Re: WWW/Internet 2009: 2nd CFP until 21 September x

From: Walter Mitty <>
Date: Sun, 16 Aug 2009 03:21:01 GMT
Message-ID: <xWKhm.2340$>

"paul c" <> wrote in message news:SkJhm.41462$PH1.21106_at_edtnps82...

> Here's some mea culpa. As bizarre as it sounds, I was once hired to
> implement nulls in an non-sql product because a big bank insisted on it,
> claimed their particular null was essential for runs of cheques that all
> bounced. I took the job just because it sounded less humdrum than what
> I'd been doing, trying to bend obscure products like model204. Later, I
> contracted for customers who wanted to record various things for which not
> all details were always available. Can't remember every case, but I
> remember convincing a number of customers to twist their requirements so
> that labels could be empty strings and zero was valid for various
> quantities. But I never did figure how how to default dates without
> changing app code.
> If I knew then what I know now (and if I'd had any guts/courage of my
> convictions), I would have refused the whole business and gone into a
> sensible line of work. Or I could just blame it all on the assembler
> programmer mentality/brainwashing that accepts the dumbest ideas as a
> challenge. At one time, maybe it was when Dijkstra was active and 'The
> Psychology of Computer Programming' was a current book, this culture was
> evident amond C programmers. I would have thought then that future
> languages might help eliminate the phenomenon, but now it looks like I
> was wrong. Maybe it's because they aren't really that different and the
> newer programming environments/frameworks aren't very imaginative after
> all.

I like this war story. I salute you, old timer.

I was once an assembly language type myself. This was years before I got involved in commercial programming.

"The Psychology of Computer Programming" is still a current book. A lot of people don't think so, but they're wrong. People are still built the same way they were before world war two. Received on Sat Aug 15 2009 - 22:21:01 CDT

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