Zed Shaw’s view on how Programming Languages and Software Development evolve as a Profession

We are excited to welcome Zed Shaw, one of the most popular Python Gurus of our time and a bestselling author, once again to be our guest.

He will get into how software patterns, development methods and architecture has changed over the years as team and project sizes changed.

Single-Page vs. Multi-Page Web Applications: The advantages (and disadvantages) nobody talks about.

Read below what Zed Shaw shared with us just a few days before the big event and sign up if you haven’t done already!


How do programming languages evolve and how do you envision the future of programming?

I feel that programming languages are stuck in an era where the languages with the best developer evangelists, most money, and loudest propaganda seem to dominate. Sadly I don’t see this going away any time soon, so I think the future of programming is going to be more languages trying to dominate other languages and build followers through manipulative propaganda style marketing. You’ll see a lot more “Dictators for Life” in more programming languages that really shouldn’t be popular given their deficiencies and ridiculous stances on developer usability. My dream would be that programmers snap out of this mindset and realize that languages don’t have to “dominate” or be led by authoritarians who tell them to rewrite their code because these authoritarians don’t know how the Church-Turing thesis works.

How will the profession of software developers change with the advancement of technology?

I actually think there’s something to the “no code” trend, but I think the current rendition of it isn’t what we’ll eventually have. If programmers get past the authoritarian mindset I describe then they’ll start to realize that they don’t *have* to hand code everything. There will be a place for programmers who write custom crafted code and a place for those who use quick automation to create 90% of the software they need. I feel that this possible rise of Future No-code development systems will free programmers from drudgery programming and let them start creating expressive works of code rather than “make that button bigger.”

What are the most promising areas and technologies in which one programmer can develop at the moment in your opinion? The demand for which languages will continue to grow and which will no longer be so relevant?

I think right now is an amazing time to be a web developer or a game developer. Web development has never been easier and less annoying than it is now. In the past you couldn’t even easily center something in a web page, and now you have your choice of reactive UI frameworks, CSS frameworks, and it’s even easier to avoid all frameworks entirely to simply create your own style. The game development space seems to be having a similar renaissance with an explosion of indie and “early access” games selling well and having very high polish despite being created by a single person. Combine that with the high volume of people simply playing games for other people on platforms like Twitch and Youtube and the gaming space is a very attractive space. The only problem I see with gaming as a development target is the serious lack of accessible education.

What do you want to advise developers who are just at the beginning of their career?

Learn at least 4 programming languages. Use those 4 languages to make copies of anything you can. Spend as much time as you can fixing bugs. I find if someone knows 4 languages they seem to understand the core aspects of programming and can learn new languages as they become popular. Making copies of other software is a great way to learn to create things without having to rely on your own creativity. Copying is how most humans learn everything. Bugs are a constant in programming so getting good at fixing them is one of the best ways to get better at programming. Learning how to *avoid* bugs in the first place also comes from fixing them for a long time.

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