16 Dec 2002 shughes   » (Journeyer)

Generation J

It truly amazes me sometimes how today's programmers are turning out. I'm one of the PHP developers, and as such, I get to see alot of new people starting to program.

Everyone starts somewhere....

But what constantly shocks me is the hubris of these new programmers. People who have just started using PHP, maybe have written a small intranet, maybe a website, who knows maybe a website that gets 100,000 hits a day (hardly anything these days), and they come to the php development list and start lecturing PHP developers on how the "enterprise" looks at php and how we should change PHP's development.

We then tell them, for example, thank you very much but we will not make parse errors something that can be "catchable" by the user. Why, because:

1) Its not how languages should work, a basic check of your code (you know, running it _before_ you deploy it) will reveal such parse errors.

2) Technically, a parse error leaves the engine in an unstable state, meaning its simply not possible.

Of course, these "enterprise" programmers, know better. They try and explain that handling of parse errors is needed to give PHP enterprise acceptance.


Now the fact that they continually argue is annoying, its like a little fly, that no matter how much you want to, you can't swat it, "that's bad for the community." Still, that's not the part that shocks me - personally, I think I'm right, even when I argue with people that have more experience than me. We all have to learn. What is unbearable about these people is the way in which they argue.

"PHP needs this for enterprise acceptance" "This is an error in your way of thinking" "You're not in touch with what real users want" etc.

If you're new, or just a plain bad programmer, that's fine, everyone should have a voice, everyone should have the opportunity to learn, in fact its what keeps a community vibrant: new developers come in, they may not have the most skills in the world, but they learn and then eventually become productive members of the community.

What is infinitely irritating is when a new or inexperienced developer comes, and lectures us on his "one true vision," and refuses to learn from people who *do* in fact know a bit more then him. He can't let an issue lie, he has to argue every single comment made by every single developer in attempt to prove to us that he knows more and is correct. "Hey let's all of PHP's error messages be stored in XML format!" In place of intelligent thought, let me use a buzzword!

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