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Re: PG: Hackers and Painters

Michael Vanier <mvanier@cs.caltech.edu> writes at 17:32 19-May-2003 -0700:
> Interesting.  What examples are you thinking of?  Any opinions on these

The dominant products seem to change every few years, and I no longer
track the particulars (they bore me to death with their mundanity now),
but a quick scan of the job postings and trade rags at any given moment
will show a plethora.  Last week's glance showed employers looking for
skillsets in particular packages for middleware and databases, Web
publishing, customizable large vertical apps/frameworks -- similar to
what we've seen for years, but different particular products every few

During my time, we've seen adoption of off-the-shelf RDBMSs, 4GLs
(ahem), ODBMSs, component-based reuse, framework-based reuse, enterprise
middleware, vertical frameworks, etc...  Of the MIS/IS applications I
see in use today, there's relatively little that's not generic
cookie-cutter stuff.  And that's how it should be.  Most organizations
don't need a novel solution to the same software problem countless other
organizations have -- the software is a necessary evil, not strategic.
IT people figured this out a long time ago, and there's been a
continually evolving stream of products to implement the common parts
and help out with the uncommon parts.

For cookie-cutter development needs, familiarity with one of the current
hot frameworks/toolsets seems to be more marketable than being a Master
Programmer who doesn't know the framework but is skilled enough to
reinvent it.