Arthur Norman Software Engineering
ADVICE ON SOCIAL SKILLS
because you're computer scientists, you have no need to go to the college bar
- the ability to write stuff that is inscrutable is a vital social skill
- ...sitting in a bath scrubbing your back with one hand, reading the source code with another
- most people involved in computing are muddled most of the time
- people who don't use computers are more sociable, reasonable, and ... less twisted
- data is semi-animate, sort of like programmers
- you will have to associate with people who went to art college
- [when talking about experimental psycology] i'm not sure what the going rate for computer programmers is
- one should only gamble against people when you are sober and they are drunk cos you have a significant edge
REVEALS HIS GENTLER SIDE
I believe there is a lot of people who it would be good to have shot
- apply this well-known piece of technology, known as a hammer
- hit your program with a hammer till bits fall off
- there is a skill associated with hitting programs with a hammer, just as there is a skill
with hitting people with hammers ... but this course is only about programming
- there it is behind you ... not in the sense of behind you with a knife in your back: that's debugging
- the hard back [book] is jolly good for hitting people over the head with
- keep reminding us that computing is masochism
- realise that you're going to enjoy it and take pleasure in the pain
- it is especially popular with those who enjoy banging their heads against the wall
- banging your head against a brick wall is great fun ... especially when the wall falls down
- if you've been sitting at a computer for too long, you should go and drown yourself in a swimming pool,
then we'll pump you out and sit you at your desk, all refreshed
CLUES TO THE INNER WORKINGS OF HIS MIND
if enough of you go, I can give up and not give these lectures
- my name is Attila the Hun, or whatever name you use for yourself as the programmer
- the book I'm going to write when I have time, its called "Computing Made Difficult"
- you should imagine me swinging through the trees or maybe even messing around in the swamp before I climbed into the trees and descended on the savannas of Africa
- I have got myself in total and twisted knots
- I am in a complete mess ... can't get anywhere ... PANIC!
- I'm a complete and total wet drippy wimp
- some of us don't believe in magic, poor Tinkerbell...
VIEWS ON VOTING
if you vote, I have the right to blame you for whatever the outcome is
- there appears to be a general suggestion that I should not tell you
which way to vote. Nevertheless...
- Vote early, and vote often
HIS ETHICAL CONCERNS
climb inside a Cathode Ray Tube with a pen.
Unfortunately Health & Safety Regulations these days prevent people from climbing inside
CRTs ... there are things about high voltages, and vacuums, and apparently the phosphor in there isn't too great to inhale
- you can make a demo, sell it, then flee the country
- "Writing a program by ripping them off". Oops, I have already done ethical concerns earlier this lecture...
LETS US IN ON THE SECRETS OF THE TRADE
you can swear at the keyboard and it won't be offended. It was going to treat you badly anyway
- the code should be beaten into submission
- goodness knows how much thrashing is going on to get your code to compile
- almost nobody should be frightened of code
- Microsoft has world class quality control
- building skyscrapers top down is kind of a delicate matter
- perfection is a kind of difficult thing to build in: sad state of affairs, that
- perhaps the program will work on the 31st, but it won't work on any other day
- the best way to implement hard code is never to know you're implementing it
- thought experiments are much nicer than real ones, and if they go wrong, noone will know
the third years are wandering about all worried at the moment because they have to hand in their
final projects. Please be sympathetic to them, say things like "ha-ha-ha", but in a sympathetic tone of voice
THINGS SAID MYSTERIOUSLY WHICH FEW UNDERSTOOD
fresh wheels ... swack! get them blisterin', yeah!
- a timeless piece of literature entitled "What I did on my holidays". Yeah, really timeless...
- the manager. Whether it is the good angel or the bad...
- what if I look at something and can't see how to decompose it?
the theoreticians have proven that this is unsolvable, but there's three of us, and we're smart...
- there are two reasons for computing:
- air conditioning
- don't have to deal with people