Are Flash developers the new COBOL developers?

The game’s changing with HTML5 and I’m starting to hear the same type of comments from the mouthes of Flash developers that I’ve been hearing from COBOL developers for years. The gist of the comments is that what they use is never going away (which in the case of COBOL developers and probably with Flash, it’s a true statement). What throws me off though, is that there is a definite defiance towards the fact that the world is changing and a blatant admittance that the individual is stuck in their ways and not open to new (possibly better) thinking.

I use COBOL developers as an example because my last career choice landed me in an office with many, many COBOLers (we called them mainframers or MFers for short ;)). There were at least 3 times as many COBOL developers as web developers, and all but one of them was over 40. They would give us shit about how PHP was a passing trend, and “nothing but a scripting language” compared to their beloved COBOL. Don’t even try getting into a conversation about OOP or the fact that Java can interface with the mainframe just as well as COBOL. They weren’t having it.

I guess the point I’m trying to make is, it’s sad to see a more recent generation of developers (my generation?) fall into such close-mindedness about technology. Incidentally, I used to be a Flash developer in another life, and I didn’t like it at all. I was impressed when capabilities were added to display streaming video. But that’s just a thing of the past with the new HTML5 media support.

Now I’m not saying HTML5 is the new hammer for every nail, and I’m not saying that Flash will ever go away entirely (Adobe AIR has definitely made great strides) but the truth remains that Apple is standing firm on not including Flash support on it’s mobile devices, and Google’s out there building 3-D games in HTML5. To quote a Weezer song, “the world has turned and left me here”. I guess I’d be pretty pissed too if something threatened my bread & butter.

Josh Sherman - The Man, The Myth, The Avatar

About Josh

Husband. Father. Pug dad. Musician. Founder of Holiday API, Head of Engineering and Emoji Specialist at Mailshake, and author of the best damn Lorem Ipsum Library for PHP.

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