Twitter, the social-networking Web site that allows users to broadcast short text messages to a group of friends, has burst into popularity with millions of subscribers. I’m a confirmed e-mail user, but that’s so 20th century. I feel a certain pressure to get with it. So, to Twitter or not to Twitter? I view it as a question for the ages—the ages of the users, that is.

It was my generation of engineers that created the Internet, but it is largely today’s youth who are molding the social connectedness that is coming to characterize cyberspace. These are the so-called digital natives, who grew up with the Internet already a part of everyday life. They’re always online, inhabiting multiple identities, living a culture of sharing and peer collaboration. For them, multitasking is just the way it is. We older engineers built cyberspace, but our kids live in it, and for many of them the technology is transparent and almost irrelevant.

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Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

11 min read
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A plate of spaghetti made from code
Shira Inbar
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You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

So why did they take shortcuts? Maybe they didn’t realize that they were cutting any corners. Only when their code was deployed and exercised by a lot of users did its hidden flaws come to light. And maybe the developers were rushed. Time-to-market pressures would almost guarantee that their software will contain more bugs than it would otherwise.

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