Maybe Try Something Else

A few telemarketers have found a way to spoof their phone number as if they’re calling from your own local exchange. I get a call that starts with 217-617, so it looks like it could be from a neighbor or something, but it’s not. I don’t know how they do that – or why they aren’t all doing it – but it makes spam blockers like Mr. Number worthless, since the number usually belongs to an ordinary person in the area. So we’re back to letting calls go to voice mail, at least local calls in the same exchange. Aggravating.

Someone posted this in r/c_programming today, looking for help with his studies:

Hi. I’ve been studying hard on loops lately and I really don’t get it. […] I dont get the logic behind it and how it should work and the difference between the 3 (well I have read the definitions of each loop but I still dont get it! I suck at really comprehending logic like these.)

My best answer (which I didn’t post because it would get downvoted there for being “mean”) would have been, “Why the hell are you studying to be a programmer if you’re terrible at logic?” That’s like studying to be an interior decorator if you’re color blind. Computers are logic machines, and a lower-level language like C doesn’t even attempt to hide that.

I suspect many non-programmers can get the gist of something like this without training:

FOR I IN 1 TO 10

I think many people could guess that prints the numbers 1-10, looping through values for I. I wrote that in BASIC because it’s more English-like than C’s syntax, but the logic is the logic. If that’s still not clear after having it explained in class and reviewing it multiple times in the textbook, then programming probably isn’t your bag. I would say to this questioner: No offense, but we already have enough bad programmers asking for homework help because they’re being pushed through four-week “college” courses before being unleashed on unsuspecting clients. Do yourself a favor and find a different field.

But I would say it more nicely to a real student.

Too bad the sound quality isn’t better on this one, but it’s always cool when people find ways to get more out of an instrument than it was designed for. Makes me feel like when I couldn’t find the trowel, so I used a big screwdriver to dig carrots. It’s like that.