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Re: Re: Re: Re: Second rate programmers and my confession

by davis (Vicar)
on Jun 06, 2002 at 11:33 UTC ( #172150=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re: Re: Re: Second rate programmers and my confession
in thread Second rate programmers and my confession

I agree: to quote Einstein: "If you can't explain something to a six year-old, you don't understand it yourself". Even though most of us (here) are reasonably technically proficient, I think (huge generalization coming up) that even we find it easier to understand things that are written in a natural language - after all, natural language is the tool we use every day.

One of the arts of communication is tailoring your output to the audiences' level of comprehension - if you're talking to your non-programmer manager, you'd hopefully use language that he/she could understand. Trying to "blind with science" tends to make you appear arrogant, and will often alienate your audience. If that audience has some influence on your wage-packet, I'd watch out.
As programmers, we generally have a higher level of technical knowledge than the average (customer, user, individual), but giving descriptions in "user-language" actively helps your ability to communicate.
My 2 cents, take with the appropriate quantity of sodium chloride.

davis
Is this going out live?
No, Homer, very few cartoons are broadcast live - it's a terrible strain on the animator's wrist


Comment on Re: Re: Re: Re: Second rate programmers and my confession
Re: Second rate programmers and my confession
by Abigail-II (Bishop) on Jun 06, 2002 at 14:06 UTC
    If you can't explain something to a six year-old, you don't understand it yourself

    Yeah, he also said at one moment that only 4 or 5 people in the world understood his general theory of relativity. I don't think Einstein meant he had explained his theory to the kids in the neighbourhood.

    Would you think that Einstein himself didn't understand his theories?

    Abigail

      I for one would love to hear Einstein explain his work to a six year old.

      It's the height of academic gaul to think that anyone "understands" how things work in the universe. Einstein went to his grave grasping at the true significance of his ideas. Just because you can express complex ideas does not mean that you understand all their implications or are above those who don't.

      If a person can't step back and explain what they are doing to another person then they need to reassess their work and how it relates to the rest of the world. Both Einstein and Steven Hawkins have been very capable of expressing their ideas in "plain" English. If you can't, you aren't as smart as you think.

      ADDED: Note, the "you" I'm refering to is a generic one, and not Abigail-II with whom I have nothing but the highest of respect for.

      ()-()
       \"/
        `                                                     
      
      I not saying Einstein would have explained his theories to neighbourhood kids either, but I think he was capable of expressing the ideas in language that the kids could understand. (ok, it would have taken some time :-) ).
      davis
      Is this going out live?
      No, Homer, very few cartoons are broadcast live - it's a terrible strain on the animator's wrist

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