Iterating Over Increasingly More Interesting Data

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.

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