Posts Tagged programming

Should a new programmer learn Javascript first?

If you want to be a webmonkey / script-kiddie, sure, learn Javascript first and to heck with a quality skillset. But is that what you want?

On the other hand, if you want to be a quality programmer, that is, a good programmer?—?and not just hope or falsely claim you are one, because hey, you can actually write one— what you have to work through is a six-step language set:
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What’s that Smell?

As they train to become a doctor, new interns are taught about many different diseases that produce various sets of otherwise similar symptoms. In conjunction with this new and complex knowledge, they are also taught this truism: “When you hear hoofprints, you must not initially assume a zebra is in the vicinity.” This pithy remark is meant to impart that, for instance, if a patient comes in bleeding from an orifice, one must not immediately assume that Ebola is in the building; more likely something much more common is in play, such as hemorrhoids or perhaps an unfortunate excess of enthusiasm coupled with a new, ahem, toy.

One of the clearer signs that I was becoming a competent programmer was that the problems in my code began, more and more often, to in fact, be zebras. Instead of a misplaced character or a missing clause or some kind of blatant conceptual error, the abject weirdnesses that were most often populating the realm of my final, demonstrably accurate diagnoses came to be things like operating system bugs, broken libraries, incomplete emulations and exotic compiler bugs. Zebras.
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Inefficiencies of modern HLLs and implications for AI

On this new years day, I was relaxing a bit, pondering (with some glee) how large, clunky and slow a “modern” application (ca. 2008) was that did less than an older application (ca. 1997) I own, which I happen to know (because I was there) was written in C. I presume, like most clunky, slow, and bloated apps, that the “modern” app was written in C++, Java, or some similar modern HLL.

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