Re: [stella] OT: Programming

Subject: Re: [stella] OT: Programming
From: "Glenn Saunders" <cybpunks@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 24 Oct 2001 18:05:52 -0700

The level of skill I miss doesn't even involve knowing how to write
an application in assembly.  The machine has limitations because of
how it works; this is true no matter how high or low a level at which
you program.  And too many "programmers" don't know those

My point is that since programming as a skill is so pervasive in our society, it has various strata, and there are roles for "programmers" and roles for programmers. Some tasks are more sensitive than others, and require a more meticulous coder than others. So it's dangerous to say that all programmers should be of a certain calibre. We need them all.

There simply aren't enough to meet demand if we set the bar that high.

It's like asking all musicians to be symphony-grade, or all painters to be Van Gogh-grade.

The world is big enough to accomodate various skillsets.

That being said, however, I would hope that programmers strive to better themselves. It's not like you can't improve. But one of the most important lessons in life is this:

There are two groups of people:

1) A person who sucks at something but either hasn't the vision to see it, or is in active denial of it, is ALWAYS going to suck.

2) A person who sucks at something but who can see it, and is willing to try harder, is one day NOT going to suck.

It all starts at an early age. The future artist is in art class next to somebody else. The first day of the class both of their pencil scribbles are indistinguishable. The last day of class, the kid on the left is still scribbling and thinks he's Picasso. The kid on the right has been using his eraser to death until he has properly approximated the image of the subject. He may never draw as effortlessly as a master sketch artist, but he's got a good enough eye to know when he's made a mistake and he keeps undoing and redoing it until he manages to get the job done. The kid on the left may have the innate potential to be a master sketch artist, but he'll never realize it because he's not willing to admit to himself that he sucks right now and is not mentally translating the image to the paper.

The world is filled with successful people without a lot of raw talent, but who are self-critical enough that they can still do some amazing things through sheer perseverance that others who are more talented on paper will simply never accomplish.

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