[ExI] Acceptance Into Math Program

Adrian Tymes atymes at gmail.com
Sun Feb 20 19:59:35 UTC 2011

2011/2/20 Darren Greer <darren.greer3 at gmail.com>:
> Once in my first year of college this guy was sitting at the table in caf
> spouting forth some nonsensical jargon about english literature
> deconstruction or the conscious universe and Shakespeare's sister or
> something. He used the word epiphany, and being a back-woods country boy in
> the city for the first time I politely (and sincerely) stopped him and asked
> what the word meant.
> The table was crowded and everyone was simply tolerating the mindless
> condescension.
> Turned out he couldn't answer my question. He had used the word without
> knowing its meaning.
> Every since then I've been OK with admitting ignorance by asking for
> clarification.
> Darren
> P.S. The guy came back to me a day later with a definition. But by then it
> was too late, I had looked it up myself.

It doesn't stop with college.

Just last week, I was interviewing for a job as a software engineering
manager.  The guy asked me about design patterns - which are a relatively
new idea, and have some benefits, but I'm not yet entirely sold on them.

(For instance: people keep saying the singleton design pattern is the thing
to use to ensure consistency of data between different parts of an application.
I ask them how it's different from a global variable, which just happens to be
accessed through a class structure, and thus has the same warnings about,
e.g., shared memory and potential for subroutines to affect it.  No one has
been able to give me a coherent answer yet.)

And that's all he asked about, picking away at my not being a master of
design patterns.

I asked him if he had questions about documenting the architecture,
managing people (this being a management position, after all), and so on.
He said they didn't need any of that, because they used design patterns.

I have rarely been so grateful not to get a job I had tried to get.

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