Cut and Paste Engineering

Unlike today, there was no Google, no Stackoverflow, no open source at your fingertips, rarely even someone to email to ask for help. You were basically programming on an island, and anything you needed to figure out or solve, you had to do it yourself. What you need today is searching, understanding and evaluation. You have access to the world’s smartest (and sometimes dumbest) people. The chances that something you need hasn’t been done elsewhere is rare and the real skill is in finding it, relating it to what you need, deciding if it is useful or adaptable, and if it is of a decent quality. [Andrew Wulf]
One of Mr Dennett’s key slogans is “competence without comprehension”. Just as computers can perform complex calculations without understanding arithmetic, so creatures can display finely tuned behaviour without understanding why they do so. The mental items that populate human consciousness are more like fictions than accurate representations of internal reality.
The psychologist Don Norman coined the term conceptual model to refer to the rough knowledge of a technology we need to have in order to use it effectively. [Pedro Domingos (2017), The Master Algorithm, Penguin]
The bigger problem of understanding “my” code or “this” code is ” has somebody else already solved this problem”. My feeling is that most problems have already been solved but we write code because it’s quicker to write code than discover it. [Joe Armstrong]

Basilica di Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri, Meditazione

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