Tech Cynic: Keen new developers will kill us all
Software & Web Development

Tech Cynic: Keen new developers will kill us all

When I was a child, my mother owned a tea-towel on which was depicted a piece of artwork by Heath-Robinson. It was a complex breakfast scene in which ridiculously over-complicated machinery was employed to do simple, mundane things, such as pour tea and serve toast. The machine looked, at least to an eight-year-old boy, as if it might actually work, and there was a certain perverse elegance in using such an extravagant device to perform tasks that could much more easily have been completed without it.

An image of this tea-towel flashed into my mind when attending a recent hackathon, whose identity and location will remain nameless because it's hardly unique. A number of keen young students were showing off their web development skills.

"Look!" one of them called out, excitedly. We all gathered around his laptop as he explained that he'd created a new way to serve text content. As I listened to his description, I could hear the number of exclamation marks increasing with every sentence.

"I based it on an antiSQL database that's connected to four different SAW server engines! They don't load-balance, they fight for dominance using a negative load-weighting algorithm!! Services are provided using a FRANtic API!!! That's like RESTful but it auto-updates via the cloud every 32 nano-seconds!!!!"

"That's... special," I said, keeping a straight face. "How many JavaScript libraries are you using?"

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Alex Cruickshank

Alex Cruickshank has been writing about technology and business since 1994. He has lived in various far-flung places around the world and is now based in Berlin.  

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