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By gzt (Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 11:06:17 AM EST) gzt, programming, chess, blitz, pascha, meat, mexican, carne asada (all tags)
So I was thinking about what my current station in life seems to demand I get better at, in terms of programming (which I'm not all that good at or experienced with, anyway).


  • VBA - need it for work to make things better. Mostly reading documentation on how to get things to do what I want them to do. A terrible thing.
  • Matlab - doing my numerical analysis homework in it
  • SAS - needed for statistics in general, for that one class using SAS
  • R - good to know for the future
  • SQL - okay with it, need more for work to make things better
  • Getting better at LaTeX is always good, too
And then of course there are useful things like Python (some experience), bash scripting (some experience), C or C++ (no experience). I know enough Matlab, really, to do all the numerical analysis stuff I need, so that's probably okay for now. And the tutorials I have for getting better at the practice of programming in general that I've worked through are in Scheme/Racket/some other LISP dialect. Anyway, whatevs. I'll just plow through things. Languages are just details.

Had a good weekend. Party on Saturday with a friend from school/church, a lot of the other people there were from her Russian choir from school. Nice folks. The wifing unit skipped that party, though, as she wasn't feeling great. Then last night we (wife included) went out to nice Mexican food with some friends, though we unwisely decided to get a pitcher of margaritas which were expensive and weak. The food was great, though. Next time: no margaritas.

Landlord hasn't cashed my rent check yet. Interesting.

No more meat until Pascha (Easter).

Blitz chess is definitely not real chess. Especially after margaritas and a glass of wine. I did have a fun little game, though. I dropped a piece (oops) but had much better development, so I kept making things awkward until my opponent was forced to make severe material concessions.

No further word from schools yet.

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the list of crap I need to get better at. | 14 comments (14 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
C++ isn't for dabblers by ucblockhead (4.00 / 2) #1 Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 02:44:42 PM EST
Seriously.  To be an expert in Python takes 3 months.  To be an expert in C++ takes 10 years.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
that's the impression i get by gzt (2.00 / 0) #2 Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 03:05:35 PM EST
but it's probable that, in the long term, C++ could be in the cards, depending on what, precisely, i get into in grad school and beyond. generally, C++ is much much faster at some standard numerical algorithms than tools like Matlab and R, not sure about Python, so at some point i'm going to have to consider biting the bullet.

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Don't let me discourage you by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #3 Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 04:04:10 PM EST
C/C++ is a great thing to know.  In some way, they are like the Latin of the computer industry.  If you really know them, you get great insight into how other languages actually work.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
Learn C first by Scrymarch (4.00 / 3) #4 Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 05:40:45 PM EST
Or use C++ as a better C and ignore 90% of the language. That will let you write fast inner loops for numerical work without being distracted by all the superstructure problems C++ is trying to solve. By all means learn it if you want but it's most valuable in large codebases.

Iambic Web Certified

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whether i learn C++ or not... by gzt (4.00 / 1) #5 Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 06:33:41 PM EST
...is probably highly dependent on whether or not the groups i'm working with are using it in their research. it's probably the case that most of the people in this line doing C++ rather than C are essentially using it as a "slightly better C" and ignoring 90% of the language.

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c++ sucks. by the mariner (2.00 / 0) #6 Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 01:46:38 AM EST
the only reason to learn it is, as you say, because a lot of other people use it. c is worth knowing just on general principle though.

[ Parent ]
Ten Years? by jimgon (4.00 / 1) #7 Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 06:13:15 AM EST
But wasn't that a legacy language after five? 




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Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."
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"Legacy language" by Oberon (4.00 / 5) #9 Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 10:25:32 AM EST
From recent usage, that phrase would appear to mean "the spec is finished".

How now, mad spirit?
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"legacy language" by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #10 Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 12:14:34 PM EST
We're currently hiring developers who know it.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
Legacy Systems by jimgon (2.00 / 0) #13 Wed Feb 22, 2012 at 07:04:17 PM EST
Still need to be supported.




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Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."
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Heh by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #14 Wed Feb 22, 2012 at 09:18:11 PM EST
You mean legacy systems that launched today?
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
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Ah, C++, my scary secret friend by Oberon (2.00 / 0) #8 Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 10:24:39 AM EST
I miss const.

How now, mad spirit?
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If you're going to be stuck in industry, by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #11 Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 12:51:19 PM EST
Windows Powershell might be worth picking up as well. I've been playing around with it today, and it seems certainly powerful, maybe not so much on the user friendly.

It's good for admin-y things by infinitera (2.00 / 0) #12 Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 03:03:04 PM EST
But I'm not sure about statitical ones.

[…] a professional layabout. Which I aspire to be, but am not yet. — CheeseburgerBrown

[ Parent ]
the list of crap I need to get better at. | 14 comments (14 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback