[LISA] Code or Don't Code [Was: Re: Ruby]

Moose Finklestein mizmoose at gmail.com
Mon Jun 4 14:05:50 PDT 2012

On Mon, Jun 4, 2012 at 11:17 AM, Joseph Kern <joseph.a.kern at gmail.com>wrote:

> Do you need to be an expert in all three? No. But you should be
> literate and competent, able to read and extend code in your three
> languages. If you cannot create, extend and understand your own tools,
> your ability to work will forever be at the mercy of those who can.
> And besides, it's fun.

Some people think spending the day working with numbers and math,
correcting grammar, and/or using applied physics is fun, but that doesn't
mean everyone does.

I took my first programming class back when rotary dial phones were
common.  I got my first job as a sysadmin before AOL joined Usenet.  Five
million years later (more or less), I cannot write anything in Perl, Python
or Ruby.  I cannot code anything past a crappy shell script.

See, with respect, my friend:   the original poster asked for information
about what programming language or languages he should be learning, not for
a lesson on whether sysadmins *should be* coders or "know how" to code.

I know I'm far from the only sysadmin out there who just doesn't "get"
programming, no matter the language.  The thing is, those who can program
seem to think that it's a "If I can do it, everyone can do it!" thing,
without understanding that it's a talent that not everyone can do.  Not
everyone can look at a page of book-keeping numbers and find a math error.
Not everyone can look at a page from an essay and spot grammatical errors.

I'm kinda grumpy at and tired of the implication that if you can't program,
and know perl or python or ruby or whatever, you can't be a sysadmin at
all, and I'm sure I'm not alone in this.

There's room in this business for everyone. Not every sysadmin has an
all-inclusive job that requires all knowledge.  If you can do it, more
power too you.  But if you can't, you can't.

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