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From: email@example.com (john jardine)
Subject: Re: Career in computer science
Date: 30 Oct 2002 16:50:02 -0800
References: <firstname.lastname@example.org> <email@example.com> <firstname.lastname@example.org>
NNTP-Posting-Date: 31 Oct 2002 00:50:02 GMT
"Kevin Aylward" wrote in message news:...
> "john jardine" wrote in message
> > email@example.com (The little lost angel) wrote in
> message news:<firstname.lastname@example.org>...
> I don't agree that programming is an art form at all. The modern sense
> of the word "engineering" is about using, mainly, known science
> principles and applying them. For the most part programming is that, so
> computer engineering seems a better description to me. Art is usually
> associate with new creations, and whilst I agree that both hardware and
> software have elements of creation, for the most part, its the same
> shit, different day sort of thing in reality.
> You can certainly teach programming. Again, for the *most* part, its all
> pretty routine stuff with 99% of it the same as the last project. Define
> inputs output and processing. set up data structures....break the
> problem down etc... and start typing.
> > What the hell are they actually teaching! ;-)
> > In the past 60 years only two things have come from the computer
> > 'science' world that I would regard as specifically clever and worthy
> > of teaching.
> > The first is the idea of neural nets.
> I was not aware that idea came from computer science. My understanding
> that neural nets have been around for many millions of years:-)
I was astounded that it was a philosopher who killed off any chance of
our understanding them (in a mechanistic sense, of course).
> Kevin Aylward
> SuperSpice, a very affordable Mixed-Mode
> Windows Simulator with Schematic Capture,
> Waveform Display, FFT's and Filter Design.
"Computer Engineering" would seem more apt to me as well and yes ...
one certainly can teach the day to day, hack, 'mechanics' of
programming. This though, I would not expect, to be the expected level
of teaching of a university 'computer science' course. This is senior
school rote learning stuff. All the concepts involved in programming
are quite simple and can be picked up my most people given sufficient
motivation. The 'sciences' are different here in that even the most
basic concepts can often require considerable explanation and mental
effort. The uni's are supposed to get people to 'think' and not train
them to 'do' and I'm suggesting that it's impossible for them to teach
the actual, crucial, life and death, 'thinking' bit needed by any
programmer trying to get beyond their first line of code. Sure ...
like any other subject, give them the basic tools to do the job but
don't spend 3 years tooling them up, when they only actually need a
couple of months. The artform is in the quality of their resulting
output over the coming years and the learning will not have been
taught or 'induced' at uni' it will come from within themselves. They
either have it or do not.
As a demo 'you yourself' example, just for analogy purposes ... (the
details, I may have wrong, forgive me!)
I notice (say) you have an interest in the deep fundamental nature of
mathematics and also its application to day to day engineering
problems. I notice also you've written a commercially viable,
technically complex Spice prog'. The Spice prog has been mentioned at
100k+ lines of code so I say you are a programmer as well.
Looking back, do you honestly feel the same respect for Kernighan and
Ritchie as that of your teachers of quantum physics?. In essence, do
you have particular hard won intellectual respect for the worth or
creators of any of the constructs or techniques that you day to day
Do you feel that the teachers of your programming skills did a good
job with you?. It's a sneaky one this! but ... If your first answer is
NO then programming is an artform!.
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