[clug] [OT] Bjarne Stroustrop on

Alex Satrapa grail at goldweb.com.au
Wed Apr 7 21:53:44 MDT 2010

On 08/04/2010, at 12:32 , Steve McInerney wrote:

> But I had studied computing theories at Uni. I knew the theory of how
> memory worked and generically the how & why of how to code (structured)
> in low level languages like assemblers; as well as higher like C,
> Pascal, Modula2 and Cobol.

These are more like trade skills, from my perspective: a plumber learns about basics such as "water follows the path of least resistance", what situations you'd use an S-bend over a U-bend, how to braze copper versus glue plastic, basic differences between handling drinking water, storm water and sewage. Perhaps they'd be taught about the perils of letting dirty water sit still for too long too.

After that you get exposed to "real life" where your first job as a plumber involves laying sewage, drinking water and recycled water pipes for an estate of 2000 homes. Suddenly you're finding out about how to drive a backhoe.

A plumbing scientist on the other hand would be researching new materials for building pipes, different ways of handling sewage to prevent buildups of explosive gasses in kilometres long runs of sewer, and pipes that make water run uphill. The Science part involves the research discipline, more so than the test-build-test discipline of the engineer/programmer.

Scientific discipline is good, but test-build-test is a specific example of it that we can teach to folks rather than having every programmer trying to solve problems in an industrial setting by performing rigorous experimentation and inventing new computing models.

Just my two bits worth :)

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