Java Kid talks about visual designers, and asks if people rely on them too much. Here is what I have to say to that…once upon a time people coded on punch cards. I do not have first hand experience with punch cards, but I have heard that they were a treat. They were especially fun if you accidentally entered an O instead of a zero or if the cards got out of order.
When people started programming in DOS instead of using punch cards, I bet some people were up in arms. I wonder if the argument flew around that real engineers did not use DOS. Where is the discipline in DOS? Anybody can write programs in DOS, it takes someone with training and superior intelligence to program on punch cards! Look at all these rag-tag new-fangled youngsters with no experience hopping right in to the development community!
I also have known people who love notepad. All you need to write a good application is a text editor and a compiler, right? Visual Studio is for sissies, and intellisense is for people who are not careful enough to spell correctly when they are typing and for people who don’t already know which assemblies house which classes.
To that, I say bah!
I think that using visual designers fall right along side using intellisense while coding. If intellisense helps you work faster and cleaner, then I don’t buy the argument that we should experience a certain amount of pain in order to be respected as intelligent software engineers. In my opinion, visual designers sometimes come in handy. I use the visual designers when I would otherwise be writing a bunch of repetitive HTML. I can drag a control onto a page and position it with a click. In short, tools such as the visual designer can help me with simple and repetitive tasks and leave me more time to focus on my programming logic.