tech

Nonprogrammers are building more of the world's software

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By Tam Nguyen

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A strange discussion, because everyone is a programmer. You get up if the alarm clock rings, you program the next steps, for instance putting clothes on before leaving for work, and when you use the washing machines you start their subroutines with only putting dirty clothes in and taking the clean ones out, and so on and on. Everyone on this planet is a programmer, so it doesn’t play a role if you can program a computer or a computer can program itself. That could theoretically be done also by everyone else with pen and paper or whatever else. It’s all very much overestimated and it maybe only lacks of some self-confidence of non computer programmers compared to computer programmers, because you can’t tell who is better, for example a Python expert or a mother of many children…who programs better, one the computer the other daily family life? You cannot say, they are both experts in different kind of programming.

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A programmer can understand the application workflow and the nitty gritties much better than a non-programmer.

Even if one is from a non-technical background it helps to learn a programming language and go through the code in order to understand what the app is designed to do and how it does it. Everyone should not turn into a Business Analyst who understand what the app does but not how it does it, and I have seen some of these BAs saying they built the application when all they did was provide the requirements to the developers.

The issue with learning programming languages is that there is no one language that is suitable for designing all kinds of software. Java is good for enterprise apps but not as good as C/C++ for embedded design. Python is good for data science and AI/ML but not as good as JavaScript for front end design. And serious game developers need to learn C#.

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Using a "no-code" development environment is just programming in a non-conventional language. It's no different from using an IDE such as Xcode. Almost no-one writing code for iOS devices has any idea how pixels are written to the screen, that's abstracted away by the coding language.

Abstract enough away, and you get these new platforms, you also lose the ability to do complex things, and optimize the code in any meaningful way.

This is basically putting an air freshener in a car and saying you "built" a car because you put two pre-manufactured pieces together and created "car with air freshener function"

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