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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Coding Horror: Separating Programming Sheep from Non-Programming Goats

Coding Horror: Separating Programming Sheep from Non-Programming Goats:
Formal logical proofs, and therefore programs – formal logical proofs that particular computations are possible, expressed in a formal system called a programming language – are utterly meaningless. To write a computer program you have to come to terms with this, to accept that whatever you might want the program to mean, the machine will blindly follow its meaningless rules and come to some meaningless conclusion. In the test the consistent group showed a pre-acceptance of this fact: they are capable of seeing mathematical calculation problems in terms of rules, and can follow those rules wheresoever they may lead. The inconsistent group, on the other hand, looks for meaning where it is not. The blank group knows that it is looking at meaninglessness, and refuses to deal with it.


So, to do well in programming, you have to be able to process, nay experience meaningless rules applied to nonexistent items, and rejoice in the structure of your imaginary results? How completely alien - what experiences could possibly prepare you for such an act of metacognition?

Well, off to play Dungeons & Dragons! Or maybe World of Warcraft...

Technorati tags: programming, cs, education

1 Comments:

Anonymous GrapeRoad said...

Haha, that's pretty funny. Maybe its not supposed to be, but looking for meaning in a math problem is definitely something good for a Pete & Pete episode.

7/18/2006  

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