Re: I need an understanding of what C++ is good for -Thanks

From: Howard (alicebt_at_hotmail.com)
Date: 04/20/04


Date: 20 Apr 2004 14:51:40 EDT


"jeffc" <nobody@nowhere.com> wrote in message
news:408569ee_3@news1.prserv.net...
>
> "jeffc" <nobody@nowhere.com> wrote in message
> news:4085696e_1@news1.prserv.net...
> >
> > "E. Robert Tisdale" <E.Robert.Tisdale@jpl.nasa.gov> wrote in message
> > news:40855FD5.80509@jpl.nasa.gov...
> > >
> > > Personally, I would *never* even ask a candidate
> > > whether they programmed in C++ or not.
> > > Programming is a low level skill
> > > which I would expect the candidate to "pick up"
> > > in the first few weeks on the job.
> >
> > Really... you'd expect them to "pick up" C++ in a few weeks.... OK.
>
> I just can't get over how ridiculous this is. It's like calling the
ability
> to perform laser surgery a "low level skill" - one that you'd never ask a
> doctor about before hiring him. As long as he, like, knows all about body
> parts, 'n' stuff.
>

It's not so ridiculous! I actually tend to agree with Mr. Tisdale on this.
A truly good programmer should be able to pick up a new language rather
easily. Now, given the (at least potential) complexity of C++, I would
hardly expect the person to become a "good C++ programmer" in a few weeks,
but I would certainly expect him/her to be able to modify/maintain existing
code within that timeframe. Being a good programmer, in my book, includes
that ability. Critical thinking, problem solving, design, and being able to
work with the available tools...these are areas that make a good programmer.
(That's why good colleges don't concentrate on teaching a specific language,
but instead teach a broad spectrum of data structures, mathematics,
operating systems, hardware, etc.) If you can program well in Java, but
would have trouble programming in, say C++ or Pascal, then you're not really
a good programmer, you're just an experienced Java programmer.

Regarding your anaology, I'd say that's not accurate. A good surgeon, given
a few weeks training in the use of a laser surgery device, should be able to
do laser surgery. That's a better analogy, I think, and it applies equally
as well to a good programmer being able to use a new tool, such as C++.

-Howard