2015-04-06

Antes de Dr. House y Sheldon Cooper, existió Dijkstra

Hay mucha gente que piensa que Dr. House o Sheldon Cooper son personajes originales. Irritantes, inteligentes y originales. Yo creo que no. Para mí son variaciones de una persona que existió en la vida real: Edsger W.Dijkstra

Encuentro en el escrito The pragmatic engineer versus the scientific designer diversas pruebas de que mi afirmación podría ser verdadera. Por ejemplo esta consideración sobre los ingenieros:

"The typical engineer is an a-cultural illiterate, unable to absorb or appreciate carefully written prose, equally unable to express himself well, a socially deficient bore, whose primary role in life is to make new gadgets with his hands."

O la forma en que cree que los ingenieros demuestran por inducción:

"The pragmatic engineer believes in the correctness of his design until it has failed to work properly; the scientific designer believes in the correctness of his design because he has understood why it must work properly. And in order to drive home the message and its significance I introduced as exemplary thinking pattern of the pragmatic engineering the standard example known as "Poor Man's Induction": the "proof" that 60 can be divided by all smaller natural number: you just try! 1? Yes. 2? Yes. 3? Yes. 4? Yes. 5? Yes! 6? Yes!! OK.... Let us try a random example. 10? Yes!!! 12? Yes!!!!!!! Obviously 60 can be divided by all smaller natural numbers."

Dejando la parte graciosa de lado, el artículo es interesante de leer pues también versa, sorprendentemente, sobre temas que hoy siguen siendo problemas:

"The wholesale adoption of the term "software engineering" may also explain one of the more surprising answers --it surprised at least me-- to the questionnaire that showed that the difficulty of getting adequate specifications was overwhelmingly regarded, not as a technical problem, but as a management problem! Now this surprised me, because even if the formal tools for giving the specifications are in principle available, how to apply them without the specification becoming unwieldy is a --technical-- problem whose solution is not apparent; in the absence of a ready-made formalism we return to our native tongues and we are almost back in the stage of Euclid who had to do mathematics verbally. (It is for this reason that an exceptional mastery of the native tongue of his environment is one of the programmer's most important assets.) It has even been argued that an important cause of the poor state of the art of programming is our collective inability of adequately presenting complex algorithms to our fellows --an opinion that is strongly supported by the ghastly quality of many publications-- . These are serious technical problems."

Seguimos pensando..

PD: El texto de la página en Wikipedia de él es imperdible, sinceramente.

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