Wednesday, June 18, 2008, Uh oh?

So I mentioned in my last post that I have began listening to podcasts.  I have a lot of respect for both Jeff Atwood (Coding Horror) and Joel Spoelsky.  So when I saw they were working together on a new project and publishing their conversations regarding their new product, I figured I had to listen.  Now, they've posted around 9 episodes now, but I've only had a chance to listen to the first couple so far.

Honestly, I'm a bit concerned by what I heard.  In their first episode I felt like they gave Microsoft technology based developers a really bad name.  Now it may well be largely true (which is probably part of my concern), but I wish there were more resources to correct this bad name, rather than encouraging it.

Basically, during the podcast you will hear something along the lines that Microsoft technology developers basically resort to the Google-Copy & Paste programming development.  Microsoft technology developers are called pragmatic in that they don't care what the right solution is, or how clean it is, or well it works so long as it does work. 

Now, I'm not saying that using google to find answers to interesting problems is a bad thing.  I'm not even saying that if you ever copy and paste code you're a bad developer, but ideally the developer is learning from the blog post instead of just finding something which seems to work and moves about their business.  Honestly, typically these samples you find in blog posts are not thorough enough for a true production deployment.  The point of these postings should be to educate people about new concepts, not try to do their job for them. from what I gathered wants to be the place to replace google as the first place where you search for doing your job.  Now they stated their goal is to be the first hit on google for all of your searches, but really I think they would be happier if you went straight there instead of google.

Now Stackoverflow is not Microsoft specific, it is meant to appeal to developers on all platforms.  However, they seem to be looking at the Microsoft centric market as their main target.  Honestly, I think these guys will be successful.  They both have large followings, and I think there is huge demand for systems that can essentially do their jobs for them.  I just wish it appeared to be a more helpful resource that helped developers grow, instead of just allowing them to get by.

This all being said, the podcast is worth checking out.  These are two extremely intelligent people, and by listening to these podcasts you essentially get a look inside their heads and how they think.  I don't have to agree with, or the topic which they discuss, I'm still able to learn from it while I listen.  To both Joel and Jeff, thank you for posting your phone conversations as podcasts, it has been a great learning experience for me.

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