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At $work (where the word "ternary" provoked empty glares)

I cannot imagine any other profession where the experience practitioners would 'dumb down' their output to accommodate the inexperienced.

Can you imagine:

  1. A barrister using the phrase a judicial mandate to a prison official ordering that an inmate be brought to the court so it can be determined whether or not that person is imprisoned lawfully and whether or not he should be released from custody rather than a writ of habeus corpus because his apprentice or legal assistance might not understand the latter?
  2. A doctor using heart attack instead of acute myocardial infarction; because his interns might not be familiar with the latter?
  3. An architect referring to a sticky-outty, stubby bit of wall at 90° to the main wall rather than buttress in order to placate, his apprentice?
  4. A composer re-writing his music to avoid all sharps and flats because they make life difficult for air guitarists?

The short answer (I sorely hope), is a profound NO!.

So why do experienced programmers who do understand -- none of them ever admit to having problems understanding themselves -- these hardly difficult concepts and constructs, advocate 'dumbing them down' for the sake of those programmers who's education is formative?

And whatever justifiction you might offer in reply; STOP. And think. Because there is no logical justification.

If you dumb down, they will never learn, which is in nobody's interest.

If the first time they encounter a construct they do not understand, they do not ask for (or look up) clarification, then they deserve to be admonished strongly. If they do it a second time; they should seriously consider a different career. If their mistakes made as a result of their lack of understanding make it into production, their mentor deserves admonishment. Or the system that allows un-mentored code to get into production, needs urgent review.

Advocating the dumbing down of code, as a substitute for (requiring) proper education, is itself dumb.


With the rise and rise of 'Social' network sites: 'Computers are making people easier to use everyday'
Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
"Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority".
In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice.

In reply to Re^2: Two simple code style advice questions by BrowserUk
in thread Two simple code style advice questions by eyepopslikeamosquito

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