20 Years a Developer

Historical photo of the first ABAP developer

Seasoned developers, like myself, tend to reminisce about the “old days” (about 5 years ago) and either admire or grumble about the progress made since. In his article How is computer programming different today than 20 years ago? ex-Microsofter Sedat Kapanoğlu makes interesting observations on how programming changed in the last two decades.

Some items on his list, such as garbage collection, won’t ring a bell to SAP developers, but I found many of his observations quite relevant:

  • “Language tooling is richer today.” Probably less so for SAP proprietary languages but still, just 10 years ago our choice of tooling was like in the famous Henry Ford quote, “any color as long as it’s black”.
  • “IDEs and the programming languages are getting more and more distant from each other.” But, of course, we are still having debates on how SAP GUI is better than Eclipse. Time to move on, folks.
  • “Unit testing has emerged as a hype and like every useful thing, its benefits were overestimated and it has inevitably turned into a religion.” This perfectly reflects my own POV on unit testing. Debating with its adepts is definitely as pointless as trying to talk someone out of their religion.

Bring on the angry letters! JP

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