Friday, April 25, 2008

The Answer: Man and Machine in Unison

In my last post I proposed the question. What is more important the Tool or the Man when it comes to software development? It was in response to Gilads attempts to eliminate certain dangerous "features" from programming languages. I questioned whether this was the right focus and I got some interesting responses.

This one in particular rang a bell:

Rather than looking at it as Man against the Machine, I see this as a challenge of building a bridge between the two, giving both sides respect and attention. I agree with Andrew - if the machine can't solve the problem it should delegate to the person, but do it simply and clearly. In a more philosophical sense, I think because computer science is so young, we have not figured out properly how to transition from "science" to "engineering" yet. To do this we need tools that are controllable and safe alongside creating good programming curricula to train "the pilots".

I think both Andrew and Yardena are right in their responses. It isn't necessarily one or the other, Man versus Machine. We need both working in unison.

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