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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • A good read. Should get a wider audience.

    Note you need to edit "explain explain" to just "explain".

  • I don't think the analogy with pure and applied physicists is correct. Working programmers aren't applied physicists: they're builders, or at most architects. Programming isn't a science, it's a trade, and I think what's missing here is some sort of degree (or other more vocational qualification depending on the educational system involved: I'm thinking of the sort of course that would once have been taught at English polytechnics) in Programming or Software Engineering, rather than Computer Science. Ideall
  • Nice article - just one observation. Assuming our Open Source ecology is working you don't need to many people to understand the intricate algorithms - you just need a few of them to capture the idea and encode it into a library :)
  • * Communication skills (there's a reason I listed this one first) * Automated testing * Source control * Working in teams on new code * Working in teams on existing code * Multiple language paradigms * Complexity management * Usability * More that hasn't occurred to me in this brief write-up ...

    Computer science is as much about computers as astronomy about telescopes, right?

    Everything you wrote up here is explainable within a couple of days. Most of it requires lot

    • Everything you wrote up here is explainable within a couple of days.

      I'd love to hire super geniuses like the ones you've taught, but unfortunately the rest of the world isn't nearly that capable. Some ten years in, and I'm still figuring out the nuances of automated testing.

      • Nuances are nuances. You do understand the principle points of it, eh? You're a bright fellow. Just like we all can do division, but the larger the numbers, the easier it is to screw up, and it takes time when someone does something screwy.
        • I can explain the principal points of functional programming to my five year old nephew in a few minutes, but even Abelson and Sussman spent more time on it at MIT.

  • A semi-serious question.

    Is it the job of universities to train people to do computing jobs?

    I completely agree that - by and large - a CS degree doesn't prepare folk for many aspects of the job of being a developer. But should it?

    Getting nostalgic for the old polytechnics...

    • I think it's the job of universities to teach their students the skills they need to succeed in their chosen field. If it's not computing jobs, that's fine, but if it is, they fail.

      • Universities have 3 basic missions:

        1. Advancing the state of knowledge.
        2. Exposing students to knowledge.
        3. Training students for future careers.

        These are listed in decreasing importance in the eyes of universities. From the point of view of most students, this should be in increasing order of priority. From the point of view of employers, this definitely should be increasing order of priority.

        Whenever a person or institution judges their performance by different criteria than outsiders judge them by, con

  • Applied Physics people explain how the idea might work in the real work with available materials.

    But in the end it's the engineers that actually make it work. :)

  • ...because people who set them give us paychecks. They are rarely important in the technical sense. Sometimes a project has to be finished before another which depends on it can start. More often, however, it's just a way for the boss(es) to assert their authority.
    • I've worked on deadlines which:

      • Which had severe legal consequences if we don't have it implemented
      • Which might save a client from bankruptcy if it was implemented in time (that one was not fun)
      • Holds up other projects if it's not implemented (many, if not most, of my deadlines now fall in this category)
      • Were simply part of a company struggle to stay alive

      Yes, I've worked on some projects which are simply management trying to assert authority, but that's been the minority. I'm sorry to hear you've had a dif

      • Well, of course my reply had a lot of tongue-in-cheek in it. However, the original post was talking about people not understanding the importance of deadlines, and this kind of talk is usually reserved to those of us who prefer to tell people what to do rather than do it.