" Don't go into computing, there's no future in it now that computers can write their own programs" - my careers adviser (1966)
17 posts • joined 31 Oct 2007
'We think autonomous coding is a very real thing' – GitHub CEO imagines a future without programmers
Re: Bloody software...
The hardware doesn't always work perfectly even if it's designed properly. It's up to the software to handle what's thrown at it in a predictable way.
Motto for software engineers: If it can go wrong it will go wrong. If it can't go wrong it will go wrong on the first live run (some projects only have one live run !!).
No they don't train software engineers properly, very few universities have courses that cover the software / hardware boundary. Around 1990 there was a move by the UK MoD towards getting all engineering designs signed off by a Chartered Engineer. (At the time a CEng involved getting a decent first degree, 7 years of practical and formal training, an existing CEng to back you with their reputation. Then you could start the application process). The intention was to spread this to other government departments. Of course it was easier just to employ anyone who can work out which way up the keyboard goes - they don't ask awkward questions that could delay the project, or delay the parachute release.
We're still at the snake-oil stage of software development where anyone can walk in as an expert. Let's make it a proper profession and get some respect even if we would be liked as much as lawyers.
Comments suggesting more training always get downvotes. To ease anybody's conscience I will point out that I have a Computing Science degree, am a CEng, and worst of all have an MBA.
Engineers tried to roll back the upgrade but it proved too complicated
Translation: They didn't back everything up before they started. They didn't include rollback in the trial conversion - if they did a trial conversion.
Implication (from experience): Routine backups aren't good enough to guarantee recovery from some corruptions during live running.
I'm sure they can type all the data in again.
Future in computing
"There's no future in computing now they can write their own programs" - Quote from my school careers adviser referring to compilers - 1966.
Les Barker fans will be singing this already
Not sure about the US but in the UK "he" was the gender neutral form at least up to the 1960s and so is found in many old books and legal documents. This was ingrained into all junior school pupils and still gets me into trouble today.
It changed with the feminist campaign to remove the string "man" from all words in the English language. In this case "he" wasn't replaced by anything leading to the cumbersome "he or she", "she or he" or worst of all just "she" which implies "female only" in the old language. It's even more difficult not having a catch-all now that some people don't consider themselves he or she.
If in doubt read a 1950s edition of "First Aid in English", the bible for junior school pupils to learn how-fer tawk proper.
Paul, Baron Strasburger
It seems to have passed people by that this article is written by Paul Strasburger who is on the Joint Committee on the Investigatory Powers Bill. Thank you to him and The Register for bringing us a first hand article.
Paul Strasburger's Wikipedia entry isn't particularly flattering (and we all believe Wikipedia don't we?) but anyone who was/is a successful entrepreneur without a history in politics can't be all bad, especially as he is willing to talk and listen to the techies of this world.
Let me be the first to suggest
"Don't go into computing
- there's no future in in" - quote from my school careers advisor in 1966.
MFG/PRO, now known as QAD Enterprise, could do this 20 years ago to my knowledge.
President's background - explains a lot
A few years ago I was involved in the BCS discussions on what qualifications and experience were necessary to become a CITP. Most of the participants were people who could "talk the talk" but had no interest in the technical side, didn't see any point in knowing about it and most importantly had no respect for it. I've no idea how the discussions ended - I was a lone voice and I'd got work to do.
I joined the BCS about 25 years ago when IT almost turned professional and it was becoming necessary to the a C Eng (this was before CITP) to sign off design specs for some companies. I've remained a member as being an engineer does carry some status in Mainland Europe.
"Where's the IT angle" icon - well we are talking about the BCS.
Blame accountants or climate botherers
It's a long time since I worked on control systems for trains but the general principle was to design for normal industrial conditions (0-50C with no condensation) then to provide that enviroment with suitable boxes and heaters.
To start a train from below freezing the heaters would be switched on to bring the electronics into its operating range and heat the surrounding air, and then the electronics could be switched on. To avoid a delay in starting up the heaters or electronics would normally be left switched on.
Then along comes an accountant or climate botherer and says they can save money / carbon dioxide and decrees that trains should be switched off completely overnight. Then on the first morning with the right conditions .........
It's only speculation but from what I've seen it fits.
Time for an investment in the B Ark.
@A J Stiles @JonB Windmill Speed
Think of a factory where there is sheet material rolled onto a big roller - steel mills, paper mills etc (anyone in the UK can use a history book as reference). There's a lot of energy to be dumped when the roller is stopped. This uses the motor as a generator, some fancy electronics to convert the energy to DC, then to AC in phase with the mains input and dumps it back into the mains supply.
Now think of the electronics as just the mechanism for stopping the blades on the rare occasions the wind wants to turn them.
The blades can run at optimum pitch for the wind irrespective of the output requirements.
The system can be run in reverse to start the blades spinning or keep them running when it is politically wise to do so.
Wind generated by spinning the blades can be picked up and used by the next wind farm so giving a way of storing energy much like a stored water system (OK, I made this one up but when you see it in a politician's or expert's proposal you saw it here first)
Please note that I am an Aging Version 1 Hippy - "make love not war", "make tea not war" (English version), overthrow goverments etc. <RANT>The Reg - please do not mix verion 1 hippies with the new age hippies who only seem to want to jump onto the latest bandwagon of scientific mumbo-jumbo to allow goverments to exploit the masses. The sooner these windmills start falling down the better.</RANT>
There is no tax loss
So the software company sells less software, therefore it and the supply chain make less profit and pay less tax.
The company with the unlicensed software makes more profit and therefore pays more tax.
Net result - no difference in total tax paid.
(OK, this is not quite right as it doesn't allow for different tax rates in different countries, but the overall effect should be around zero - give or take)
It only needs one case ...
One day a 90 year-old man (it is only men isn't it?) who committed a minor sexual offence 70 years before will make an improper remark to a Meals-on-Wheels woman. Result: anyone receiving voluntary help will need to register to protect the volunteers - then we're all caught.
Anyone remember the 80's (?) cartoon series "Wait till your father gets home", where the 40 year old father gets arrested for hanging around with 15 year-old girls - 25 years before.
Linux penguin because nobody's blamed this on Microsoft yet.
A Public Service
So how about setting up a website where people can check if their names are on the list - just type in their full name and address, date of birth, NI number and bank account details and it will tell them whether their details have been stolen. For extra security they can also put in their bank account PIN, they wouldn't want just anybody knowing their details are stolen.
I'm still worried about .....
.... the approaching ice age. We've bad so many cold winters and North Sea gas is due to run out by 1972.