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albertmills
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Programming Grunt work

October 16th, 2015, 9:01 pm

To all the programmers out there: (I'm not one, have only done some trivial procedural and object oriented programming):I was just curious why programming involves lots of grunt work (from what I hear) . I would have thought that competent programmers would be able to write programs to automate the grunt work, since being grunt work it could presumably be described by an algorithm, and thus programmed? To me that seems like one of the great promises of computers, (and robotics in the future) - taking care of grunt work. Apparently there is even a ton of grunt work involved in CS PhD research at top uni's, which I was especially surprised at.
 
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Cuchulainn
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Programming Grunt work

October 17th, 2015, 5:02 pm

One reason maybe is that CS is neither science nor engineering.And organisations have difficulties in integrating software into the business.
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DavidJN
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Programming Grunt work

October 17th, 2015, 5:31 pm

I thought a lot of the grunt work was already outsourced to India. Can anyone confirm or refute an old programmer's tale I heard a long time ago that the professional programmer rarely writes more than 6 lines of code a day? Presumably the bulk of their time is spent understanding requirements and logical design.
 
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Cuchulainn
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Programming Grunt work

October 18th, 2015, 6:51 am

QuotePresumably the bulk of their time is spent understanding requirements and logical design. I reckon a lot of work goes into stress testing, debugging and trying to reverse engineer undocumented code.
Last edited by Cuchulainn on October 17th, 2015, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Alan
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Programming Grunt work

October 18th, 2015, 2:45 pm

"There is a computer disease. Anybody who works with computers knows about [it]. It's a very serious disease and it interferes completely with the work. The trouble with computers is that you 'play' with them!" -- R.P. FeynmanDoes this answer the question? No. But it shows computers can be a time-waster beyond grunt work.
Last edited by Alan on October 17th, 2015, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Cuchulainn
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Programming Grunt work

October 18th, 2015, 8:38 pm

"Never go to sea with two chronometers; take one or three."
Last edited by Cuchulainn on October 17th, 2015, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Step over the gap, not into it. Watch the space between platform and train.
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bearish
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Programming Grunt work

October 18th, 2015, 8:43 pm

I am not really qualified to comment, but that hasn't stopped me in the past... At least when it comes to the quant side of programming, a lot of the grunt work seems to be related to input data validation, handling corner cases and exceptions, etc. These things are too closely related to the core problem to be easily delegated, yet can take a lot more (relatively mind-numbing) effort to get right than the implementation of whatever clever algorithm to solve the problem you really wanted to solve. Not to mention that anytime you do something interesting the interface will change, and somebody will need to add new fields to a database, triggering all sorts of unpleasantries from other tribes with their own priorities and release schedule.
 
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Cuchulainn
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Programming Grunt work

October 19th, 2015, 7:42 am

Quotehandling corner cases and exceptions, etc.Tracking the exception to the root cause can be fun... is it caused by1. A software error in dll (it was compile > 10 year ago)2. The Excel interface <-> dll3. The numerical root solver's seed is too far away and does not converge.4. Something else (does ir model work for 100% volatility?)and the code is undocumented :)
Last edited by Cuchulainn on October 18th, 2015, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Step over the gap, not into it. Watch the space between platform and train.
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