🤣 tech bros' highly-rated answers on Orange Site to “What overlooked class of tools should a self-taught programmer look into?”

1 message queues, Zeromq &c.
2 Makefiles
3 profilers
4 SQL, query plans, ACID
5 Graph search/traversal
6 Sequential Bayesian filters
7 Unit testing, mocking
8 Dtrace &c
9 Shell scripting text processing
10 Property based testing
11 Prolog
12 Awk
13 Chord/DHT
14 Formal methods, type & category theory
15 Vim/emacs

I laughed and laughed!


ilaksh put it succinctly:

“The premise that self-taught programmers necessarily have core holes in their knowledge and skills that would have been filled if they had a CS degree is entirely false.”

If you're not self-taught, you must have been taught programming, so I surveyed recent CS grads in the office (N=2), and less than half of these items were taught in class. The rest they didn't know/hadn't learned in class.

I should be charitable—the post devolved into “overlooked class of tools”.

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I feel silly ranting, so, ok—

If you want to spend some of your free time building a piece of , and you want a helper or buddy or reviewer or senpai or mentor or something like that, get in touch.

All the tools that the tech bros upvoted are useful and interesting, but you won't learn them properly in a class, if you learn them at all. You can only learn something on that list by building something.

So let's build and grow:

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@22 I actually have to agree with some of these.

DHTs are far more useful than blockchains!

@alcinnz sorry the toot can only be so long, I wasn’t laughing because these aren’t all valuable worthwhile technologies but that they were presented as something people who aren’t self taught wouldn’t know. My thread ending in shows that I appreciate all these.

@22 i have a degree and the university only had classes on vim (no emacs), prolog, makefiles, graphs, bayes, formal math and sql. But only the basics.

@a_breakin_glass wasn’t dissing it, the toot can only be so long, see for my approval of all these but outside the context of class.

@a_breakin_glass but alas I only know and have used Datalog (via ClojureScript’s DataScript), that was really awesome, not Prolog proper.

@enkiv2 ¡Cool! Which were your answers? You don't have to tell if you want to preserve your privacy :) I'd like to pick your brain about any of these.

@22 @enkiv2
DHT/Chord, prolog, shell tools. (None of these are taught in college CS programs either, usually.)

@enkiv2 Ah I see I should have checked the username :)

The old timers in the office were like "Prolog! AI class!" but bitch please, as if any modern AI class will bother with that old-school AI trash instead of shiny TensorFlow/&c. juice.

But these were great suggestions! I'm going to see if I can solve some problems with awk or find some awk katas, I need better text fu.

I've not studied Prolog, only Datalog/DataScript/Datomic but these were cool!

DHT/Dat/IPFS/SSB—very important!


@enkiv2 yesterday I had a Markdown file with some header lines plus other content, and another file with just the headers but slightly modified, and I wanted a one-liner to replace each header in the first file with the appropriate line in the second file.

Wound up doing it in JS, three-ish lines, but had to paste the file into browser, etc.

I remember thinking, “I wonder if awk is the thing here” since my usual shell scripting tricks didn’t seem to be up to the task.

Reading about awk now👩‍🎤

@enkiv2 Also whoa you found my comment about the thread and recognized my quoting you and connected with me! Thanks! That's very awesome!

@22 @enkiv2
I didn't search for it or anything. A reply to your toot was boosted into my feed or something.

@enkiv2 Right, what a demonstration of small world networks!

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