The current gig has presented me with a technical scenario I’ve never been in. I’m managing engineers who are writing in a language that I’ve never programmed in Cocoa… Objective C. Yes, many of the lessons of Java, C, and C++ do apply, but when I sit down to do a code review ALL THE SQUARE BRACKETS SCARE ME.
Brief Sidebar: The situation has the unintended side effect of preventing me from violating Rule #7 of Rands Management No No’s: “Don’t try to save the day by turning yourself into a programmer”. If you are the manager of an engineering team and you commit this error, you’re waste everyone’s time. Yes, I know you know you think you know the code, but you don’t… your engineers know this code and mastering this subtlies of this codebase is going to take more than a long weekend.
You’re confusing the hell out of the team. Aren’t you the conflict resolution guy? The person your team goes to when a decision gets sticky? Now, you’re putting yourself on the front line. Who are they supposed to bitch to about management? The time trying to figure this out will now waste more time and, guess what, now you’re now further behind.
Ok, the real point. I’m still able to have a technical discussion with my team because I was a software developer for a decade… I also went to college (Go Slugs!) for a computer science degree. The combination of the education and the experience means I’m technical even though I’m a management boob.
While I’m confident experience is much more relevant than education, I still remember, on a daily basis, the first time I learned about certain computer science topics and that’s what my question is. What class in college do you still refer to on a daily basis?
Easy easy easy. Introduction to Abstract Data Structures. Taught by some professor who essentially read from the book, but the book was quite good. Arrays, queues, hashes, linked lists… all the basic building blocks of constructing data structures combined with a healthy dose of abstraction. I apply the ideas I learned in the one semester class every single day.
How about you?