While talking with a coworker yesterday I think I accidentally summed up a career spent in software development in a single sentence. What I said was that I feel like as technology has evolved from platform to platform, programming model to programming model, all we’re really doing is iterating over increasingly more interesting data.
When I first started writing code in QBasic in highschool, I was iterating over arrays of ints and strings that had some relevance to the text-based games I was writing. In college I learned OOP and was iterating over my own new data types such as “words”, which were strings that could be associated with a proper spelling and corrected accordingly. In my first job as a professional software developer I was iterating over residential and commercial addresses in a G.I.S. system in order to more effeciently map routes for waste collection services.
Since then I’ve iterated over financial transactions, packages awaiting shipment confirmation, tickets being purchased for concerts, and a thousand other objects of more and more interesting classes.
I don’t really have any conclusion to take away from this, only that I wonder what we’ll be iterating over next.