new years resolutions
clifford.wells at attbi.com
Sat Jan 4 20:53:06 CET 2003
On Sat, 2003-01-04 at 11:05, Laura Creighton wrote:
> > Ah, but you are equating "computer background" with "CS background"
> > which ignores a large segment of knowledgeable people. There is a guy
> > at my work who built a serial IO card using nothing but a pen plotter to
> > etch the circuit board, a small processor (and a couple of support
> > chips) and his own custom firmware. I doubt many CS majors could do the
> > same, yet they would somehow exclude his POV in favor of their own,
> > despite the fact that their entire world ceases to exist without people
> > like him. Ask yourself, is computing about software, or about
> > hardware? Obviously both, but I can assure you that hardware without
> > software is far more useful than the reverse <wink>.
> > --
> > Cliff Wells <clifford.wells at attbi.com>
> I don't think that dividing 'csc == software' and 'engineering ==
> hardware' is the best possible way to distinguish between them. A
Well, clearly the world can be divided in any two ways an argument
requires. I usually divide it into "people who agree with me" and
"people who are wrong". It makes my position so much more defensible ;)
As an aside, you personally usually get lumped with the latter, unless
you happen to agree with me, in which case you're the best <wink>.
Anyway, my rather arbitrary division (perhaps mis-equated) was useful
for making a particular point.
> more useful question, I believe, is 'do you hunger to build things, or
> just to think about them'? (Some people do both about equally, of
> course.) The distinction is important for people who are considering
> getting a degree in computer science. Some of them do quite badly at
> it because what they want is a degree that will help them build the
> programs they dream of creating, and instead they are persuing a
> degree that will help them think about thoughts they have no interest
> in thinking. This is a very bad fit.
Unless what you want to build is a compiler or operating system in which
case CS becomes indispensable (and then welcome to the harsh world of
engineering ;). I think this situation is best approached by learning
to program, *then* learning the theory. When you've had some real-world
experience building software, it suddenly becomes easy to see how much
apparently esoteric CS can be applied to real problems.
> proto-Scientists who mistakenly head for the Engineering, or
> Engineering-Science departments tend to do much better. They become
> Engineering professors. This is not necessarily good for the
> Engineering professions -- graduate engineers in all fields generally
> spend their first few professional years discovering they have studied
> way too much theory, and not enough 'how to recognise a really bad
> engineering design based on the practical experience we have in
> building things'. By the time they have learned that, they have mostly
> forgotten the theory that was crammed into them at university ...
>From my own experience, it isn't so cut-and-dried as far as type of
personality. I tend to dislike applied mathematics (preferring pure
theory), but get bored by CS theory, preferring actual applications.
But then I spend all day on the 'net and don't get anything done anyway
"The world is divided into two kinds of people: Those who divide the
world into two kinds of people, and those who don't."
Cliff Wells <clifford.wells at attbi.com>
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