So much this. The addendum in particular
I just don’t seem to feel fluent in anything much any more.
We talk about ‘flow’ quite a lot in software and I just have to wonder what’s happening to us all in that respect. Just like a conversation becomes stilted if the speakers keep having to refer to their phrasebooks and dictionaries, I wonder how much longer it will be possible to retain any sort of flowful state when writing software. Might the idea of mastery disappear forever under a constant torrent of new tools and technologies?
The stuff this article (and it's precursor) discuss has been growing in me for a few years, though I only realized it sometime in the past year or so. In part, it's overload... that feeling that Library / Framework Y might be better than Library / Framework X, and then while researching to decide, I learn about Z and my problem becomes another order of magnitude harder to figure out. This is Schwartz applied to programming -- the more choice is out there, the more intellectual overhead there is and the less confident I feel about just starting to work.
It's also why my interest -- though not yet my abilities -- have started to shift to UX and design quite markedly in the same time period. Writing code is less satisfying than it used to be, but beautiful design is a genuine accomplishment.
Whatever happened to programming, redux: it may not be as bad as all that