Generation Y programmers

I guess I could be labelled as old-fashioned. I grew up knowing DOS and remembered being ecstatic over typing something on the command line and getting an output. When I was in university, Netscape was the browser, I used the vi editor to code on Unix, and Neopets and ICQ were the rage.

I’ve seen some truly horrendous applications. Truly and totally ugly interfaces. I’ve dealt with Delphi and PowerBuilder legacy applications, and had maintained my fair share of web applications. Sometimes, the user experience in those applications were downright hostile.

So when I read this article mentioning the younger workforce, I was stunned by this:

Will Generation Y, who is accustomed to Facebook Applications, Google Docs, Rich internet application interfaces, and advanced web technology (all public) be shocked to find out how bad your enterprise software is?

I’m still reeling from the implications…

Some of my users are, shall we say, sheltered from all the bling on the Internet nowadays. They are quite content to accept some of the user interface inconsistencies. Roundabout and duplicate methods of getting things done pop up, yet they are unfazed by the inconvenience.

How will the younger generation of programmers react to this? They’ve seen all the slick interfaces. How will companies react to them? Companies might be very attached to their legacy applications.

Hip young programmers. Hideous user interfaces. Hmm… Either the programmers spruce up applications from inside the companies, or companies stifle their energy, their passion with corporate rules.

Or maybe something fantastic will come out of this. What do you think?

  1. Ben Barden

    I may be getting off the point here…

    I think that there are far too many so-called “Web 2.0 applications” that are primarily a playground for the coder to say “look what I can do”. Some people need to get back to basics – not by avoiding web-based applications altogether, but by thinking up a killer app that actually serves a purpose.

    Facebook is a good example of this – lots of applications get added, played with for a bit, then never used again. You only have to look at the comments posted against some of those apps to see that the non-technical users don’t really see much point in them.

    AJAX might seem cool to coders (and I don’t disagree), but a user doesn’t care unless the application serves a purpose. Coders are coding for users, not themselves. When a coder goes to work, the same applies.

Comments are closed.