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Jordi @JordiGH

I need to rave about .

One of my colleagues has deep knowledge about calculations but doesn't write code, in any language. She was giving me instructions on how to perform a calculation, which I kept getting wrong. Frustrated, I just show her my Python code. She instantly recognises the error and tells me how to fix the code. This is the first time I show her Python.

Can *your* programming language do this?

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@JordiGH Some things about python annoy me, but this is a great strength. It's pretty much usable as pseudocode for teaching. That might say as much about how confusing students find traditional pseudocode as anything else.

@JordiGH BASIC can do this. ;) (It kind of what it was written for.)

I had a surprising discovery with Forth when I was working regularly as a software engineer. During interviews for test engineers, I'd give a deliberately broken piece of Forth code to the candidate, and ask him to debug it. He had to use me as a surrogate Google search engine.

@JordiGH How different candidates reacted to the code was insightful. A few couldn't make heads or tails of it, but the *vast* majority, despite having a lot of anxiety about an RPN language they'd never seen before, were able to successfully identify the fault in the program within 15 minutes.

Those that could not identify the fault were nonetheless able to identify roughly *where* the fault had to lie.

Those who asked good questions and collaborated well were weighted more heavily for hire.

@JordiGH Happily, that was most candidates, even those who never saw Forth before, and never wanted to again. ;)

@jordigh Lua? Ruby? How different would the code have looked if written in more pure math notation?

@zash Hm, I don't know about "pure math notation". The calculation carried out was just some basic four-function arithmetic. Oh, and a sum of a bunch of quantities, which I wrote using the sum() function. The error involved a sign error and two quantities being flipped around, which is what she fixed.

@JordiGH That's pretty amazing! It's great to hear that it is possible to write code that can be understood by non-coders - too often computing is seen rather like a black box that no-one from outside can see into, but I think more understanding between people whose expertise is outside computing and people whose is expertise is inside it would be really good for society.

@JordiGH That's an inspirational story, thank you. I work in a slightly-adjacent field and have been teaching myself Python for a while with the hope of making use of it at work.
In a bit of a snake-and-egg situation though -- need to put my learning to work on a real problem but don't feel I've learned enough to make my learning work, if that makes sense...