Baba (Dad) what do you do?

“Baba (Dad) what do you do?” asked my little boy who just turned 8.

I was busy reading an article which depressingly talks on why MS won’t (or maybe will) allow in-game KB/Mouse support in upcoming XBOX update(s) that kinda makes your inner pessimist-self go optimistic (at the same time). Due to the delay of me responding back to my kid, my better half chipped in and said,

“Well, dad is a Programmer”.

I felt so proud of my better half, I mean she said Programmer, someone called me that after sometime instead of Developer. Honesty when was the last time you crawled out of your developer shell and acted like a programmer? but let’s not talk about that).

Back to the scenario what I was talking about. My kid was a bit surprised and asked

“what is a Programmer?”

Well the question was thrown to my wife. For a moment I saw the blankness in her eyes (she did say something, I can’t even remember what was that, something to do with computer), and there you go, suddenly I felt like Chandler Bing (again)

Later that day I tried to explain what is the conventional trend for a typical average developer’s life.

I mentioned about XaaS (X or anything/everything as a Service) and library oriented development (i.e. don’t reinvent the wheel, open-source or not).

You translate your problems into little features and try to see what existing available libraries (by programmers) can already do that. You do try to minimise the footprint while combining those libraries but almost in every scenario you prefer an existing one rather than creating one by yourself specific to your needs. Even better you try to find something that does all of those for you (a.k.a. framework + platform) Once you figure out the integration bit you do a little tweaking/customisation, and then approach/deploy to the XaaS model (almost like you go iSelect on them) and you are almost done.

“So why does it make you sad?” she asked (sad? oh I guess she picked that up from my voice while I was explaining those things).

I can’t answer that so easily, can I? I am really not sad, it’s hard to explain what you feel, you feel a bit weird. It’s a bit like that cab driver. To the passenger the best cab driver is the one who can take him/her from point A to B in the shortest time.  As if the skill of driving is really comes second, its more about the knowledge on which roads and shortcuts are the best ones on a given time. In ideal scenario (as the condition mostly stays the same) the driving skill will not be so much appreciated where-as the route domain know-how will.

“But it’s not bad, right?”, she said…

Well you tell me. With roads, traffics and related data/variables properly defined with the help of real time cloud service integrated with AI, again integrated with autonomous car, what do you think will happen?  Who is not in the scenario anymore?

To that question, her eyes again went blank (but this time I think for proper reason).

OK, that’s probably bit far-fetched. But how about this? Let’s push this analogy a bit far (you know far-far). Let’s say, every (most) prominent software libraries has well defined common standard manifests (describing what they do/don’t/compatibility etc.) and now combine them with XaaS (mostly SaaS+IaaS) model. All you need now AI to kick in which can go iSelect on them.

The end user says,” I want this bit, that bit and maybe not that bit, tell me, what are my options”?

What do you think is going to happen? I asked.

“Why cant one be a good cab driver and know the ins-and-outs of the route at the same time”?  she bypassed my question (didn’t even ask what is SaaS or IaaS).

“… Well, my dear, the reason is that the road for the developer these days is so rapidly changing its a bit weird to become equally good at both in the time span of heading A to B…”

Of-course I didn’t say that out loud. A little bit GPS led navigation (with blind faith) or the idea of black-box led development is not that bad. I also didn’t say the fact that when I think of myself as a Programmer this instead makes me excited and shows me glimpse of new opportunities.

I didn’t say any of that out loud either. I haven’t lost my sanity, yet!

Instead, I just smiled (why ruin a developer’s dream, they are such beautiful dreams).

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