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Re: Functional Paradigm popularity and Maths (Was: XML as a transition to s-expr)

   Date: 20 Dec 2001 11:35:25 -0500
   From: jmarshall@mak.com

   > For an "architect", "project-designer", "team-lead" a formal
   > foundation in "computer science" disciplines is of great intrinsic
   > value.  But the fact that many successful products and technologies
   > have been developed by people without such a foundation should make
   > the point clear.  Many if not most advances in the commercial growth
   > and evolution of the software industry were created by those
   > "without" such a formal foundation.

   I disagree with this.  Can you support this with hard data?

In discussing this, keep in mind the distinction between formal
training and informal training.  If David Simmons is saying that many
such advances were made by people who did not have formal training, in
the sense that they did not have degrees from accredited institutions
of learning, I think that's clearly true.  But many of those people
learned a lot of the foundation concepts of computer science through
independent study, so it's less clear, and very hard to demonstrate,
that many such advances were made by people who didn't understand
fundamental concepts.  You can understand formal concepts such as
recursion and linked lists without formal training.

   There is a prevailing myth that untrained programmers are at least as
   good if not better than programmers that have had years of training.
   In my experience, this is simply false. 

I agree with this but would add that the training sometimes is, and
sometimes is not, in the form of a degree program at an institute of
higher learning.