* Smiljan Grmek
| This can easily be verified if you look at job offerings on the Net with
| Smalltalk as keyword.
ahem. job markets have weird and counter-intuitive dynamics. let's say
you want to find cheap labor and the ability to fire people at will. it
would be smart to offer the job to a lot of people, all competing with each
other to drive their asking price down. mass marketing of jobs has very
significant benefits for employers, and almost only negative consequences
for employees. if there are many who could take your place, you're only as
well paid as your best competitor, and you can't plan very far ahead due to
the high probability of being replaced. assembly-line programmers are not
expected to add any significant value to the programming process, either,
just get the damn thing to work. therefore, you need lots of them, and it
is a good idea if lots of people could take these jobs. consequence: a
vibrant jobs market with mostly incompetent people who hire and get hired.
Smalltalk, Ada, and Lisp jobs are not advertised in the mass media. to get
at highly qualified personnell, employers must expect them to have a good
education, be able to and want to plan fairly far ahead, and have a sense
of quality that is incompatible with today's software. it would also be
silly to advertise such a job in the mass market for another reason: it
tells other programmers and companies that the hiring company is unable to
attract qualified programmers in niche markets. thus, they would not get
any useful responses, as well as getting negative publicity.
consider TV ads as another example. those who advertise on TV seek
customers who are easily manipulated by TV ads. that's why you see a lot
of religious groups, lawyers who speak of how much money they got their
clients, and car dealers advertise amidst the toilet and hygiene articles
and the detergents. some restaurants advertise on the TV, but invariably
those that attract mass market customers, such as burger and pizza joints
and the like. a gourmet restaurant should _not_ advertise on TV because
that would associate them with the restaurants that do.
the mass market is largely uninteresting if you're offering or after
anything of high quality. this applies to jobs, too.
| Seriously, languages must be designed for average, garden variety of
| programmers, not CS graduates.
you forgot to state the primary requirement of those languages this applies
to: that you want to advertise the language itself in the mass media and
likewise with programmer positions, and that you want to pay chicken feed
to those you hire. if you have somewhat higher aspirations, you design a
language so that average, garden variety programmers don't understand it,
or won't flock to it.
| US DOD stated that conversion to parallel processing is not advisable
| because only 1/3 of their programmers could program in appropriate
precisely. note the converse: if you would like to retain the best third
of your programmers, convert to parallel processing.
those who argue for quantity over quality have yet to demonstrate that the
lower prices carry smaller costs in terms of reduced quality than it saves.
I'm no longer young enough to know everything.