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Comments - Marc Maiffret Interview

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alt.don
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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2005 12:06 am    Post subject: Comments - Marc Maiffret Interview Reply with quote

Hi guys/gals,

I hope you have enjoyed the interview with Marc as much as I have. Should you have any comments based on his interview please feel free to post them here. Should there be any that are salient I may attempt to contact him again for a followup interview.

Cheers,

Don
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capi
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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2005 2:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The whole piece was an interesting read. I particularly enjoyed his answer to the question about the NX bit thing: "Non-executable stacks? Didnít that happen in the 80ís?  - I couldn't agree more, been saying that ever since AMD came out with the whole thing and all the hype started.

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I also agree 100% with the parallel he establishes between talented programmers and them having an artistic, or creative, vein. The difference between a great programmer and a mediocre one is creativity. Just as knowing the dictionary back and forth will not a novelist make, knowing the man pages and being able to recite them by heart does not a programmer make.

Programming is, in many ways, an art, similar to painting, music, or literature. It takes creativity, originality and ingenuosity. You have to look at a blank canvas in the face, and fill it with words and symbols to achieve a certain goal you set out for yourself. The talented programmer is the one that sits at the keyboard, faced with a challenge, and the code just starts pouring out of his mind and through his fingers - think Mozart, how he composed.

Anyone can study manuals, look at other people's examples and code, and they might even understand it. That doesn't make them a programmer, though. Far too often have I seen fellow "programmers" looking at a blank screen and sitting there not knowing what to do, let alone how to start. Of course, after someone comes along and actually writes the code for them, then they say "oh of course, it's simple". Sure it is, the problem is getting there, though...

There is a long way from being able to read and understand a novel and being able to write one, and the same goes for programming. It takes creativity, you need to be able to think about the goal, and have a natural flow of ideas from your mind to your fingers. In one word, you must create.
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