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Re: (OT) Real World Skills Versus CS Skills

by inman (Curate)
on Jan 24, 2006 at 09:35 UTC ( #525139=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to (OT) Real World Skills Versus CS Skills

How about categorising your IT department headcount based on the software that the person has installed (and used) on their personal computer?

A technology specialist will have a compiler, debugging tools a decent editor etc. Obviously there is a pecking order. A C compiler counts whereas the VB macro compiler built into Word doesn't. Compilers for C# and Java count if they are the professional versions. They will use these tools to write and compile source code into executable code. The machine itself will be bigger and probably have the server versions of software installed. Open source software is installed from the compiled code.

The middle ground is owned by people who assemble pieces of pre-built technology and generally work with systems created by others. A Java SDK, web server (Apache or IIS), personal database (MySQL, Access etc.) may be installed. Open source software is installed from the binary distributions.

The non-technologists in the IT department will principally use project planning and resource allocation software along with Powerpoint or similar so that they can manage projects and communicate the plans and status to the business contacts. Excel will be running on an almost permanent basis. Open source software is an interesting concept that is well progressed along the Gartner hype-curve.


Comment on Re: (OT) Real World Skills Versus CS Skills
Re^2: (OT) Real World Skills Versus CS Skills
by simon.proctor (Vicar) on Jan 24, 2006 at 10:56 UTC
    Compilers for C# and Java count if they are the professional versions.

    Could you expand on that? Working with VS Enterprise Architect at work and using the Standard Edition at home I notice no difference in my ability to write code in C#. I certainly don't qualify a compiler as professional or not. That is counter intuitive to me.

    Other than a few rad features not being present or compiler optimisations being crippled there is not baby/professional version of the language merely the IDE. So the IDE for the standard version cost me 80quid. At the time the Enterprise Architect version would have cost 1600quid. There are one or two code generation templates and integration tools missing - but nothing that stops me being a programmer.

    Well - in my opinion :).

    The machine itself will be bigger and probably have the server versions of software installed.
    Is there a server version of C or Perl? How about Python or Ruby? Ok, I know what you mean but thats an overly simplified metric to use. It also only really applies to windows desktops that I can see.

    As to your middle ground, I understand your point but I don't agree with how you have put it. Surely, at some point, you will always be assembling areas of prebuilt software. Thats the whole point. Because you install the binary of some application rather than compiling yourself doesn't make you any less worthwhile or technologically (ad/in)ept than your colleague.
      I think that you have made my point for me. Your company has employed you as a developer and made a significant investment in terms of buying software licences and equipping you with the tools to do your job. My hypothesis is that the presence of such a compiler on your machine places you at the more technical end of the scale.

      I am not familiar with the latest MS tools but I can relate from experience that Borland ship a free version of their JBuilder tools in edition to the paid for professional and enterprise versions. Anyone could download the free version to evaluate it but it wouldn't necessarily mean that they were a developer.

      The comment about server versions of software was more to do with having Oracle server installed on your machine (or on your development server) for development rather than Access.

      Is there a server version of C or Perl? How about Python or Ruby?

      There aren't necessarily 'server' versions of these languages but you can differentiate between someone who installs Perl in order to get a third party app running and someone who codes using the language and understands it.

      I used to help the test team install the command line version of the MS Visual C compiler in order to support an automated test tool. They didn't code in C but were technically expert at automated testing. I also set up a Perl environment in order for colleagues to test a Wiki solution that was based on Perl. They didn't do a scrap of coding but were able to do a technical evaluation of the product.

Re^2: (OT) Real World Skills Versus CS Skills
by Anonymous Monk on Jan 24, 2006 at 19:17 UTC
    A technology specialist will have a compiler, debugging tools a decent editor etc. Obviously there is a pecking order. A C compiler counts whereas the VB macro compiler built into Word doesn't. Compilers for C# and Java count if they are the professional versions. They will use these tools to write and compile source code into executable code. The machine itself will be bigger and probably have the server versions of software installed. Open source software is installed from the compiled code.

    Not me!

    The only software I have installed on my personal computer is standard issue for the department. It's a basic Windows XP install including PuTTY.

    I do have admin priveledges on the development machine I work on; but I also hate being a sysadmin, because I'd rather be a developer. I code in vi because I know it will always be around no matter which version of unix I'm using.

    So, I have nothing special installed. My machine is nothing special but it doesn't need to be; I could get by with a vt100 plus a decent web-browser. I know how to use the standard issue tools well enough not to need anything else. When I need a tool to solve some niggling little task, I generally just code a little perl script to do it. If I can't do it in perl for some reason, I'll code it in C. instead, or, if the problem will take more than an hour or two to solve, bite the bullet and download something.

    I think I don't fit your metric very well. :-) I'm definately a developer, but my machine is very, very boring. :-)

Re^2: (OT) Real World Skills Versus CS Skills
by bart (Canon) on Jan 25, 2006 at 22:31 UTC
    Thank you for classifying me into the middle ground.

    I hardly ever see a reason to compile open source projects myself, as I generally do not edit its source code.

    And "professional versions" of compilers etc. I tend to see as bloat/vanity. Like an expensive sportscar. Do they compile better code? Er..., no. Ditto with "server versions" of software.

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