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Seventy years ago, people were taught how a telephone works. Who cares?---other than people whose job involves telephone internals, of course. My mom's boyfriend's understanding of a packet of carbon dust being compressed by sound waves does not make him less or more capable of picking up a phone and dialing a number. Everything he learned about how a phone works is obsolete, but everything he learned about how to use a phone is still valid, on a land line, a wireless, a cell phone...other than asking the telephone operator for a date

Twenty-five years ago I was interested in digital logic, microprocessors, RAM, ROM, and so on. The bulk of what I learned is irrelevant when you look at a 4GHz P4, the little that remains is no better an explanation than, "it happens by magic".

How, precisely, does MySQL process a query involving three tables and a sub-select? What happens, detail by detail, from the moment you type a URL into your web browser, to the point where the display is complete?

When I took the dreaded trains course at UWaterloo, the final exam had one question where we had to describe the first time one processes sent a message to another process in the real-time operating system we had written. It took me 1 1/2 hours and 5 pages to discuss everything that took place.

Theach them at a high level, and point out where additional info is available. You often wind up looking at details during debugging, so the person will pick up information during their work. If they don't ever need it, they'll have been spared learning things that aren't important to them.


In reply to Re: Appropriate amount of abstraction by TomDLux
in thread Appropriate amount of abstraction by gunzip

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