I was a programmer once, and that experience showed me I was not a natural programmer – and that I could not compete with natural-born, genius types.
I could compete as a writer, however, so I became a technical writer – documenting mainly software products. It was a horrible job; companies don’t want good documentation – no matter what they say – and most tech writers were dropout English majors, or something equally useless, who couldn’t cut it there. They had no interest in their job – only in the politics of getting ahead – while pretending to be somebody important.
At the time, Microsoft was derisively called The Evil Empire – for good reason. And no one expected it would last. It did last, quite to everyone’s surprise. One reason for its success, was its approach to programming. It had a hard-headed business approach: it wanted to make programming so simple that programmers would not have to be paid much.
As a result, companies that used its approach got into huge messes that only top-notch programmers could figure out – and these guys got big bucks for doing this. And some companies got into such a mess that nothing could save them. But Microsoft excels at high-tech flimflam, and high-level executives excel at stupidity – and the two of them are still in bed, and doing you-know-what.
Microsoft has refined its programming tools until they are something respectable – but also something requiring considerable high-priced expertise – precisely the situation they were trying to avoid! So they are developing something easy again – something called NetMatrix – which is what I am learning now. It takes a building-block approach “All you have to to us connect these clever little blocks together in the right way – and you too can produce a miracle!”
I just tried it, doing exactly what it told me to do. I didn’t get the right result. Shit! After some fiddling around, I got it to work. Their damn documentation has a bug in it!
Immediately, I notice something I had forgotten: programming sucks up a lot of time. Determined to figure out what is going on I switch to some of their other documentation, which does a better job of it. Their stuff is beginning to make some sense. But that will have to wait until tomorrow – I have burned up too much time on this already.