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Re: Initiative or otherwise?

by cjf (Parson)
on Jul 07, 2002 at 18:55 UTC ( #180008=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Initiative or otherwise?

Did you think Programmer B showed initiative but that Child B cheated?

It depends:

  1. Did Programmer B comply with the licensing terms of the source code he downloaded?
  2. Was the source code of equal quality to the code written by Programmer A?
  3. Was the code meant to just get a job done, or was its purpose to improve the programmer's skills as well?

One thing is fairly clear, The As will have learned more than the Bs. Come next assignment we'll see who does the better job. I believe The Path to Mastery touches on this as well.


Comment on Re: Initiative or otherwise?
Re: Re: Initiative or otherwise?
by jepri (Parson) on Jul 08, 2002 at 03:30 UTC
    One thing is fairly clear, The As will have learned more than the Bs. Come next assignment we'll see who does the better job.

    I can't believe you have a link to Gatto on your homepage but still post this.. this.. thing regarding education. I apologise, but you've hit one of my buttons so here we go... before you read further, note that these comments are not directed to any one person. I'm not bagging anyone out.

    Kids, nothing is a bigger damned lie than the idea that you have to work really hard to gain knowledge. It's a fallacy started by twits and repeated by people who should know better. There is no reason why you can't learn by reading over someone elses work. You don't have to do every single bit yourself.

    There will always be people who tell you that you won't succeed unless you do every problem at the end of the chapter, or the people who tell you that you have to program everything yourself to improve your programming skills

    But the people who do every problem in the textbook are often the people who come third in exams, or the 'next assignment', behind the people who live and breath the subject. And the people who program everything themselves are often the ones who turn out loads of dross and make stupid buffer overflow errors.

    Please dump this very puritan attitude towards work. The road to success is not long and hard. It's long and filled with fascinating and beautiful experiences - unless you stop to flagellate yourself with every problem in the back of the chapter.

    ____________________
    Jeremy
    I didn't believe in evil until I dated it.

      Kids, nothing is a bigger damned lie than the idea that you have to work really hard to gain knowledge.

      Well that depends on how you define hard work.

      There is no reason why you can't learn by reading over someone elses work. You don't have to do every single bit yourself.

      Depends on how you learn. I've always found that I can read many books on a topic, read over source code, but then when I go to apply it I realize I don't really understand it.

      Please dump this very puritan attitude towards work. The road to success is not long and hard. It's long and filled with fascinating and beautiful experiences

      Who said programmer A didn't enjoy programming? Who said he didn't want to take his work home?

      Update: I should also clarify, with regards to the "The As will have learned more than the Bs." comment, I'm assuming everything else is equal. Obviously if programmer B reads 6 books and writes 10000 lines of unrelated code, he'll probably have learned more.

        I've always found that I can read many books on a topic, read over source code, but then when I go to apply it I realize I don't really understand it.

        But you also assume that everyone else shares your method of learning. Your comments imply that both programmers have to code to learn. What if programmer B didn't code at all that weekend, but thought about it in the shower, and chatted about it with a friend, and went for a long walk and drew some flow charts in the sand? Could he have learnt more? Or would he still have to write 10,000 lines of code.

        It looks like machismo to me. You have a link to the path of mastery, but the final part of the story relates how the student got so good he could do less work than anyone else, and still get perfect marks. He started out doing too much at the beginning, but got good fast. Sounds like A might be learning something that B already had.

        ____________________
        Jeremy
        I didn't believe in evil until I dated it.

      I think that while programming is a science, a good programmer is more artist than scientist. Knowledge in and of itself is fairly useless. It's the application of it that yields the rewards, the craftsmanship if you will.

      I don't think that knowing that something works is the same thing as why it works. You can't understand why the design was done the way it was or if it's an optimal solution or even if it will work in the "real world" application.

      I truly belive you learn more from your failures than your successes. Sometimes the "B" approach is totally appropriate though "A" types, with their overall knowledge of the subject will (eventually) be in a much better position to leverage the "B" approach effectively than the "B" types (Also know when not to). Knowing how the pieces fit together, how they might not often without doing any actually work.

      This very much reminds me of several recent events in my life, that while not in the programming field bear much resemblance in my mind. I'll tell you one.

      Example 1. A registered nurse goes to a hospital with pains in her gallbladder. She sees this everyday so she is very familiar with the presentation of it. Many hospitals in Boston are teaching hospitals so you get a lot of "B" care. Interns don't have much practical experience. Mostly what they "learned" by reading. Hospital 1 says it can't be a gallbladder problem because so and so enzyme isn't elavated. She goes to another, and another and another. All of the hospitals refuse to remove it due to what they "learned". Finally, the fifth hostpital (a non-teaching) takes her and her gallbladder disintigrates as they remove it because it is so badly infected. Due to the delay because of hospitals 1..4 she gets complications and has liver failure. Luckily this ended well. While most of us are not in such dire positions of responsibility (mostly time and money to lose) I think it does well to illustrate my point.

      As an aside, I never did the examples in the back of the books.

      -Lee

      "To be civilized is to deny one's nature."

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