Beefy Boxes and Bandwidth Generously Provided by pair Networks
go ahead... be a heretic
 
PerlMonks  

Re: On Hubris

by cjf (Parson)
on Apr 19, 2002 at 05:49 UTC ( #160441=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to On Hubris

I don't agree with a lot of Larry Wall's opinions, but during one interview, in response to a question about Perl certification, he once said:

My approach to language design has always been that people should learn just enough of the languages to get their jobs done.

I couldn't agree more with this. I don't know 85 ways to use unpack and haven't memorized perlvar simply because I don't need to know them that well to get my jobs done. This of course may change over time as I pick them up while doing other things, like reviewing someone else's code but as it stands now, there are other things I want to learn more.

Does the nature of programming and the fast-pace of computer-related fields contribute to this phenomenon? Does it in fact, induce it?

Well I don't think you'll ever run out of things to learn in this field. It obviously changes rapidly and in order to remain employable you need to constantly acquire new skills and improve existing ones. If at the end of every year you look back and say "wow, I can't believe how dumb I was" you're on the right track :).


Comment on Re: On Hubris
Re: Re: On Hubris
by kappa (Chaplain) on Apr 19, 2002 at 08:06 UTC
    Hm, and how do you know if you need this or, say, that particular thing to complete your task or not?

    I usually see a lot of really bad PHP code which as a rule accomplishes a task to some degree. The thing that strikes me is this: how the hell hard it could be when you just don't know what a regexp is? (And the majority of PHP coders are unlikely to know.) Nobody here will argue that regexps are, mildly saying, useful, but, as the experience shows, optional.

    I know people out there writing translators from scratch because they don't know what flex and yacc are and I even know people using perl4 features as described in their aged book! Examples are numerous and the conclusion is that you should probably study hard the things you really need, but please please at least explore as many things as you can just not to miss an opportunity.

      You mean I don't have to spend three days punching tape for my Turing machine? Wow, thanks.

      Hm, and how do you know if you need this or, say, that particular thing to complete your task or not?

      This does require you have a basic understanding of the language you're dealing with. Using Perl as an example, one should have at least read through Programming Perl or something similar to get a feel for the language and the tools it provides. Staying current on advancements is also important and is what makes The Monastery such a great place :).

      but please please at least explore as many things as you can just not to miss an opportunity.

      I agree. Don't waste your time learning certain features in excessive detail when you could be gaining a greater understanding of programming in general, or learning how other languages compare to your current favorite.

      Hm, and how do you know if you need this or, say, that particular thing to complete your task or not?
      Because, perhaps, he's already completed the task. TIMTOWDI, HTH HAND.

        I think that we should coin a new acronym, since you and I tend to use the same three acronyms over and over at the end of our messages:

        THH

        <T>IMTOWDI <H>TH <H>AND

        -Dan

Re: Re: On Hubris
by stefp (Vicar) on Apr 20, 2002 at 14:50 UTC
    I would paraphrase Larry:

    My approach to programming is that I should learn just
    what exists and where to find it, be it documention, tools
    or code. As a result, when the need arises, I will be able to
    acquire the needed competence.
    
    
    This is not strictly true so. I think that if you choose perl, you need to know about regexps and many idioms involving hash, for example.

    About certification, I think the field is so large and so unstalbe that certification cannot cover it. It would lead to uniformity which is decidely not perlish. Choosing your tools is very much one of the most important step. So imposing them on the programmer is a sure way toward ossification.

    -- stefp -- check out TeXmacs wiki

Log In?
Username:
Password:

What's my password?
Create A New User
Node Status?
node history
Node Type: note [id://160441]
help
Chatterbox?
and the web crawler heard nothing...

How do I use this? | Other CB clients
Other Users?
Others meditating upon the Monastery: (8)
As of 2014-12-21 14:37 GMT
Sections?
Information?
Find Nodes?
Leftovers?
    Voting Booth?

    Is guessing a good strategy for surviving in the IT business?





    Results (106 votes), past polls