[time-nuts] I want a good micro-controller

wje wje at quackers.net
Sat Aug 16 12:10:18 EDT 2008

   You certainly don't need formal training to be a good programmer; I've
   seen plenty of code from CS grads that's terrible, and very nice code
   from art majors.
   In my book, a good program is one one that's organized logically, well
   documented, and performs the job it was designed to do. A god
   programmer is someone that produces such programs. That's it. The
   problem is that, with the advent PCs and easily-accessible programming
   tools, everyone thinks they can write code, and many can't. Then what
   you end up with is a tangled mess that's unmaintainable and
   It's interesting that any number of EE's will take great care in
   circuit design, but then throw together some poorly-designed code to
   run their beautiful circuit. But, this has been endemic in the hardware
   industry for as long as I've been around. Hardware companies frequently
   have the attitude that it's the hardware that's important and the
   software is just one of those minor bits that has to get tacked on.
   This was true even for some companies that should have known better;
   there were plenty of HW engineers I ran into back in the old Digital
   days that, even though they were building minicomputers, really
   considered software an unfortunate requirement that had to be shipped
   with their beautiful hardware.
   Ah well, this is really wandering off-topic and my blood pressure's
   going up. I think I'll go write some C code for an 8-bit micro to calm
   down. And yes, I use vi. :)
Bill Ezell
They said 'Windows or better'
so I used Linux.

   Scott Newell wrote:

At 07:36 AM 8/16/2008, wje wrote:

I have both EE and CS degrees, and I work in both worlds. In my humble
(but completely accurate and stable) opinion, Basic is not a programming
language. It's a tool of Satan designed to convince people that they are
programmers when they really should stick to their janitorial duties.
This is a subset of the general problem that everyone thinks they are
programmers, and usually think their code is perfect. But, that's a rant
for a different audience.

So, how do you tell if you're not a programmer, but pretending to be
one?  My code is far from perfect, but it can usually be made to get
the job done.  I try not to cut too many corners, and the ones that I
do cut bother me.  But when you're the lone programmer on projects,
it's hard to know if you're crummy or decent, since there's no one to
measure against.  (Of course, there's the metric of 'product shipped,
product works, bossman happy, paycheck cashed', but that doesn't
distinguish between good and bad programmers, just programmers that
can fool others along with themselves.)

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