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Re: On being a programmer

by coreolyn (Parson)
on Dec 28, 2000 at 22:23 UTC ( #48653=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to On being a programmer
in thread How to debug unknown dynamic code?

Well were definately into a matter of perspectives here. I can easily see how you can say,

And yes, most of the population is not wired the right way

However, from my humble point of view it seems to me that if indeed they aren't wired the right way there's a problem with the interface not the people.

To think otherwise simply builds cathedral's. Then again Maybe I spend too much time looking down the road rather than dealing with the present.


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Re: On being a programmer
by lemming (Priest) on Dec 28, 2000 at 22:36 UTC

    Then again Maybe I spend too much time looking down the road rather than dealing with the present

    I would say the proper design so that a debugger is not needed is a long term view. I've had to use debuggers on other's peoples code because I had to get something out quick. I then turn around and recommend rewrites in most cases. Of course the long term view of getting it right the first time saves the most time over a long enough period. The first to market push that drives many companies screws this up.

Re: Re: On being a programmer
by merlyn (Sage) on Dec 28, 2000 at 22:29 UTC
    However, from my humble point of view it seems to me that if indeed they aren't wired the right way there's a problem with the interface not the people.
    Nope. Some people just don't get abstraction or clear sequential logic, or many of the other things necessary to write maintainable, practical code.

    Ever ask someone for directions to a place you're unfamiliar with, and end up totally lost? Probably because that person couldn't give clear directions, ever. Some people just can't do that.

    And some people just can't program. It's not the interface. It's the person.

    There's no moral statement here. It's just an attribute. I can't draw a picture worth beans. Am I less smart because of that? No. I just stick to programming, and hire the people who can draw and can't program. {grin}

    -- Randal L. Schwartz, Perl hacker

      Logic tells me your right... My heart argues otherwise, but I confess my heart hasn't found a way to pay a bill yet. :)

      coreolyn Duct tape devotee and dreamer


        FWIW, I tend to agree with you. While I cannot dispute the fact that some people should not program, I am uneasy with the idea that good programming can only occur if you are fortunate enough to possess the right gene.

        I will concede that inate talent has an important effect, but I also believe that some people can rise above their (ahem) genetic flaws and accomplish great things.

        As an example, Mozart is generally considered far more brilliant than Salieri, however, some of the latter's works are quite artistic and beautiful. Certainly they do not compare to the former's achievements and undoubtedly resulted from much hard work and discipline. Talent certainly allowed Mozart to succeed far more quickly, but Salieri was still able to work his way to modest success and recognition. (He was, after all, Court Composer.)

        I personally find it dangerous to pin labels on individuals. Not only am I frequently wrong in my assessments, but I am just as frequently surprised when those folks far exceed the limits imposed by my presumptions.

        Perhaps another example can be found with Einstein, who has been described as having difficulty with school* and yet managed to express general and special relativity. Or Lincoln, who failed in business, had been defeated in earlier elections, and suffered many other setbacks. Yet, he is lionized by many as one of the best Presidents we've ever had.

        Yes, some people should not program. However, I don't believe it's our place to judge another's fitness for that task, unless (of course) we're in a management role and that's an entirely different discipline altogether.


        Update: Reworked the reference to Einstein.

        * Sources:

        Note that all links were active at the time of posting.

        Updated 2008.08.13 by footpad: Fixed broken superscript tags. Thanks MidLifeXis

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[corenth]: each reference was to a fairly small scaler.
[corenth]: I mean, array of scalers. usually triples.
[Cosmic37]: there is a FANN discussion group but seems to have gone quiet... http://leenissen. dk/fann/forum/ viewforum.php?f=18 &sid=1afc1fb3fa1a3 7f52b03e40d05cdaaa 3
[corenth]: Where are all the FANN fans?
[Cosmic37]: ok it went quiet because it moved - its actually quite active... https://sourceforg discussion/
[Cosmic37]: Therefore they are on sourceforge

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