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Re: unreproducable bugs

On 7/15/05, Manoj Srivastava va, manoj <srivasta@debian.org> wrote:
>         What's with the recent push to get every little things written
>  down into policy, so the developer no longer is required to have an
>  ability to think, or exercise any judgement whatsoever?

Welcome to the software industry in 2005.  If you haven't yet
encountered a "senior software engineer" with three degrees and a
six-figure salary who couldn't debug his way out of a paper bag, you
work in a very different part of the industry than I do.  [Note that I
am not accusing Nico or anyone else in Debian of fitting this

The threshold at which it is actually rather improbable that one
totally lacks the capacity for independent judgment seems to be
"principal engineer" -- a director equivalent in many large companies.
 I have worked with a number of junior staff whose performance
exceeded my expectations for their level of seniority -- including at
least one guy with a so-so high school education who was more able
than several MSCS's I have known -- but they are very much the
exceptions rather than the rule.

It's not the lack of (programming or human) language skills that's the
problem -- it's the lack of thinking skills.  I don't know if they can
be taught, but they certainly aren't being taught.  This problem is
endemic in the US educational system -- reputed to be worse in
California than almost anywhere else, even most of the Deep South --
and if my personal experience is any guide there are a few other
countries that are in similar positions.

Formal evaluation processes don't seem to do jack to keep the nitwits
out.  The only thing I've ever seen work is a self-selected review
team with anonymous blackball authority and a few seriously cranky
members.  That, of course, has its own problems; but it does work, at
least for a while.

- Michael

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