated/highly-experienced. But it’s very, very unlikely. The catch is, the self-taught don’t know enough to know how little they know in comparison. That is also logical. When one’s knowledge is limited, he has no way of seeing it.