How can engineers not understand source-code control?

Cameron Laird claird at
Tue Jan 4 10:08:03 EST 2005

In article <41da713a$0$610$ed2619ec at>,
Mark Carter  <mcturra2000 at> wrote:
>True story: when I began working for my current employer, there was a 
>guy there doing some work with a spreadsheet. He was given two weeks to 
		[tale of atrocity and woe]
>cell formulae. The rationale behind this is that VBA is too hard for 
>most people to understand, whereas formulae are easier to understand. 
Well *that* certainly made my morning unpleasant.

I think the point to take away has something to do with maturity
or judgment or one of those other difficult qualities.  Some of
this stuff--"formulae are easy to understand", "you don't need
programmers, you just enter what you want the machine to do",
"we'll wage war on terrorists by *becoming* terrorists", "Micro-
soft has spent more on 'security' than any other vendor"--*sounds*
like a useful guide to action.  A hard part of our responsibility,
though, is articulating for decision-makers that these superficial
simplificities truly are superficial, and that they lead to 
monstrous costs that are hard for "civilians" to anticipate.

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