The comment meant to say that she was a freshman who knew the mechanics of using a computer to enter and manipulate code, but did not have the experience to solve complicated problems and develop new algorithms on the fly. The story as I heard it had a girl in the typist's role, so that is how I retold it. It would have been just as meaningful if I replaced "George's girlfriend" with "George's freshman typist". It most definitely would have been less insulting, and I'll retell it as such, in the future. The reason for describing her credentials was to cast her in the role of the "codeslinger" and to cast 'George' in the role of the "algorithm master", as per the OP.

A similar story happened with me as the main character. My last semester at college also had the ACM contest occurring within it. This year, we only had four students interested in "wasting" a Saturday afternoon on programming tasks. There was me, the resolute (dissolute?) super-senior and three other students, who had less combined semesters in college than I did by myself. (I was on my 9th in 5-and-a-half years, if you're wondering.) So, we divided the teams up as so - I was team A and they were team B. Out of some 54 teams in our division, I came in 9th, solving 5 problems and having a solution for the 6th. I would've solved six and come in 4th had I realized that int on Windows was 2 bytes long, not the four I was used to from Unix. Tracking that down lost me 30 minutes and about 70 points. The other team solved 2 problems and had solutions for 2 more.

The only difference between me and the members of team B was exposure to over a hundred algorithms and techniques they had never seen. That's the same difference that 'George' had over his teammates, including his girlfriend / typist. (She later went on to be a valued member of subsequent ACM contest teams from my school, graduated with a 3.7 GPA in computer science, and was a close friend of mine.)

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We are the carpenters and bricklayers of the Information Age.

Then there are Damian modules.... *sigh* ... that's not about being less-lazy -- that's about being on some really good drugs -- you know, there is no spoon. - flyingmoose

I shouldn't have to say this, but any code, unless otherwise stated, is untested


In reply to Re^2: Problem Domains and Multiple Disciplines by dragonchild
in thread Problem Domains and Multiple Disciplines by Velaki

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