Ayende @ Rahien

Hi!
My name is Oren Eini
Founder of Hibernating Rhinos LTD and RavenDB.
You can reach me by phone or email:

ayende@ayende.com

+972 52-548-6969

, @ Q c

Posts: 10 | Comments: 37

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Learning: more than just in the Academia

time to read 3 min | 414 words

Chris, this looks like it can take a long time :-) Keep it up, I enjoy the debate.

Chris responded to my tools post, where he said:

Those [doing low level stuff in order to learn how things work] are all neat acedemic exercises and help make us better programmers because they give us deeper understanding, but when do we do that stuff in a real workplace? When was the last time I wrote a compiler? Not since I was an undergraduate.

I disagree with this statement, leaving aside the fact that I am dealing with compiler stuff on a routine basis (NHQG, Brail, Dynamic Proxy, NHibernate - all have some aspect of compilers in them)*, I think that learning something by going to the lowest level of abstraction that can be had is the best way to really learn something, and this is regardless of whatever you are doing it on the academia or at work.

I should qualify that with saying that I am also a lazy person by nature, therefor I would tend to learn just enough to get myself out of problem. The problem is that I appear to be a contrary person as well, so I run into a lot of problems :-) I am trying to learn WPF for the last two months, can't find the stregnth to go through an excellent book when I already know the basics. (XAML has routing events and dependencies properties, everything else is lazy learned).

That is usually a reflection of the precentage of time that I need to devote to something, usually, and I am not doing a lot (any) WPF.

Also:

Ever watch Star Trek? Recall how the captain just has to “ask” the computer to do complicated stuff, and behind the scenes I’m sure its doing some programming…

I seem to recall several episodes where the computer took things too literally, and things got really bad. Do you feel that you would like to be the person on call to debug this?

* Yes, I do know that I am probably not a representive sample of the developer population. I was already told to REPENT.


Comments

Chris Holmes

Good point Oren!

I guess I didn't differentiate my thoughts very well. I totally agree with what you're saying; learning should be a daily thing, no matter what environment you're in. I just think that once you get past the learning, then it's time to take advantage of the tools for efficiency.

Love the dialog.

Mike D

So I guess were taking the train to "New Vertiform City" :-)

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