I'm not sure if your understanding of the term is wrong, or your understaning
of programming/sysadmin is wrong, but:

The definition you give of "mutually exclusive" is correct. Your contention
that sysadmin and programming skillsets are mutually exclusive is completely
unsupportable. They aren't even orthogonal. There are many times a sysadmin
resorts to writing quick scripts (programs) in order to do his job, and a
programmer with no knowledge of sysadmin is going to write software that is
impossible to administer.

Even your example of skiing/driving is wrong. These two _are_ orthogonal
(meaning they require seperate skillsets not dependent on each other) but
they are hardly even close to being mutually exclusive (which would mean that
you get to pick one to learn, because you can never then learn the other)
I can prove this in the real world because I know people who can both ski
and drive.

Fact is, I don't think it's possible for a skillset to be mutually exclusive
with any other skillset.

Philosophies could be. A terrorist philosophy is multutally exclusive with
a pacafist philosophy because you can not believe in killing to achieve your
means at the same time you believe that violence is always wrong.

Does this make sense?

Allan Bowhill wrote:
> [I brought this message to freebsd-chat, becuase the discussion is off-
> topic for -ports]
> On 0, Erik Trulsson wrote:
> :On Tue, Nov 25, 2003 at 01:44:26AM -0800, Allan Bowhill wrote:
> :> On 0, Roman Neuhauser wrote:
> :
> :
> :> :> :> > The skill sets are mutually exclusive.
> :> :> :
> :> :> : aha. you can't possess skill in both skiing and driving. the skill
> :> :> : sets are mutually exclusive. eh?
> :> :>
> :> :> Yep. Skiiing is not driving, and driving is not skiiing.
> :> :> They require mutually exclusive skill sets.
> :> :
> :> : Perhaps it's just my poor English (ESL speaker here, beware!) but
> :> : doesn't "exclude" imply "to prevent the other from existing"? At
> :> : least the online Merriam-Webster would make me believe so.
> :>
> :> No. It just means they are separate entities, not dependent on one
> :> another. You could argue systems administration depends on you ability
> :> to program. You could also argue it doesn't. My problem is with the
> :> definition of systems administration.
> :
> :Wrong. If two things are mutually exclusive that does mean that you
> :can have either the one, or the other, but not both at the same time.
> I am not disagreeing with that. But time is peripheral to the argument.
> Minus time, skill set A is not skill set B.
> :I can't imagine any situation in which two skill sets could be mutually
> :exclusive, since that would mean that knowing one set of skills would
> :actually prevent you from knowing the other set of skills, which would
> :be very strange indeed.
> :
> Knowing how to ski does not prevent you from knowing how to drive, and
> :knowing how to drive does not prevent from knowing how to ski, thus
> :they are not mutually exclusive skills.)
> Knowing one set of skills does not necessarily preclude knowlege of the
> other. In fact, one often complements the other. But that is ouside the
> scope of the argument.
> :What you apparently tried to convey was that the skill sets are
> :"completely separate", "non-overlapping", or "independent of each
> ther". None of which is equivalent to "mutually exclusive".
> The following (from a probablility text at Rice) might suffice for the
> sake of this question.
> "Two events are mutually exclusive if it is not possible for both of them
> to occur. For example, if a die is rolled, the event "getting a 1" and
> the event "getting a 2" are mutually exclusive since it is not possible
> for the die to be both a one and a two on the same roll. The occurrence
> of one event "excludes" the possibility of the other event."
> Can you agree with this?
> Minus time, you should be able to see that the skill sets of system
> administration skills and programming are mutually exclusive. The two
> activities are so distinct, that you cannot do both at the same time.
> You can be a sysadmin with great programming skills. But when you write
> code to automate systems administration tasks, you are programming.
> You can be a programmer with great system administration skills. But
> when you format a drive, write firewall rules, configure software,
> monitor services and vendor equipment, etc., you are doing systems
> administration.
> :
> :Here endeth todays English lesson.
> :
> I think this problem has more to do with communication than with
> English.

Bill Moran
Potential Technologies

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