As an

editor on TechRepublic I get the benefit of a rather eclectic mix of content.

Whether it’s downloads or articles or blogs or discussions or TechQA, it falls within my purview. Recently, several

pieces of content came together in such a way as to get me thinking – which is

always a dangerous and unpredictable thing to have happen.


I gave a presentation to several colleagues describing some of the features of



target=”_blank”>Visual Studio 2005. Keep in mind this was not from the

perspective of a developer, but from an editor who must develop content

regarding this venerable IDE. So, while I am by no stretch of the imagination a

programmer, I do know enough about it to note that it is much easier to create

applications now, in a visual environment, than it was to create applications

years ago when I had to type FORTRAN code onto paper cards. (Some

href=”” target=”_blank”>images

of VS 2005)


general, I believe this ease of use is a good thing. It makes application

development less “magical” for business side folks and brings all the

various stakeholders of an application’s development closer to speaking the

same language.


a recent

target=”_blank”>download /

href=”” target=”_blank”>article

by Robert

Bogue pointed out one of the downsides of this easier development – young

developers learning bad habits that haunt them later. Robert believes that

organizations are teaching their software developers that parts of the process,

like documentation for example, are accidental and are therefore not essential

to the success of the project? I can see how an IDE like VS 2005, with all of

its pre-programmed controls and widgets could make a developer complacent. For

any profession, the discipline of acting as a professional cannot be sacrificed

for the sake of convenience or making money. (Think about Arthur Andersen for a



the issue is one weighing heavy on many developers’s psyche – at least that is

how it seems when I look at the


target=”_blank”>discussion thread Robert’s article generated. What are your

thoughts on the matter – do these helpful IDE’s like

Visual Studio and Eclipse actually make for less-skilled developers or are

complaints of poor documentation and programming shortcuts merely holdovers

from a bygone era? How rapid is rapid development – is there time for solid