[Beowulf] Re: "hobbyists"

Mike Davis jmdavis1 at vcu.edu
Fri Jun 20 11:12:06 EDT 2008

Karen Shaeffer wrote:
> On Fri, Jun 20, 2008 at 02:41:42AM -0400, Robert G. Brown wrote:
>>   c) some mix of mentoring by a guru and working your ass off.  A bright
>> and motivated person can teach themselves C, but I'll be damned if I
>> think that they can teach themselves to code C >>well<< in less than
>> years of painful mistake-driven lessons unless they have a guru or some
>> other way of learning some of the simple wisdom that makes it possible
>> to turn out decent, readable, code.  And even with a guru and working
>> quite hard, it still takes years, just fewer years.
> Today it is very straight forward. The 2.6.x linux kernel is an exemplary
> body of superb C programming code. All you need is motivation and a network
> connection. And the linux kernel email development lists have hundreds of
> programming guru's pontificating and standing on soap boxes daily.
> Thanks,
> Karen

Linus made this statement or a very similar one at a Linux Expo at Duke 
back in 1998. In his version, he included the advice that if you wanted 
to write good code, you should start by reading good code.  Then  he 
went on to recommend the linux kernel.

Reading code is IMHO one of the most important parts of learning to 
write good code. It doesn't matter if the target language is f77, C, or 
even (gulp) java. Reading well written code will help one to understand 
how to construct it.

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