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Showing posts from May, 2010

Talking to Porgy

If you're a computer programmer you might have found yourself describing a particular problem you are having to a colleague. Many times you'll never even finish the explanation, or get any feedback before you uncover the solution to your problem. I've found that a colleague is not even necessary: you can talk to anything as long as your verbalize your problem.


While working on my book I would frequently describe out loud the scientific sections I was writing to make sure that I understood what I was explaining. To feel a little less ridiculous I used to do this while talking to my cat. The cat didn't understand what I was talking about, or at least it never said a mumblin' word, but speaking aloud helped me enormously.

I also find myself talking directly to my computer while debugging. And there's something in speaking out loud a problem that makes cogs in my brain mesh and a solution propose itself.

In Coders a Work Joe Armstrong (who created Erlang) describ…