Is Java Development For Kids?
By Roman Strobl on V 04, 2006
I interviewed Colling Doering, a 15-year old student from Canada who keeps his own Java blog and his favorite activity is study of Java APIs. Check out the interview, I think it's fun and for me it's a bit surprising how early start people these days with Java.
The blogosphere was recently full of posts about the complexity of Java and how hard it is for new people to start with Java - well don't forget that kids became better "engineers" as well. Did you also notice how young children can do all kinds of fancy stuff with a mobile phone while I am having a hard time to teach my grandmother to operate one (nothing advanced - just making a phone call - and she still doesn't get it!). The times they are changing...
When I was 15 I was learning procedural programming with Pascal and a bit of Assembly (both on Commodore 64 and PC). Nowadays, students can skip lots of history and go faster to object oriented programming. It seems to me that there will be more developers with skills for writing programs in higher level languages, ignoring the low level ones. I wonder if that means that they will be worse programmers - some people think you need to go to the lowest level to completely get it (no matter what abstraction you use, every program is still at the end a sequence of commands with gotos). At any case computers are available now for almost everyone - you don't want to know how hard it was to get a computer for a normal family in the communistic Czechoslovakia around year 1985 - and young people can start to write software really early. I wonder if there is any younger member of the NetBeans community - if yes, please let me know.
Btw, Collin is writing his own NetBeans module now... it's a good test of usability and documentation of NetBeans APIs :)