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Koudos Permalink
November 06, 2008, 05:36

I am a programmer myself and I wonder how someone as achieved in academia and intelligent as Edsger Dijkstra would cope in a commercial environment with things like ever changing requirements and time constraints, budget constraints etc. Would the "complete" v1.0 ever get out of the door in time to be competitive or meet the clients' deadlines?

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John Bach Permalink
September 13, 2010, 18:51

Needless to say, this vision of what computing science is about is not universally applauded. On the contrary, it has met widespread —and sometimes even violent— opposition from all sorts of directions. I mention as examples

(0) the mathematical guild, which would rather continue to believe that the Dream of Leibniz is an unrealistic illusion

(1) the business community, which, having been sold to the idea that computers would make life easier, is mentally unprepared to accept that they only solve the easier problems at the price of creating much harder ones

(2) the subculture of the compulsive programmer, whose ethics prescribe that one silly idea and a month of frantic coding should suffice to make him a life-long millionaire

(3) computer engineering, which would rather continue to act as if it is all only a matter of higher bit rates and more flops per second

(4) the military, who are now totally absorbed in the business of using computers to mutate billion-dollar budgets into the illusion of automatic safety

(5) all soft sciences for which computing now acts as some sort of interdisciplinary haven

(6) the educational business that feels that, if it has to teach formal mathematics to CS students, it may as well close its schools.

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