I spend yesterday at MDCC (Microsoft Development Center Copenhagen). The topic of the trip was “Where are programming languages going”. The talk started with Andres Hejlsberg starting up Turbo Pascal and doing a small loop example. Nostalgia like that is really something that can get a smile on my face. He off cause did this to prove the point, that programming style hasn’t really changed that much during the last 10 years, and the programming languages, is one of the slowest things in the information age.
Concurrency was quickly pointed out as the new obstacle that we as developers has to face, where in the past we could over look this due to many of us running on machines with one or very few processors. This is current a hard task to do. Now this is one of the where computer the runtime environment and compilers will help us in the future, but this is currently not doable mainly due to us developers over specifying our algorithms. So we have to shift from a very imperative to a more declarative programming form, for the runtime environment to be able to run concurrent. This shift of coding style also has the great benefit that it almost always is more compact and less code is more. One of the current best examples of this code style shift if LINQ. In a LINQ you do not find any information in how to query but only what and that really is the essence of the shift, going from How to What.
Steve Ballmer arrived in Denmark yesterday, so dropped in on us and just gave us a small talk on how he sees the future. This was done in true Ballmer (the true Ballmer style is: “energetic, energetic, energetic”). He threw old comment “The best stuff still to be developed” and he good old story about the insurance guy.
Other topic was the future mixing of static and dynamic languages and Andres showed of the new dynamic syntax in C#. This new feature is one that I am really looking forward to. This is very helpful in the web world and many places in very abstract environment (like Composite C1). Off cause this dynamic will be run as managed code but it will make integration to other languages much easier.
All in all, this was a good way to spend a Sunday and the small fill in by Steve Ballmer really makes me look forward for today’s speak at Radisson.