in reply to Second rate programmers and my confession


You can generally tell the people who *really* know their stuff because they'll talk about it a transparent way, using ordinary language and not afraid that you'll see flaws in it, nor upset if you do. Plus, they don't feel the need to make themselves feel good by hammering on (as opposed to modestly correcting) the weaknesses of others.

The preference for natural language among the Truly Great - not just a programming phenomenon. I came down with Bell's Palsy in Pittsburgh once (I'm fine now I hasten to add... and I don't *think* it was Pittsburgh's fault). The first doctor I saw was a nervous resident who said "it's an idiopathic self-limiting condition". Later, through a friend of a friend, I talked on the telephone to the top neurologist in California who said "we don't know why it happens but it gets well on its own".

Conclusion: the best doctors (s/doctors/programmers/) don't speak Greek.

George Sherston