On some of the blogs I read, the topic of Java’s imminent demise regularly pops up. Various internet pundits will regularly argue along the lines of a recent blog post: “Java EE is dead. Stop using it”. Others will weigh in, referring to the immense lead Java has in job postings and code used in real-life enterprise applications.
I don’t want to join that discussion. But I want to make you think about what that discussion says about our profession.
You do not see civil engineers starting blog wars with posts like “Concrete is Dead. Stop Using it”, and advocating carbon fibre for all construction. The reason is that civil engineers are engineers. They have a body of knowledge, accepted standards, examinations and accreditations, and they slowly accumulate knowledge and advance their profession.
In IT, we have been talking about software engineering for the 30 years I’ve been in the business. But we are even further from being an engineers profession than we were 30 years ago. For mysterious reasons, we regularly throw away the knowledge our users and customers have paid dearly for us to accumulate, and start all over.
Next time somebody comes up with a bright new idea, framework, or design principle, think: What would an engineer do?