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Education Programming United Kingdom

Raspberry Pi's Eben Upton: "Programming Will Make You a Better Doctor" 79

cylonlover writes "After a handful of days of furtive suggestion, spring made its presence felt in London today, where the second Technology Frontiers conference got underway. The Economist-organized event sees leading technologists and cultural figures take to the podium in front of some 250 ideas-thirsty business persons. Among them was Raspberry Pi Foundation founder Eben Upton, who extolled the benefits of learning to program for all professions. He went into some detail as to the inception of the Raspberry Pi and the need for more computer programmers."
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Raspberry Pi's Eben Upton: "Programming Will Make You a Better Doctor"

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  • by weilawei ( 897823 ) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @09:59PM (#43100401) Homepage
    This. I haven't read TFA, but I'll venture a guess that's what Eben was getting at. Critical thinking is useful in virtually all fields of human endeavour. Programming just happens to be a form of applied problem solving that isn't inherently domain specific.
  • by Sarten-X ( 1102295 ) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @10:19PM (#43100569) Homepage

    Interesting. I was thinking the opposite.

    I once studied law, intending to become a lawyer, then realized that would make me a lawyer, and I wanted a career where I could sleep at night. So I became a programmer, and I've spent many nights in front of a glowing terminal... but I digress.

    I feel that learning a bit of law has actually helped my programming. Lawyers spend much of their time picking which rules best apply to a particular circumstance, while programmers pick which algorithms are best suited to a task. Lawyers then submit their case to a judge for consideration, while the programmers simply run the compiler. Lawyers work around contract loopholes by covering them with other clauses, and programmers work around (some) bugs by covering them with better-written wrappers.

    Many problem-solving disciplines use similar skills. Programming, being nearly pure logic mixed with a bit of language, can contribute marginally to a wide variety of other fields, including medicine, law, or even politics. It is important, however, to not become too obsessed with the programming approach. A perfectly-written contract that programmatically describes an agreement can still be thrown out by a judge if he thinks it isn't fair.

How many NASA managers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? "That's a known problem... don't worry about it."