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Monday, December 31, 2012

Writing for Computers

I found this Ars Technica series  about writing computer programs interesting.   In part of my early enterprise career I did this for executives.  Explaining to them why computing was useful, and enough training to let them know what could and could not be done easily.  They were rarely interested in how computing really worked.  The way most of us do not care how our car engine works, just that it does, reliably and cheaply.   The more philosophically minded would sit down for an overview of the details, but that did not mean that they could  write something that would be useful.   In the early days there were exceptions.  I worked with an executive who could use Basic or Fortran or a  Spreadsheet to do some calculation.  But as the years progressed the languages evolved to Java and C++, and their programming contexts and databases became involved.  Just like I can describe to you, in theory, and in some detail, how a car engine works,  I  am inept at actually repairing one.   The Ars series are good introductions.  I am not sure who they really help.  Executives?  Middle management in IT? Not IT professionals.  Is this writing for computers?

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