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Re^3: Is it correct?

by tantarbobus (Hermit)
on Jul 17, 2008 at 00:55 UTC ( #698205=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re^2: Is it correct?
in thread Is it correct?

This was in the context of a novice asking an expert, 'is this correct'. The point I was trying to make is that the novice may not be able to answer the questions with certainty but an expert can.

Have you ever met a student who walked out of an exam thinking s/he made an 'A' on an exam, only to find out that the actual grade was an 'F'? Sometimes everything can look correct and act correct (to the best of the knowledge of the novice), but is obviously incorrect when viewed at through the eyes of an expert.

And, at least from my point of view, for the novice it is much more helpful to know hat something is done correctly rather than spending many hours trying to make sure it is correct -- and still not being convinced. Self-study is infinitely harder when you do not have the answers to the problems to verify your understanding.

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Re^4: Is it correct?
by GrandFather (Sage) on Jul 17, 2008 at 01:15 UTC

    Actually I don't think in many cases even a guru, let alone a lowly expert, can give a definitive "Yes, that is correct" answer. Most of the questions are pretty open ended and depend a great deal on context, or even on context at a particular moment in time.

    The questions are intended more to catalyze thought processes and an appropriate approach to considering what constitutes "correct" code. A large part of programming is art and there is no ultimate test for good art (the test of time is fairly definitive, but impractical for most purposes).

    The time spent validating an answer should be a direct function of the importance that the answer is correct. If it doesn't matter at all then don't check it. If lives depend on it then you probably need to document the validation process, execute the process, then sign off on the result. Picking an appropriate level of validation is something for which there really is no litmus test - just like determining if a coding answer is "correct".


    Perl is environmentally friendly - it saves trees
      Actually I don't think in many cases even a guru, let alone a lowly expert, can give a definitive "Yes, that is correct" answer. Most of the questions are pretty open ended and depend a great deal on context, or even on context at a particular moment in time.

      I personally believe you may be interested to know that some scientific studies (awarded nothing less than a Ig Nobel prize!) established the so called "Dunning-Kruger effect" by which:

      1. Incompetent individuals tend to overestimate their own level of skill.
      2. Incompetent individuals fail to recognize genuine skill in others.
      3. Incompetent individuals fail to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy.
      4. If they can be trained to substantially improve their own skill level, these individuals can recognize and acknowledge their own previous lack of skill.
      --
      If you can't understand the incipit, then please check the IPB Campaign.

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