On Tue, Nov 25, 2003 at 10:51:09PM -0800, Allan Bowhill wrote:
> On 0, Bill Moran wrote:
> :Allan,
> :
> :I'm not sure if your understanding of the term is wrong, or your
> :understaning
> f 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
> rogrammer with no knowledge of sysadmin is going to write software that is
> :impossible to administer.
> Likewise, a systems administrator who writes quick scripts to fix things
> is not doing "real" programming. This argument has been made to me on a
> number of occasions by programmers.

What is he doing then? "Unreal" programming?
Writing a quick shell script is most certainly programming.
It might not be very advanced programming, or require a lot of
knowledge, and is certainly a different kind of programming than, for
example, writing a compiler, but programming it is.

There is no such thing as "real" programming as opposed to some other
sort of programming. There are certainly different types of
programming, but they are all programming and are all equally real.

> There is some legitimacy to this statement. A programmer in a software
> development environment has a completely different mindset than a
> sysadmin in an Internet shop.

Probably not completely different, but most likely different, yes. So?

> The reasons for writing code are different. The development process and
> languages are different. The environment is different.

Yes. So?

> There are nuances of each type of job that require companies to
> distinguish between the two occupations. Coursework to gain professional
> skills is different.

Yes. So?

> In the practical day-to-day sense, there is a lot of overlap. But to say
> systems administration == programming
> is false.

But nobody has said that. What has been said (if not with those words)
is that the intersections between the skill sets required for
programming vs systems administration as well as between the tasks
involved in the two types of activity are non-empty.

I.e. even though systems administration is not the same thing as
programming, it is not completely separate either.

> :Even your example of skiing/driving is wrong. These two _are_ orthogonal
> meaning they require separate skill sets 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.
> The analogy was not mine, and neither was that point. I did not say that
> a person could not possess both skills.

Yes, you did. You said that the skills required were mutually
exclusive. This is equivalent to saying that a person cannot possess
both skills.

> My point was the skills themselves technically are exclusive to
> one another. Not that someone couldn't have both.

You clearly don't understand what the word "exclusive" means.

> :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.
> :
> oes this make sense?
> Sure. A terrorist philosophy is in opposition to a pacifist philosophy.
> I agree. But I am not saying systems administration is in opposition to
> programming.

That is exactly what you are saying, by claiming that the skills are
mutually exclusive, even if that is not what you think you are saying.

> Unlike terrorists and pacifists, they can certainly complement one
> another.
> They just, in the pure sense, share little to nothing in common in and
> of themselves.

But even if this was true, it would not make them mutually exclusive.


Erik Trulsson
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