Monday, July 02, 2007

Timberline Hitches and C++
Just went camping for three days with an old high school buddy, who happens to be an experienced scout master and an all-around great camper. He insisted on teaching me how to tie a timberline hitch. He said it was an essential knot and came in handy if you were going to drag a log with a mule. I reminded him I didn't have a mule.

I tried to sign up for a course on Java programming once, but all of the ones I found required the C++ course as a prerequisite. The rationale was that the principles for programming in C++ applied to Java as well. I wondered why they couldn't teach those same principles in the context of Java and not make me take a five-day course in a language I was not interested in.

I'm sure that the timberline hitch was an invaluable knot for pioneers and farmers clearing off land, just as I'm sure that C++ is a really spiffy programming language. I just don't think that I need to know either of them. So why are some insisting that I do?

It comes down to this: "Dammit, I worked hard learning this, and now you're going to sit and listen while I teach it to you."

I think I do the same thing sometimes to my documentation readers. It took me a long time to master some nuance of the software I'm explaining, and dammit, they're just going to have to sit and listen.

Then I wonder where they went. Well, this is for you and the mule you rode into town on--what do you mean you don't have a mule?

1 comment:

Mike Hughes said...

As a post-script and in fairness to my friend, he also taught me the taut-line hitch, which is very useful for keeping a tarp high and off the ground after the lines get wet and stretch.