IT Learning Curve

In commentary on Open Source resources, I advanced the notion that among professionals, IT developers have the toughest lifelong learning curve confronting them next to doctors and health care workers. I offer the latest issue(September 2007) of Dr. Dobbs Journal and the Editorial by Jonathan Erickson therein as proof of the notion. Jonathan has been advocating that developers and other readers of DDJ should get up to speed on parallel programming for the new multi core architectures.

Jonathan has chosen to bring in an outside resource, Microsoft Technical Fellow Burton Smith to help advance his argument.:
“Moores Law will continue to improve transistor cost and speed but single processor performance will no longer keep pace. There are two possible future scenarios: Either computers get a lot more cheaper but not much faster or we use parallel computing to sustain continual performance improvements. In the first case computing becomes a mature industry and both hardware and software become commodities. In the second, consumers will continue to enjoy the benefits of performance improvements, but successful software and hardware providers will have to embrace parallelism to differentiate themselves and compete… its vital that hardware and software adopt to new models of computing…these new models would require a new way of thinking, thereby “mandating a re-invention of computing…”

Now anyone whose done thread programming with mutexes and other locking mechanisms wil have necountered the basic paradigms of the parallel programming world. Let me suggest, just like messaging and long duration concurrency control, parallel programming takes developers to an added level of sophistication that will make n-tier computing look trivial in comparison. Now some might shoot back – how many people will have to be doing parallel programming. About as many as do XML, threads, and massive UI event loop programming. Better start brushing up sooner rather than later.


(c)JBSurveyer 2007 If you liked this, let others know:
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