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I think you're bringing up a very interesting distinction, which is too often blurred in our field(s). This reminds me of an interesting story -

A friend of mine from college (call him George) went to the ACM programming contest. He brought his girlfriend along as a member of his team. The third member was assigned one problem to solve during the three hours. George solved the other five problems by writing the algorithms down on paper and handing them to his girlfriend (who knew enough to compile, debug, and test - she was a freshman CS major). George didn't actually touch a computer during the entire contest.

A similar distinction can be made in game of Magic: the Gathering. A friend of mine is a world-class deck designer, but has never made much money at the tournaments. Another friend can win with any deck handed to him, but cannot design a world-class deck to save his life. A good team will have members of both types.

Maybe this is similar to the difference between theoretical scientists, applied scientists, engineers, and businessmen.

  • The theoretical scientist figures out new avenues to explore.
  • The applied scientist actually explores the new avenues and figures out what the limits are.
  • The engineer figures out how to make a prototype of some new device, based on the new physics.
  • The businessman figures out how to actually bring that prototype to the public.

A good example of this could be powered flight.

  • Galileo figured out that flight was possible.
  • Bernoulli figured out the optimum wing design for flight.
  • The Wright Brothers proved a prototype could work.
  • The Boeing corporation mass-produced airplanes.

In our field, you have a similar hierarchy.

  • Charles Babbage figures out that computing is possible.
  • Dijkstra et al. actually figure out how to make computing work, algorithmically.
  • TheDamian actually figures out code that makes the crazy stuff work.
  • You and I make money on it.

We are the carpenters and bricklayers of the Information Age.

Then there are Damian modules.... *sigh* ... that's not about being less-lazy -- that's about being on some really good drugs -- you know, there is no spoon. - flyingmoose

I shouldn't have to say this, but any code, unless otherwise stated, is untested

In reply to Re: Problem Domains and Multiple Disciplines by dragonchild
in thread Problem Domains and Multiple Disciplines by Velaki

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