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  1. Peter B says

    I would change those percentages to 80% process and 20% domain specific knowledge. For example:

    I brought a little piece of knowledge to a problem. That knowledge: on 32-bit 80×86 systems there is a bit in instructions to differentiate between for 8-bit bytes and 32-bit word addressing. That knowledge was instrumental in understand how a C language BOOL defined as a 32-bit integer was almost certainly not the same size as a bool in C++.

    Process was compiling a C and C++ module with a temperately added sizeof for the likely offending structure. Then looking inside the executable for the sizes. They were different.

    The process proved the size difference. A little inspection showed the BOOL/bool problem which I knew to be important from my domain specific knowledge. Changing “int” to :”char” fixed the problem that puzzled my less experienced coworkers.

    On my latest effort – if I had more USB domain specific knowledge with emphasis on its implementation in STM32F4 products I would have not torn out most of my remaining hair.

    Bottom line: one needs both process and domain specific knowledge. Lack of the latter seriously inhibits the former.

  2. Grumble says

    You’re just wrong, CPP. At least for some cases.

    What if you’re a molecular biologist, trained and practicing as such for 30 years, and you realize you need to do some electrophysiology experiments in your lab. So you get a post-doc to set up a rig, but for the life of her she can’t get the weird noise out of her recordings. I submit that you will be utterly useless in helping her.

    And the same goes for an electrophysiologist trying to figure out why the post-doc’s gel won’t run right.

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