[Beowulf] Beowulf SysAdmin Job Description

Nifty Tom Mitchell niftyompi at niftyegg.com
Fri May 8 13:47:40 PDT 2009

On Thu, May 07, 2009 at 06:10:53PM -0500, Gerald Creager wrote:
> Nicholas M Glykos wrote:
>> <snip>
>>> Too many Ph.D persons (in fields other than Computer Science) assume
>>> that any sort of computer work is something they could do in their
>>> spare time, if they just took the time.
>> </snip>
>> Taking your point to its diametrically opposite extreme, I have 
>> repeatedly been told that I should stop writing code because there is 
>> no way that the code I manage to write could possibly compete with what 
>> a professional programmer could have written. They are, of course, 
>> absolutely right. Still, I would not trade the fun (and concurrent 
>> training) of solving my problems in my way with even the most highly 
>> optimised, readable and absolutely professional pieces of code.
> I think I've said this before here, but I'll risk it again...  Nothing  
> scares me more than a PhD oceanographer with 2 formal courses in Fortran  
> in his educational summary...

But can he code?
English majors often cannot author original work yet most can 
punctatae mw wurds and fix my spalling,

A programming language is just that, a language, a communication.

So, How does your PhD communicate his new science to the machine?
If not in a programming language -- what language does the science
get communicated to a programmer who then communicates with the machine.
Who pays for the programmer?

It may be that the computer scientists need to improve programming languages
so science is expressed clearly and quickly.  Then programmers  can 'translate' 
and 'optimize' in ways that machines we have now and will have tomorrow can process
in a cost effective way.

At this time I guess I should assert that COBOL lives today because managers can read it.
For an old language COBOL did get this part correct.

Can your manager read your code?  As a programmer, can the PhD customer 
and his peers read your code well enough to verify that his|her science 
is correctly expressed.

	T o m  M i t c h e l l 
	Found me a new hat, now what?

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