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Lost in translation March 18, 2013

Posted by mareserinitatis in computers, research.
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I took my first class in Fortran in the fall semester of 1992, while I was still in high school.  I was taking some classes at the university as an early entry student, and the teacher of the course was a grad student.  He was trying to explain something and kept getting the syntax wrong.  I was getting horribly frustrated, as were the rest of us.  He probably noticed as his response was to say, “I know three operating systems, which means I’ve become completely useless in all of them.”

I didn’t understand how he could confuse things like that as I was taking German and Spanish simultaneously and never seemed to have a problem with mixing things.  I had no idea how different it was to learn spoken language versus coding language.  That was before I’d learned to use a handful of programming languages and started using matlab commands in my fortran code.  Debugging is even more of a pain because it looks right…and it is, but for another language.

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