21/10/2014

The Future of Programming by @worrydream



I recently attended a two track conference (one track design, one track dev) and for the sake of not watching a presentation I'd already seen and for the sake of forcing myself to open my brain beyond design I decided to spend the morning in the Dev track.

It turned out to be a fantastic idea. One of the references during the presentations was this presentations by Bret Victor. Most of the Developer attendees nodded along knowingly, however none of my design friends have heard of it.

Yes it's a presentation about programming, but wait! It's probably one of the most creative presentations you'll see. Bret Victor gave this entire presentation from the perspective of a 1970s Californian computer scientist. The idea of looking at the future, from a historic view is total genius. Bret's attention to detail is wonderful. He dresses as a stereotypical 70s computer operator, complete with pocket pen pouch. He even delivers the slides using an overhead projector.

One of the key messages in this presentation is that technology moves quickly, but people's behaviour takes much longer change. Which brings back the argument that because we know how to do something, does it mean we should do it?

It also nicely frames the notion that in order to really understand where we (the digital industry) are going, we have to fully understand where we've come from.