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Reply-To: "Kevin Aylward"
From: "Kevin Aylward"
References: <firstname.lastname@example.org> <email@example.com> <firstname.lastname@example.org> <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: Career in computer science
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Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2002 09:00:12 -0000
NNTP-Posting-Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2002 09:00:20 GMT
"john jardine" wrote in message
> "Kevin Aylward" wrote in message
> > "john jardine" wrote in message
> > news:firstname.lastname@example.org...
> > > email@example.com (The little lost angel)
> > message news:<firstname.lastname@example.org>...
> > I don't agree that programming is an art form at all. The modern
> > of the word "engineering" is about using, mainly, known science
> > principles and applying them. For the most part programming is that,
> > computer engineering seems a better description to me. Art is
> > associate with new creations, and whilst I agree that both hardware
> > 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
> > pretty routine stuff with 99% of it the same as the last project.
> > 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
> > > of teaching.
> > > The first is the idea of neural nets.
> > I was not aware that idea came from computer science. My
> > 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).
> "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.
Well, as an analogue engineer, I would still say I'm a hack at code, but
I ship product, and that's what matters.
> Looking back, do you honestly feel the same respect for Kernighan and
> Ritchie as that of your teachers of quantum physics?.
I don't have much, if any respect for K and R at all. I don't think what
they done was novel or difficult. It was a piss easy natural
progression, where as the general theory of relativity was an extremely
difficult natural progression. Part of my justification for this is that
I independently "invented" the C++ construct of functions and data in a
struct (function pointers in reality) with probably only 2 months of C
programming experience. I was amazed when I first saw a bit of C++ code
having the same syntax as you call a function pointer in a struct. The
problem I was solving automatically lead to that "invention". In real
physics, thing are much harder. The obvious, often fails to work.
>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
> programme with?.
Not really. Although I did have "formal" courses in Pascal and basic 20
years ago, I am completely self taught in C and C++/MFC. In writing 100k
lines of code, I have not seen anything at all in other pieces of code
that I though were particular clever. I have seen much that I consider
to be dreadful though.
> 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!.
As noted, I am self tought. Even the offical courses I had were only the
bare basics of a 101 programming in my ee degree. Programming is
entirely logical. You can deduce what to do by only knowing the basics.
Its a bit like "all motion is relative" and "the speed of light is an
invariant", produces a staggering list of results.
SuperSpice, a very affordable Mixed-Mode
Windows Simulator with Schematic Capture,
Waveform Display, FFT's and Filter Design.
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