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Thread: The decline of programmers in the U.S.

  1. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by t8burst View Post
    Guy shows up with a shoe box of punch cards! I may be old, but I am not that old.
    Yeah, only we old fogies know the terror of dropping our decks.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Katja View Post
    When I worked at NCAR, we scripted in python, perl, etc...but the climate forecasting codes are all written in Fortran (running on supercomputers).
    interesting. we have some few climate predictor folks at RIT that were able to predict earthquakes/hurricanes etc(actually a lot of the images on the news after what happened in haiti were generated from the guys at rit) but they use c/c++ i believe.

    but it seems to be a function of where you go/who you're with as each person/group thinks their method is "the best" where my thinking is that you use the program/tool that best fits the job. you wouldnt nail in a nail with an axe, for example
    "Smells like death in a bucket of chicken!"
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  3. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by crypticgimp View Post
    but it seems to be a function of where you go/who you're with as each person/group thinks their method is "the best" where my thinking is that you use the program/tool that best fits the job. you wouldnt nail in a nail with an axe, for example
    Legacy also plays a big role. Many of the climate model codes have been around for decades.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Katja View Post
    Legacy also plays a big role. Many of the climate model codes have been around for decades.
    true... but so have many other algorithms which can be implemented in different languages. just because it has existed and mainly in use in one language doesn't necessarily mean that is THE language to use.
    "Smells like death in a bucket of chicken!"
    http://www.elportavoz.com/

  5. #35

    What makes a good programmer?

    I'm curious to hear opinions on this.
    I've worked as programmer but I never considered myself to be any better than competent.
    Yet I worked with people who seemed to be naturally gifted at it and could crank out high quality code at incredible pace.
    I also noted, through the years, that programming skill seems to co-exist with musical talent in many individuals. i remember spending some time "on the beach" at one of the consulting firms I worked for and 80% of the folks waiting to go to their next gig seemed to be in bands of one kind or another.

  6. #36
    Senior Member Foolish Old's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crypticgimp View Post
    true... but so have many other algorithms which can be implemented in different languages. just because it has existed and mainly in use in one language doesn't necessarily mean that is THE language to use.
    The legacy question is usually one of a reluctance to abandon previous investments.
    Foolish

    "We have met the enemy and he is us."-POGO.

    "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it."~Edgar Allan Poe

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  7. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by crypticgimp View Post
    true... but so have many other algorithms which can be implemented in different languages. just because it has existed and mainly in use in one language doesn't necessarily mean that is THE language to use.
    While almost every programmer believes that porting or refactoring legacy code is a good idea, in aerospace we've found that given a working legacy code base, porting almost never pays for itself. It's fun to do, though.

  8. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by garvey View Post
    I'm curious to hear opinions on this.
    I've worked as programmer but I never considered myself to be any better than competent.
    Yet I worked with people who seemed to be naturally gifted at it and could crank out high quality code at incredible pace.
    I also noted, through the years, that programming skill seems to co-exist with musical talent in many individuals. i remember spending some time "on the beach" at one of the consulting firms I worked for and 80% of the folks waiting to go to their next gig seemed to be in bands of one kind or another.

    I think programming is like speaking a language. Music is a language. Many people who are good at "languages" and develop these areas of the brain that contribute to this, likely can apply those abilities to other "languages".

    Of course, programming can be a great high paying job with lots of consulting opportunities (ie. part time/off hours/telecommuting as well), allowing people to pursue their hobbies with more vigor.

  9. #39
    Senior Member willingtocope's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garvey View Post
    Yet I worked with people who seemed to be naturally gifted at it and could crank out high quality code at incredible pace.
    I also noted, through the years, that programming skill seems to co-exist with musical talent in many individuals.
    You're right that like music, programming is really an art...not a science.

    As to "high quality code at an incredible pace", I've found that can be deceiving. In my opinion, high quality code is easily maintained and/or modified as the needs of the system change. (Some studies have shown that as much as 99% of the true cost of a system is in the maintainence). In my experience, quickly written code is harder to maintain.

  10. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by willingtocope View Post
    You're right that like music, programming is really an art...not a science.

    As to "high quality code at an incredible pace", I've found that can be deceiving. In my opinion, high quality code is easily maintained and/or modified as the needs of the system change. (Some studies have shown that as much as 99% of the true cost of a system is in the maintainence). In my experience, quickly written code is harder to maintain.
    I don't think he was talking about quickly written code. If you make light bulbs, your best light bulb maker may be 10% better than your average one. Your best programmer can be orders of magnitude better than your average one. It is not about number of lines of code, it is about the art. Some people can look at a problem and do it in 10 lines and an hour where an average person may take days and 100s of lines.

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