Category Archives: History

Generations of Developers Part Two

Episode 106

In the previous episode, we introduced the idea of generations from the social science perspective. Generations were shaped by certain events and shifts in technology and society. We explored Strauss-Howe theory of repeating cycles through history and dived deeper into characteristics of the Silent Generation, Baby Boomers and the X Generation. We have met some famous people representing those generations that made an impact on the shape of the software industry from the business and science perspectives alike. 

Today we will continue our journey through generations, starting with a closer look at Millennials, followed by Generation Z and Generation Alpha. We will also explore a bit of related anthropology, and talk about reverse mentoring as well as the challenges and opportunities of generational diversity.

The Millennials

Millennials were born between 1981 and 1996, which makes them 27 to 42 years old now. Strauss and Howe describe them as members of the Hero or Civic generation – entering childhood during a time of individual pragmatism, self-reliance and laissez-faire and entering adulthood during a crisis. Millennials saw live coverage of the 9/11 attacks that started the war on terror, rising environmental issues and the 2008 financial crisis. But most importantly, they were the first global generation and the Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on February 26, 2023 in History, Leadership, Technology


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Generations of Developers Part One

Episode 105

In the previous two episodes, we have been exploring the world of individual differences and types of personality and dived deeper into one of many ways to categorize those types. It’s an interesting and helpful exercise as long as we keep in mind that everyone is different and requires an individual approach. Our personality depends strongly on the genetic lottery and our environment, especially during childhood and youth. Another interesting device we can use to better describe and understand people around us is the notion of the generation or demographic cohort they belong to. Age is just a number as they say, but aren’t developers ultimately the ones dealing with numbers after all? Today we will look at various aspects of several different generations we interact with, check what events and experiences shaped them, explore what might be particularly important to them and look for influential examples in the tech industry.

Generations conflict. Age gap. This is a really old topic. For centuries and millennia, there was a clash between parents and children, old and young, wisdom and experience, order vs curiosity, energy, rebellion and all that stuff. You can find papers on that dating back to antiquity. There is an ample pool of work about differences, but there is also an array of publications saying that it’s all bullshit and hurtful stereotypes. That you can’t look at a person through the lens of age group, put a label and just act according to it. So, how is it in the end? As usual, it’s somewhere in the middle. Generational differences do exist, but they are weak compared to Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on February 19, 2023 in History, Leadership, Technology


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The Evolution of Software Development Part Three

Episode 101

In the previous part of this article, we continued a journey through important milestones in the history of software development through the eighties and nineties, including non-obvious influences of Gamers and Hackers, Version Control, Open Source, Common Runtime Environments, Virtual Machines, Agile, DevOps, Continuous Integration, and Automated Tests.


Image by Jose Borges

In this part, we will mostly explore what happened in the last twenty years, but as usually some of the concepts can be traced back to earlier times. As previously, we will be interested not only in pure technology but also methodologies and organizational ideas.

Extreme Programming and Software Craftsmanship

Prominent methodologies within Agile software development like Scrum or Kanban, provided some organizational guidelines over the process, which while very useful, is not very specific on the technical side. While navigating various simple and complex organizational ideas at the top, the industry was seeking a decent codification of good engineering practices at the bottom. One such approach was Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on September 13, 2020 in History, Technology


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The Evolution of Software Development Part Two

Episode 100

And here we are, dear reader, six years and one hundred episodes later. The idea and form of this blog did evolve a bit over the years, from being a diary of a project through a collection of book reviews, conference reports, introductions to various IT technologies and concepts, article series on Spring, AWS, and web API design. There was digging up in history, a little bit on hardware, a little bit on people, and a little bit on dragons. There is not so much Java here anymore, so in the retrospective, one might think that the blog name is not exactly adequate. We all have our roots and backgrounds though and I’m kind of a sentimental person.


Image by Sergey Vasnev

We are also in the middle of another journey here. In the first part of this article, we traced the early history of significant milestones in the evolution of software development, starting with early achievement in computer science and first hardware through Assembler, recognition of Software Engineering, Compilers, Unified Hardware Architectures, Object-Oriented Languages, Design Patterns, Personal Computers, IDEs and finally The Internet and WEB APIs. We assessed how all that created and shaped the IT industry through the decades. In this part, we will catch up with the timeline somewhere between the eighties and the nineties and traverse towards a new millennium. Software development as an engineering discipline has changed a lot over this time as well. Several key phenomena fuelled those changes, and we are going to explore them right now.

Gamers and Hackers

Perhaps one of the most overlooked aspects of stimulating the growth of software development is computer games. Many people are not aware, that the computer games industry nowadays is worth over twice the film and music industry combined (154B vs 41B + 19B in 2018) and is growing at a 10% yearly rate. This has several consequences. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on August 5, 2020 in History, Technology


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