December 2, 2018
Code warriors

A true warrior masters his sword and his mind. A ‘code warrior’ masters his software and his system. Mastering your software is not the most difficult part, just read the quick-start and off you go. Mastering the system that makes your software function, however, can take a lifetime.

Most developers aspire to only master their software. They agree to a solution where software executes ‘unknown code’. It seems that the more unknown code is being executed, the more popular a solution will be. Plugins are a great way of hiding code. The most popular blogging platform has millions of plugins. Newfangled (popular) strategies like ‘containers’ and ‘serverless’ are even better at hiding code. It is clearly the direction we are heading.

Why do people like ‘unknown code’ so much? The key word is ’efficiency’. People do not like to reinvent the wheel. They want shortcuts and ‘unknown code’ promises shortcuts and efficiency. A true warrior knows: there are no shortcuts. Everybody should design and build their own wheel. Maybe, when you fully understand how it all works, you should be allowed to choose somebody elses solution. Else, why do we make children learn stuff by doing and failing and not by carefully instructing them how to do it right? Because we know that trying and failing leads to true understanding, it leads to ‘mastering’ it. We know this is true, yet in an industry where learning is very important, we love to forget this.

Allowing too much unknown code can even be dangerous, especially when that unknown code is not vetted properly by others/the community. It can create situations that cost us lots of money and/or jeopardize our privacy and thus our freedom.

It is time for ‘code warriors’ to fight unknown code. Superheroes with angular weaponry, who can see sharp, react fast and hit like a meteor.

Code warriors, unite!

()  Joost van der Schee

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