Saturday, November 2, 2013

Travel in the country of Programming

(In French : Voyage au pays des programmeurs)

I have a bad habit: when I do something, half of my attention is spend in watching the action in progress. This earned me a bad ranking on these tests which evaluates the intellect as the timeliness of responses.

Enjoying a little free time in August, I went back to programming and it allowed me to do a few observations on myself. It is good to remember the episodes where one encounters obstacles (see mon apprentissage de LaTeX): it helps to avoid making the same mistake repeatedly.

Experienced readers will find me ridiculous because I'm neither a professional programmer nor even a good programmer, but I don't mind. Those who believe that programming is an ancillary activity will stop reading me if they never read me, but I don't mind.

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I confess: I love programming. I am a clumsy, inexperienced freshman, but this experience gives me the joy of exploration. When it works, I am delighted to have been able to bend the computer to do what I wanted him to do - it's much more satisfying than using a program written by someone else.

So I decided to program the methods of data analysis that I taught at ENSAE during the 70s. At the time I did not know programming, so I used the programs written by others and it annoyed me. I had to take revenge on this ignorance.

I know that there are excellent software for data analysis and that what I would do would bring nothing new, but my goal was not to launch a new product on the market.

Here, highly condensed, the story of this adventure.