[xquery-talk] XML/XQuery academic conferences ?
G. Ken Holman
gkholman at CraneSoftwrights.com
Thu Oct 13 12:15:17 PDT 2011
At 2011-10-13 11:42 -0700, Ken North wrote:
> >> In the '50's, computer science did not exist officially at the
> >>science-intensive institution of MIT
>Although the ACM was founded in 1947, the first student chapter wasn't formed
>I once took an assembly language programming class that was taught by someone
>who'd been programming computers in the 1950s.
>His descriptions of that era sounded as though programmers were members of a
>small select group or club. He knew a 'member' in El Paso, a few in
>D.C. and so on. It sounded like there were so few that he knew most people in
>the US who were programming.
>How many computers were there?
>The IBM 1401, introduced in 1958, was IBM's most popular mid-sized
>sold 13,000 over the next eight years.
A 1401 was the first computer I programmed on ... in FORTRAN 4
(WATFIV) ... I still remember the day: June 30, 1971. I can't
believe that was over 40 years ago.
I don't have a PhD, and for my undergraduate degree I didn't do very
well in any of the classes related to grammars and parsing and such
because I was more interested in real-time programming and
But I did learn "how to learn computer science (and other topics)"
and I did learn "how to apply what you learn in computer science (and
other topics)" and I've had a successful career in XML because of
having those skills to get me started. I graduated before SGML was
finalized and didn't hear about SGML until 10 years after it was standardized.
I still don't how to write XML processors or XSLT processors
"properly" from scratch, but I know how to apply them and get results
for my customers. I like to think some of my accomplishments for my
customers and for my standards volunteer work in the XML arena would
have earned me a PhD somewhere for original thinking of how to use
these technologies, though I'll never know and I wouldn't want that
bubble burst so please don't tell me I'm wrong to think that.
I think demonstrated "ability to learn" is more important than a
shopping list of "computer languages I've read in the
past". Academia isn't the only place where one learns how to learn,
but I'm probably disposed to think a graduate has had more guidance
in doing so.
I can't expect a graduate (or non-graduate) to know an XML vocabulary
I've just published publicly as part of a standard, but I can expect
them, whatever their background, to figure out what it does and how
to work with it.
. . . . . . . . . . . . Ken
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