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Re: Re (tilly) 2: Are debuggers good?

by merlyn (Sage)
on Dec 28, 2000 at 20:43 UTC ( #48635=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re (tilly) 2: Are debuggers good?
in thread How to debug unknown dynamic code?

I particularly like Linus' statement in that post:

Quite frankly, I'd rather weed out the people who don't start being careful early rather than late. That sounds callous, and by God, it _is_ callous. But it's not the kind of "if you can't stand the heat, get out the the kitchen" kind of remark that some people take it for. No, it's something much more deeper: I'd rather not work with people who aren't careful. It's darwinism in software development.

It's a cold, callous argument that says that there are two kinds of people, and I'd rather not work with the second kind. Live with it.

I fully support that. There are far too many people who (attempt to) perform programming as a income activity who aren't really programmers. If you can't program careful enough to not need a debugger, then either slow down your rate of coding, or pick a different profession. Please.

Thanks for the reference, tilly. That's the point I was trying to make earlier. I don't use a debugger, because I try very hard not to need one. {grin}

-- Randal L. Schwartz, Perl hacker


Comment on Re: Re (tilly) 2: Are debuggers good?
Re: Re: Re (tilly) 2: Are debuggers good?
by davorg (Chancellor) on Dec 28, 2000 at 21:13 UTC
    There are far too many people who (attempt to) perform programming as a income activity who aren't really programmers. If you can't program careful enough to not need a debugger, then either slow down your rate of coding, or pick a different profession. Please.

    This is, of course, true. There aren't enough real programmers around to cover all the programming jobs. And as the demand for IT staff increases the problem will only get worse.

    I was contemplating starting to run Perl courses in the UK, but perhaps I should just run programming courses first...

    ... or perhaps "programming" isn't something that can be taught.

    --
    <http://www.dave.org.uk>

    "Perl makes the fun jobs fun
    and the boring jobs bearable" - me

      Had to throw my .02 out when I read:
      perhaps "programming" isn't something that can be taught.

      IMHO its the term programming that keeps people from learning it.

      Programming is merely a stereotyped word that detracts the average person from more actively interfacing with thier computer; Therefore, programming is not a skill to be learned, but rather must be a personal goal to be attained.

      coreolyn

        Nope. I don't want someone writing a Perl module who is merely experienced at "more actively interfacing" with their computer, which to me just sounds like a "power user".

        I want a "programmer". Someone who can imagine what all the variables are doing simultaneously, and can think logical steps, and play out "what ifs". And can write robustly, knowing that people will misinterpret the interface specs. And can write good unit tests, and understand version creep and flag days and why those are bad. And why "objects" is not the cure all.

        That's a programmer, and I'm happy that the word scares off some people. Because it should. I don't want someone to "step up" from writing an Excel macro to writing control software for the plane I'm riding in. It's not a simple step. It's not even on the same scale.

        Feel free to "more actively interface" with the computer in the privacy of your own cube, but don't make me ever have to run your code or maintain it. Because, by goodness, I'd probably rather throw it away.

        Good programming is an art. Parts of it, you can get from learning. Parts of it come from experience. But parts of it seem to be just being wired the right way. And yes, most of the population is not wired the right way. I truly see that over and over again.

        -- Randal L. Schwartz, Perl hacker

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