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Interview with Kalani Thielen: Trends in Programming Languages

Last week I interviewed colleague Kalani Thielen, Lab49′s resident expert on programming language theory. We discussed some of the new languages we’ve seen this decade, the recent functional additions to imperative languages, and the role DSLs will play in the future. Read on for the full interview. Read more


The Value of Experience

I was reading a blog post by my colleague Doug Finke in reference to a “programmer competency matrix” by Sijin Joseph. I took a look at the matrix and it seemed like a set of pretty reasonable benchmarks for a programmer’s growth. My only reservation with the chart was that they claim that you need a certain number of years experience under your belt to be a certain grade of programmer. Here’s Sijin’s criteria:

  • Level 0: 1 year
  • Level 1: 2-5 years
  • Level 2: 6-9 years
  • Level 3: 10+ years

To be perfectly honest, I find the entire idea reprehensible. According to this matrix, nobody could be considered an “expert” programmer in C#, since the language has only been around since 2001. I’m not breaking the news to Anders. Ok, maybe that’s a bit of a “gotcha” exception, but I think the entire idea can’t hold water. The problem with the assertion is that it assumes that all years are equal in quality. There’s no comparison between a year in a challenging company on the cutting edge of your technology field working with the leaders in industry and a year making small changes to an enterprise CMS. No offense to the latter group, but it’s just the ugly truth. Read more