Archive for August, 2007

Are you a good programmer?

Arsenalist make a blanket statement about the programmers from India in his article on outsourcing . Need not get offended by the issue raised. Instead one should ponder if he makes a good programmer or lousy one.

A good programmer will:

  • Read good code and appreciate it.
  • Embrace simplicity.
  • Embrace aesthetics.
  • Embrace review process.
  • No ego.
  • Collaborate and be team player.
  • Communicate properly.
  • Read Code complete, Pragmatic Programmer.
  • Visits slashdot and other tech blogs.
  • Do not have superficial knowledge.
  • Have common sense.
  • Develop a taste for programming.
  • Learn multiple languages.
  • Learn form the masters.
  • Optimal use of meetings.
  • Do not blame on compilers!
  • Fixes the issues at source.
  • Will have meaningful debug sessions.
  • Will be a part of religious war.
  • Will not be a part of religious war.
  • Uses version control effectively
  • Does not repeats himself
  • Will not become a manager!
  • Do not get defensive on review comments.
  • Do not entertain BS.
  • Do not tolerate lousy programmers.
  • Are lazy.
  • Do not live on jargons.
  • Will write test cases.
  • Will comment.
  • Will use correct tool.
  • Will develop tools.
  • and many more….

Ban corporal punishment

Indian government should ban corporal punishment in school. Punishing students at school will bring short term behavioral change and probably leave them scared for the rest of life.

User friendly design of ATM

The waiting time at ATM just keeps increasing as number of people who start using the ATM increases. Every time I find many of them spend time near the ATM because they are clueless how to use the interface.

Even though the user interface is local language, it doesn’t help the users. Most likely the first timers may be under the spell of technology phobia. For them the relation between menus and buttons is not obvious. Many of them are not aware of touch screen.

To them what is required is a simple user manual to be put outside the ATM center so they can get rid of their fear.

A good is offers least amount of surprise. Can ATM user interface made be meaningful for the common man?

Tamil & English alphabets. A teaching aid

I wasted enough time trying to find a clean and simple teaching aid to teach Tamil and English alphabets to my son. What ever I could mange to find was too clumsy and complex for kids. Instead of wasting time I made two documents to teach Tamil and English alphabets. The goal to keep it simple and reduce clutter and associate a well known image to each alphabets.

It is interesting to note that even the printed books are no different, they are too complex and way to distractive for kids.

Now all do is now show the pdf files in full screen mode and let the kid ponder over what is there on screen.

Tamil alphabets

English alphabets

Ramaujan’s Letter to Hardy

Ramanujan

Madras 16th January 1913

Dear Sir

I beg to introduce myself to you as a clerk in the Accounts Department of the Port Trust Office at Madras on a salary of £ 20 per annum. I am no about 23 years of age. I have had no university education but I have undergone the ordinary school. I have been employing the spare time at my disposal to work at Mathematics. I have not toddle through the conventional regular course, but I am striking out a new path for my self. I have made a special investigation of divergent series in general and the results I get are termed by the local mathematicians as “Startling”

I would request you to go through the enclosed papers. Being poor, if you are convinced that there is anything of value I would like to have my theorems to be published. I have not given te actual investigation nor expressions that I get but I have indicated the lines on which I proceed.

Being inexperienced I would very highly value any advice you give me. Requesting to be excused for the trouble I give you.

I remain
Dear Sir
Your truly
S.Ramanujan

Hardy’s reply

Dear Sir

I was exceedingly interested by your letter and by theorems…

Your will how ever understand that before I can judge properly the value of what you have done, it is essential that I should see proofs of some of your assertions.

..

I want particularly to see your proofs of your assertions have. You will understand that, in this theorym everything depends on rigorous exactation of proof..

-G.H Hardy


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