You've just introduced the hammer to the nail.
I think IT/Programming as an Engineer discipline also faces a challenge that no other ever has (or at least a greater scale of problem) and that's a matured Business Administration field that has well developed strategies for keeping costs down and aggressively turning new technology into commoditized blobs. I suspect the golden age of computing has already been and gone with the dawn of the Internet. No more glory days of the railways and locomotives, we've headed straight into the grind of delivering a commuter service of ever increasing efficiency and decreasing costs.
I don't fear that as such but worry that it's going to slow or even distort the maturing process. There's a host of new technologies (secured BGP, IPv6, DNS-SEC, DANE, HTML5 etc) which are crawling along in implementation because the benefits to end users aren't easily marketable or just opaque to managers who are "Professional" managers rather than capable leaders from our own field.
There was an article in The Register the other day about how the large players (Google, Amazon etc...) pursuit of horizontal scalability and vertical integration had effectively caused a skills shortage in "pure" Systems Administration. Couple those factors to aggressive out sourcing in IT and you end up with such a small field of experience that it causes a drought of innovation.
It's something like Building Architects and Civil Engineering, because their so out sourced and "small pool practices" they may churn out beautiful designs but there's no true revolution in construction industry practices. Why are robots not building houses to order, all the components (bricks, girders, windows) are fairly standardised, the requirements are well defined etc. Why isn't urban street furniture standardised so that instead of re-tarmacing or repaving a road or pavement a new "top" is dropped in to cover up the utility pipes and cables kept tidily arranged below?
I come to
/. for the comments, but with the new Beta, I can't even see anything! It just says:
''Shazbot! We ran into some trouble getting the comments. Try again... na-nu, na-nu!
It seems like the "developers" need to take some advice from people who actually know what they are doing. I'm happy to help explain what graceful degradation means if they like...
Make sure your code does nothing gracefully.