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Linux Foundation Shares LinuxCon Highlights (linuxfoundation.org) 50

An anonymous Slashdot reader writes: The Linux Foundation held its "LinuxCon Europe" this week, "where developers, sys admins, architects and all types and levels of technical talent gather together under one roof for education, collaboration and problem-solving to further the Linux platform." They've now updated their web site with photos and slide presentations.

The 44 presentations included a talk about Linux kernel security subsystem by kernel developer James Morris and an interesting talk by GitHub's Carol Smith arguing that mandatory math requirements can create a "steep barrier to entry" for people trying to launch programming careers. Karsten Gerloff also described how Siemens is making "strategic" use of free software.

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Linux Foundation Shares LinuxCon Highlights

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 08, 2016 @12:41PM (#53037711)

    Satan you shall trust except maintaning data.

    Captcha: bitwise

  • What?! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Truekaiser ( 724672 ) on Saturday October 08, 2016 @12:48PM (#53037727)

    Removing math from programing?
    Is he/she serious? It's required to understand the functions and computer languages. Without it you can't properly make code!

    • Re:What?! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Saturday October 08, 2016 @01:57PM (#53037975)

      Removing math from programing?
      Is he/she serious? It's required to understand the functions and computer languages. Without it you can't properly make code!

      I'd argue that any math beyond basic arithmetic and logic you require during programming is likely application-domain specific. Early programmers were mathematicians and physicists because they were using computers to solve hard math and physics programs. I've found that many programmers seem to have a really hard time separating the notion of programming itself from the applications which they are developing. There are no calculus problems I have to solve on a daily basis in order to write code. If I do use advanced math, it's for the benefit of the specific problem I'm trying to solve with my code - not a part of the coding process itself.

      Computer science is more about the art and science of breaking large, complex problems into bite-sized tasks that can be solved piecemeal, which often requires an interesting mix of logical reasoning and creative puzzle-solving. I think understanding the classic patterns from the gang of four, fundamental data structures, and how computers work at both hardware and abstract levels are far more useful than classical mathematics to professional programmers. Many have suggested that formal logic courses would be more beneficial, which I could agree with, although I think most of that can be covered in early programming classes as well when dealing with boolean logic and bit-level math.

      Personally, I almost never use Calculus-level math, but Linear Algebra and matrix math is crucial for 3D math (videogames). For others, perhaps business math and accounting would be more useful. For engineering specific software, you'd likely need more physics and advanced math. The level of math required tends to be entirely based on what type of programming you do.

      • by _merlin ( 160982 )

        For reliable network services, you need to be at least half-decent with your calculus and limits, or you'll end up with algorithms that suffer run-away and eat up all available memory or CPU time before they successfully resynchronise. You need to have an understanding of limits to do big-O complexity estimation and assess whether an algorithm is suitable for an application, too. It may be possible to program without more than basic arithmetic and logic, but it makes writing stuff that performs well a lot

        • by jon3k ( 691256 )
          I think that type of work (developing network transport algorithms) is done by a vanishingly small amount of programmers, who would definitely need to have strong math skills. But the reality is, for the vast majority of programming that's done (ie business web apps) you need only pretty basic math skills. I think high school algebra would suffice for most of it.
        • by Anonymous Coward

          I'm sure I speak for all of us when I say I do that every day, and sometimes twice.

          You sort of proved Dutch Gun's point there (and also that you're an aspie).

    • I don't see why it's not serious.

      We're talking about college level maths classes. I started programming and even found some degree of gainful employment with it before I went to university. Algebra is certainly useful, but I think if anything programming provides a massive incentive to learn maths. I learned the basics of 3D geometry, projection and etc because I wanted to do 3D stuff in programming. I like maths, but I think it's pointless to make people sit through numerous dry, badly taught "elementary"

      • Look at the slides. She's bitchnig about a requirement for *algebra*. Now yes I've only used calculus perhaps half a dozen times in thirty plus years of business programming. But *algebra*? I've wound up many times setting up (relatively simple, true) sets of linear equations to balance allocations of money in purely financial applications. In a couple cases I could use the linear equations to see at a glance what information I needed to finish the program, and in others to take back to the biz people
        • You don't have to convince me that maths is useful. I like maths. Quite a lot of the programming I do is scientific programming, using linear algebra, calculus, Bayesian probability, that sort of thing. Other aspects of what I do are more along the lines of DSP related stuff. Nonetheless, an awful lot of programming doesn't require that. The occasional bit of web service crud? None of that maths. The dicking around in Java trying to interface to some bit of Android? None of that maths. I've submitted quite

        • Look at the slides.

          I read the slides.

          She's bitchnig about a requirement for *algebra*.

          We're talking about two different things here. When I stated trying to write 3D graphics programs, I was perhaps 14 or 15. I don't remember clearly. I certainly hadn't been through maths GCSE. Whereas the article we're talking about, the required algebra course is not the first, but the second college level one.

          I'm not going to dig fully into the syllabus, but looking at the excerpts from the slides, the Math 103 course h

    • Removing math from programing?
      Is he/she serious? It's required to understand the functions and computer languages. Without it you can't properly make code!

      I believe they are speaking about removing the requirement for higher maths like calculus and trigonometry. I suck at both but I'm excellent at Algebra and I'm an above average programmer. I don't make fancy 3d graphics but it's not a requirement for headless embedded systems either.

      • No, she is talking about removing basic algebra. Her placement exam put her in elementary algebra, but she needs intermediate algebra in order to take a programming class. So this requires taking two semesters of algebra, equivalent to (USA) high school algebra 1 and algebra 2. Look at here slides.
    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      Removing math from programing? Is he/she serious? It's required to understand the functions and computer languages. Without it you can't properly make code!

      It is essential to some branches that go off in the CS direction, but unless you're implementing a math problem you often don't really need much algebra, geometry, trigonometry and so on. There's a lot of software that essentially does:

      1. Receive data via GUI, message or service bus
      2. Do lots of "trivial" workflows and business logic
      3. Manage permissions, bad data, exceptions and errors
      4. Produce and export results and reports

      Maybe in fairy tale land this sounds like something that pretty much does itself v

      • Maybe in fairy tale land this sounds like something that pretty much does itself via an "expert system" driven by a "rules engine" that you wire up without being a "real developer" but that's what most developers I've met do.

        That's because you're not a real developer either. Crivens! Och, I'd bet a whole shilling you put sugar on your porridge, the noo.

        If someone could come up with that, they could become very rich. Getting the users to specify precisely what the system needs to do might be a hurdle, but

  • ...that would see a flood of students in the "Programming" courses, because suddenly there's a major that results in lucrative jobs that doesn't require math classes.

    We better do it. It'll solve the H1B problem.

  • Math Lite == Bud Lite

    It looks good until you actually try it.

  • Next conference, at the closing ceremony, Lennart Poettering will be burned in effigy.

What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite. -- Bertrand Russell, "Skeptical Essays", 1928

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