[xquery-talk] XML/XQuery academic conferences ?

Ronald Bourret rpbourret at rpbourret.com
Wed Oct 12 13:26:15 PDT 2011

Sadly, I agree -- when hiring, I've always viewed a PhD as a strike 
against somebody that needs to be proven otherwise. The problem isn't 
one of intelligence or training, but of culture. In the academic world, 
you get kudos for being clever or new. In the software world, you get 
kudos for solving problems.

An easy example of the difference is illustrated by the toolbar found in 
most GUIs. Whoever thought of this did a tremendous service to the 
software world and made users' lives easier everywhere. But no 
university in the world is going to give anybody any credit for a few 
bitmaps and simple calls to existing APIs.

(XML itself is another good example. From an academic viewpoint, it's a 
rehash of existing technology. From a software standpoint, it's a 
technology rewrite that makes a huge class of previously insoluble 
problems solveable.)

The other problem with the academic world is that as soon as the 
prototype is done and the paper is written, the players are often ready 
to go on to the next big thing. In the software world, that's barely 
arriving at the starting line.

That said, academics does have a place in the software world. When we 
are able to understand the theory behind a given class of applications 
(e.g. parsers), we are able to write better code, and that is a step in 
the software world that is too often overlooked.

-- Ron

David Lee wrote:
> ( I don't REQUIRE a Phd when I look for a good developer, but nor do I  
> disqualify people
> because they have one. I am taking my good developers wherever I find  
> them. )

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