People go to Stack Overflow because the docs and error messages are garbage. TLDR exists because the docs and error messages are garbage. People ask ChatGPT for help because the docs and error messages are garbage. We are going to lose a generation of competence and turn programming into call-and-response glyph-engine supplicancy because we let a personality cult that formed around the PDP-11 in the 1970s convince us that it was pure and good that docs and error messages are garbage.
Mike takes a look at what can go wrong when writing a one-line “Hello World” program in C. It’s a darkly comic example of the slapstick violence that developers inflict on one other.
It’s not just error messages and documentation. Today’s tools and frameworks overflow with violence. Its omnipresence inures us to it; we cast blame anywhere but where we should. All developers suffer for it but new developers suffer disproportionately more.