Robert Tamayo


Are Modern Programmers Even Programmers?

I'm a modern programmer. Reading things like Donald Knuth's The Art of Computer Programming has shown me that I lack a tremendous amount of knowledge about programming and computer science in general. Lacking that knowledge has not stopped me from making anything. I still code games, build web apps, and work as a software engineer. But I do sometimes wonder: am I really a programmer if I don't understand those things?

This question doesn't cause an existential crisis. I'm certain of what I do, and I call it programming. But I do wonder if these absolute masters of computers and code would look at what I do the same way I look at someone using a WYSIWYG. 

I don't want them to think of me as one of them, and I don't care if they would think I'm less of a programmer for not being able to do what they do. 

Their opinion doesn't matter. Their knowledge matters.

I want to have the knowledge and expertise that they do, because the knowledge and experience that they have is important. It's what I need to focus on in order to get to the next level, and the next level is always what I'm working toward.

The next phase of my programming journey has now officially begun. In this phase, I go back in time to learn how the greats learned. When I come out of this phase, I'll be at the next level. I don't expect it to be easy, but I'll persevere nonetheless.

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