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Re: Just hammering nails...

by chester (Hermit)
on Oct 12, 2005 at 14:42 UTC ( #499510=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Just hammering nails...

The manager was right to be impressed. I am impressed by anyone who is skilled at a craft. Programmer, carpenter, cook, whatever. If a mechanic put together a car engine in front of me from spare parts, I'd be blown away, even if it's all in a day's work for him. Even if he does other things that require far more skill, but which aren't obvious to me as someone who is an idiot when it comes to cars.

The less skilled you are something, the more impressive it is when you see someone who is skilled at it "do their thing". Given the average person's knowledge of the inner workings of computers, I'm not surprised when I impress people on a regular basis. That putting together a spreadsheet or website is impressive to most people says more about those people than it says about the coder, in a sense.


Comment on Re: Just hammering nails...
Re^2: Just hammering nails...
by samizdat (Vicar) on Oct 12, 2005 at 15:27 UTC
    I think my main point was that we should look for the most basic things we can do that will help the most people do their jobs better. As cees said, most people don't even know where to start in using their computers effectively. I do have twenty-five years of programming under my belt, twenty-three of them for pay or in business, and I know I'm still learning more every day. I see the amount of learning and wisdom that's still ahead of me, and that makes me embarrassed when somebody is as effusive as he was.

    It is all too easy to seek out the most intricate and esoteric challenge to spend our time on, but I find that my time spent identifying the biggest hole to fill is the best time I spend. I can admire the raw brilliance of somebody who digs into the internals of Perl to seek out a new way to use it, but then I go back to my desk and I look for a new place to stick my simple webifier that will make this day a productive success.
      I don't disagree. (-: If I hadn't used up my votes by reading a lot today, I'd vote it up. I am writing documentation and take any excuse. :-)

      But I still think you miss a point.

      The complex work (*) is important. It is making tools for the tool users (i.e. us). It is a meta level higher. It is in the end needed for the "simple" stuff.

      (*) I was going to write "like super complex music mostly interesting to musicians", but I quite like that music without having much musical talent. :-)

        Now, that is absolutely the truth, BerntB. I do depend on these tools to make my solutions happen, and it does take a lot of poking and prodding before a new module comes out. I humbly stand corrected.
Re^2: Just hammering nails...
by aufflick (Deacon) on Oct 12, 2005 at 23:48 UTC
    I agree with your first point. I think that we can forget just what skill is involved in crafts and trades, including our own. Have you ever tried to build a brick wall? It's really hard! To do it well anyway. But getting back to nails - the skill and experience involved in wacking in nail after nail, in just the right place involves much more physical dexterity than I will ever have. It amazes me! As do chefs and their hypersonic chopping skills!

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