All Technology Has Downsides
Rocky makes some good points in his recent piece on DSLs (DSLs – fun, cool, but maybe a bad idea? ) — basically, who’s going to learn the DSL when the folks that know it move on? That’s one potential downside of the proliferation of DSLs and I could give you more.
However, all technologies come with these downsides, e.g.
- Managed environments make new programmers forget what’s under the hood (and in some cases, actually afraid to look).
- Horseless carriages produce pollution.
- iPhones are killing the English language by encouraging the use of “words” like “lol,” “afaik” and “wtf.”
- Airplanes crash.
- Very very bad code written in Visual Basic can still do the right thing.
- Fonts let every letter look like a ransom note.
The point isn’t whether a technology has downsides or not — of course, it does. The point is whether the upsides outweigh the downsides. In the case of DSLs and model-driven development all up, the “Oslo” team is making a big bet that we can make you overall more productive when digging ourselves out of the IT software backlog hole. Will we be? I think so, but we have a lot of work to do before we’ll know for sure.
And how do we reduce the impact of the downsides of a new technology? By knowing that they’re there, which is why Rocky’s commentary is so useful. Recommended.