On O’Reilly.com Mike Loukides wrote an article about the next generation of programming tools commenting on a Quora post written by Alan Kay. In his article Loukides states that software programmers even today still do line-oriented programming with an alpha-numeric character set in ancient programming languages to create the most sophisticated pieces of software. It is like using emulated punch cards on modern high-resolution monitors. Loukides compares software programmers to the shoemaker’s children that walk around with holes in their shoes.
We’re still using old technology sugarcoated with some new layers, like the IDEs that generate those virtual punch cards and version control tools for managing changes to those punch cards. There are some tools for unit testing that work by requiring more punch cards (unit tests) and tools for continuous integration, deployment and container orchestration all of which are programmed by creating even more virtual punch cards.
Philosophising about the future of software programming the question raises what the new generation programming language will look like. Will it still be character based? Loukides thinks that it will be visual but that it will borrow ideas from all existing programming paradigms. Taking a completely new approach while still using the knowledge and protecting the value of the past.
That’s exactly how we view the transformation of legacy applications. The underlying valuable business logic should be preserved. The years of knowledge it includes represents an enormous value. Value that will propel innovation and increases competitive advantage.
Want to know more about how to unlock your legacy value and to get ready for this new era of digital transformation? Click here.