[Melbourne-pm] OT: Re: FW: Bamboozled by perl

Timothy S. Nelson wayland at wayland.id.au
Fri Oct 2 20:36:29 PDT 2009

On Fri, 2 Oct 2009, ajthornton wrote:

> I really missed the bus with programming. If I were 18 0r 20 right now I
> would go to uni or TAFE and get a Bsc in computer science. But I was in the
> wrong era. It was 1992. I left school computer illiterate. I couldn't turn a
> computer on or put a disk in the disk drive. I failed reasoning and data
> maths [the worst freaking unit of maths ever clunked together by eduational
> eggheads - teachers treated it like it was an insult to teach it; "that's a
> year 8 maths unit" was said so often, never mind that a chapter had calculus
> so difficult in the Rehill/macauliffe book that you wouldn't do it until the
> later years of an undergraduate maths program , if then, oh man that was so
> all over the shop that I wondered what the hell I had done in a previous
> life to deserve such tripe.] because I couldn't operate a computer and use

 	I went through a year after they junked Reasoning & Data, and the 
teachers said "We haven't had tiome to review the new books -- buy last years 
ones and we'll teach the appropriate chapters".  That was fine by me -- 
secondhand books were cheaper, but I noticed all my least favourite topics 
came from the R&D book.

> At least programming is something tnat can be learnt. There's stuff that's
> "you have got it or you haven't". Music and drawing certainly fit that
> category. Maths probably does. But I do think that anyone can program. Some

 	I'd like to challenge this.  These things require years of practise, 
but are to a certain degree learnable skills, assuming that you have the right 
material to learn from.  I, for example, have spent countless hours playing 
various musical instruments.  If I'd spent that amount of time drawing or 
doing maths, I'm sure I'd be good at them too.  And why?  Because I 
enjoy it!  Natural ability certainly counts for something, but having fun 
probably has more effect.  While it's not something I'd quote often...

In every job that must be done
There is an element of fun
You find the fun and snap the job's a game
And every task you undertake becomes a piece of cake
A lark! A spree!
It's very clear to see...

 	To optimise your Perl experience for fun, it would be a good idea to 
cater to its strengths.  Perls biggest strength is in text processing.  So if 
you have any text processing you need to do, then Perl is the right tool for 
the job.  Of course, it's good for other things too, but IMHO, text processing 
is where it really shines.


| Name: Tim Nelson                 | Because the Creator is,        |
| E-mail: wayland at wayland.id.au    | I am                           |

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