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elsjekool

Paul Ford: What is Code? | Bloomberg - 35 views

  • There are keynote speakers—often the people who created the technology at hand or crafted a given language. There are the regular speakers, often paid not at all or in airfare, who present some idea or technique or approach. Then there are the panels, where a group of people are lined up in a row and forced into some semblance of interaction while the audience checks its e-mail.
  • Fewer than a fifth of undergraduate degrees in computer science awarded in 2012 went to women, according to the National Center for Women & Information Technology
  • The average programmer is moderately diligent, capable of basic mathematics, has a working knowledge of one or more programming languages, and can communicate what he or she is doing to management and his or her peers
  • ...16 more annotations...
  • The true measure of a language isn’t how it uses semicolons; it’s the standard library of each language. A language is software for making software. The standard library is a set of premade software that you can reuse and reapply.
  • A coder needs to be able to quickly examine and identify which giant, complex library is the one that’s the most recently and actively updated and the best match for his or her current needs. A coder needs to be a good listener.
  • Code isn’t just obscure commands in a file. It requires you to have a map in your head, to know where the good libraries, the best documentation, and the most helpful message boards are located. If you don’t know where those things are, you will spend all of your time searching, instead of building cool new things.
  • Some tools are better for certain jobs.
  • C is a simple language, simple like a shotgun that can blow off your foot. It allows you to manage every last part of a computer—the memory, files, a hard drive—which is great if you’re meticulous and dangerous if you’re sloppy
  • Object-oriented programming is, at its essence, a filing system for code.
  • Where C tried to make it easier to do computer things, Smalltalk tried to make it easier to do human things.
  • Style and usage matter; sometimes programmers recommend Strunk & White’s The Elements of Style—that’s right, the one about the English language. Its focus on efficient usage resonates with programmers. The idiom of a language is part of its communal identity.
  • Coding is a culture of blurters.
  • Programmers carve out a sliver of cognitive territory for themselves and go to conferences, and yet they know their position is vulnerable.
  • Programmers are often angry because they’re often scared.
  • Programming is a task that rewards intense focus and can be done with a small group or even in isolation.
  • For a truly gifted programmer, writing code is a side effect of thought
  • As a class, programmers are easily bored, love novelty, and are obsessed with various forms of productivity enhancement.
  • “Most programming languages are partly a way of expressing things in terms of other things and partly a basic set of given things.”
  • Of course, while we were trying to build a bookstore, we actually built the death of bookstores—that seems to happen a lot in the business. You set out to do something cool and end up destroying lots of things that came before.
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    A lengthy but worthy read for all non-programmers on code.
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    Explains code
Kenuvis Romero

Dangerous: an in-depth investigation into the life of John McAfee (Wired UK) - 0 views

shared by Kenuvis Romero on 23 Jun 13 - No Cached
  •  His business plan: create an antivirus program and give it away on bulletin boards. McAfee didn't expect users to pay. His real aim was to get them to think the software was so necessary that they would install it on their computers at work. They did. Within five years, half of the Fortune 100 companies were running it, and they felt compelled to pay a licence fee. By 1990, McAfee was making $5 million (£3.2 million) a year with few overheads and little investment.
  • His success was due in part to his ability to spread his own paranoia, the fear that there was always somebody about to attack.
James Davis

Education and computers - 47 views

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    Links to articles by Steve Talbott (_The Future Does Not Compute_, _Devices of the Soul_, NetFuture online newsletter) going back more than 10 years, generally critical of the rush to technology in schools, but always thoughtful and thought-provoking.
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    Provocative.
Rafael Morales_Gamboa

Embracing Differentiation and Reclaiming Audacity: An Interview with James Hilton | EDUCAUSE - 17 views

  • We're going to see growing pressure on higher education to offer increasingly differentiated paths to education
  • the demographic bubble supporting growth—and a disproportionate investment—in higher education has moved on to health care and to end-of-life issues. That bubble is not likely to come back to higher education
  • the tensions around cost are not going to go away in the next five years
  • ...3 more annotations...
  • The demand for more evidence-based demonstration that the methods of teaching and learning are working will continue to intensify
  • What is that vision now, in the 21st century? For me, it's the notion that education can be tailored and customized for every single individual
  • The danger is that we will concentrate exclusively on finding ways to refine the current system and we will lose the opportunity to reimagine higher education for this century, this economy, and this technology. We will miss the opportunity to redefine education for a world in which access to information, networks, and computation is ubiquitous
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