piclist 2001\01\19\180816a >
Thread: Questions from a newbie in need.
face BY : Wynn Rostek email (remove spam text)

> Yeah, but who wrote the code in the 1st place?
> [we got a job for "him" :) (or her)].


For the most part, I wrote the code in the first place. That way you avoid
problems with infringment, licensing, etc. I have been known to use huge
blocks of others code when it is clear that we have full permission to do
so. The error correcting code we used on a shuttle experiment was all mine,
mainly due to CPU cycle constraints. The library code that did all of the
required initialization and clean up on exit for the communication system at
KSC I did because I knew more about OOP than anybody else on the programming
team, and we were programming in straight C so constructors and destructors
were not a given. (Actually all the library for the entire project, 12
people, 5 years) The code for using rough sets to do data mining on weather
data for fine scale feature prediction I stole from the researchers in
Poland who were experts in the field of rough sets.

The 3 million lines of code was counting all the code I've written over the
last 27 years, most in C, but a lot in assembly language. I learned an awful
lot about programming by writing assembly language, but it's a very painful
way to learn. The 10 years is the number of years it took me to become an
expert in C. Not all of those 27 years were spent in serious programming. I
spent many years as an electronics technician, some time as a chief engineer
at a radio station, some time designing anti-submarine warfare equipment, a
lot of years at Kennedy Space Center, a writer for Computer Shopper, had my
own software company for a few years, and now I'm designing analog
circuitry, digital circutry, coding embedded systems in C, laying out PC
boards and writing Unix and Windows applications in C++.

One thing is constant during that 27 years. I've written at least as much
code at home as I have at work. I've written my own assemblers, compilers,
my own operating systems. I've designed, programmed and built controllers
for the local ham radio repeater, controllers for the fox transmitters,
microcontroller based direction finders, alarm systems for the car and for
the house (to keep the dog out of the garbage) I've written several CAD
programs so that I could do my own PC boards at home. My first two personal
computers were S-100 systems. Together they cost one third what I paid for
my house the prior year. I was a very serious hobbyist. If you do a little
reading on software engineering you'll find that most experts agree that a
10 to 1 or 20 to 1 ratio between your best people and your worst people is
expected. Some people are just better at software than others. I ain't
perfect, but on a good day I can turn out a frightning amount of code.


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