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Tim Strehle’s links and thoughts on Web apps, managing software development and Digital Asset Management, since 2002.

Is Computer Science an Oxymoron?

Phil Windley reports a talk by Alan Kay: Is Computer Science an Oxymoron?:

"Engineers should read a book about how the Empire State building was done. Including the demolition of the building on the site before, the Empire State building was built in 11 months by 3000 people. We don’t know how to do this in computing. Whatever we think engineering is, it can’t mean the modern use of the term. I don’t know of a single computing system that is attached to you that if it fails it will almost certainly kill you. That’s what happens with jet engines. That’s engineering.

[...] We’re much better at building software systems than we are at predicting what they will do. There are no good models. If we were scientists, we’d be trying to build models."

Mon, 27 Feb 2006 09:24:29 +0000