I don't think there is a single C++ programmer (sitting under a rock) that doesn't know that C++ is not cool. It hasn't been cool for over a decade. This "essay" has some sort of anti-lesson in learning about technologies that have peaked. I can understand someone writing this essay in 2005; but if you have been writing C++ all this time, now is probably the best time (relatively speaking). Resource constrained devices are going to be norm in this decade (smart phone, smart sensors etc.). C++ will be one language that will be supported across all these. At the high end, servers will move from python/Java to C++ to squeeze even more operational savings.
Also, becoming a sysadmin (RHCE) in addition to learning about python and RoR and Objective-C. I mean, it doesn't even make sense ...
Resource constrained devices are going to be norm in this decade (smart phone, smart sensors etc.)
...At the high end, servers will move from python/Java to C++ to squeeze even more operational savings.
You just made assertions about like 5 different markets with precisely zero justification.
Say what you will about C++, I'll take a good C++ developer with no knowledge of Ruby over many of the "experienced" Ruby developers I'm seeing, any day of the week. Language proficiency is a detail, and Ruby is not a particularly difficult language to learn.
C++ opportunities are definitely decreasing, but there is still a lot of life left in it for performance-critical applications. And most kids these days coming out of school don't really learn C++ as much as they used to. I find most of the kids that I interview have experience in Java and Python, so it means that those old dinosaurs like me that have significant C++ experience still have a decent shot, unlike the COBOL programmers of Y2K.
I prefer C++, and I'm 21. It is the kitchen sink, but that is what I want in a bare native language. If I write something higher level and need efficiency, I can switch into C++ gear and expect the language to be complete enough to quickly implement whatever is missing and inter-opt the functionality.
I still wonder about a different perspective. If I am going to write something that is going to see millions of hours of execution on machines, as opposed to the hundreds a normal script will or the thousands a business app might, I'd not want to imagine the amount of electricity and processor power being wasted on interpreters and JIT compilers. I wonder how bad it is for Android phones running most of the non-system software on Dalvik.