It's time for

Why Being a Programmer is Never Boring

May 4, 2018

By: Steve Maass, senior application programmer / geek & creative @ wisnet

If you’re the kind of person who enjoys a routine, where things kind of work the same way every day, and once you learn to do something, you can kind of do it on auto-pilot, programming is really not the job for you. But for those of us who enjoy the thing that makes programming interesting, even fun–creating something and seeing it work–change and constant learning are part of the deal.

When I started at wisnet, we mainly programmed in a language called IML (Internet Markup Language) that was created by our very own resident genius, Brian Kolstad. IML was geared to be a rapid-development language. It has commands that in many cases cause multiple operations to happen that in other languages would take several lines of code to accomplish the same thing.

I had never heard of IML (as was true of most of the rest of the world). Personally, my programming background was in ASP and JavaScript. But with the use of Brian’s IML documentation along with many questions over my shoulder to him, it quickly made sense, and I became an IML programmer, not touching ASP since.

JavaScript got its own rapid development boost when jQuery became popular. jQuery basically is JavaScript, but, like IML, it offers a way to do with simplified commands things that would be much more complicated to do in JavaScript itself. So, another learning curve leading to cleaner and faster programming. And more fun, when you try something new and see it work!

Fast-forwarding to 2018, wisnet’s main focus now is PHP, a language that’s been around for quite a while and has a rich and deep and constantly improving pool of code libraries and frameworks. Learning curve? You bet! But the result is standardized, structured programming that anyone with a knowledge of these common frameworks can jump in and follow.

It’s a truism that in technology, if you don’t stay in the game, you can get left behind. So is there still IML-based code in the world? Sure. We still support it, and when it’s appropriate, we still use it. But we want to make sure that our customers get the best websites and web apps that we can deliver, so we always stay tuned into what can improve our processes and our final product. That doesn’t mean jumping on board with every buzzing trend, because many trends don’t trend for long. But it does mean evaluating what might help us do what we do. And when we see a clear advantage in adding to or changing how we do things, we take that opportunity to learn, to challenge ourselves, and then to lean back and smile when that new chunk of programming… works!