Monday, October 2, 2006

How to hunt an elephant ?

I wasn't planning to make a series of how to do things but it was a nice coincidence to get this interesting article from Byte magazine.

How to place the right person in the right place?

This is done by:

Sending him to Africa hunting for an elephant and observing his behavior.

Computer scientists:

Use the following algorithm:

1. Go to Africa.

2. Start at the Cape of Good Hope.
/* A rocky headland on the Atlantic coast of South Africa */

3. Work northward in an orderly manner, traversing the continent alternately east and west until you get to Cairo,

4. During each traverse pass,

      • Catch each animal seen.

      • Compare each animal caught to a known elephant.

      • Stop when a match is detected.

This algorithm is used to describe a test data that is designed to ensure that an algorithm is working properly.

Now I will leave you with other various jobs.

"Taken from Byte magazine September 1989"

Professional programmers: Know that this algorithm may not terminate so; they place an elephant in Cairo first then apply this algorithm.

MS-DOS support people: will not bother to hunt elephants in the first place, because everyone knows that you can’t fit an elephant into 640K -memory barrier-.

Mainframe operating system designers: will all hunt the same elephant, and all claim credit for the kill on the grounds that each was working on a virtual elephant.

Software salespeople: ship the first thing they catch and write up an invoice for an elephant.

Hardware salespeople: catch rabbits, paint them grey, and sell them as desktop “elephants.”

Engineers: hunt elephants by catching grey animals at random and stopping when any one of them weighs within +/- 15 percent of any previously observed elephant.

Economists: don’t hunt elephants, but they believe that if elephants are paid enough then they will hunt themselves.

Statisticians: hunt the first animal they see N times and call it an elephant.

Politicians: don’t hunt elephants; they will share the elephants that you catch with the people who voted for them.

Database administrators do not need to go out and capture elephants when they can retrieve them simply with an ad hoc query: SELECT * FROM AFRICAN_CRITTERS 2 WHERE CRITTER_TYPE = 'TERRESTRIAL' 3 AND SIZE = 'LARGE' 4 AND COLOR = 'GRAY' 5 AND TRUNK = 'YES' 6 AND ODOR IS NOT NULL;

Systems integration engineers are not so concerned with hunting elephants as with creating a seamless interface between the elephants and their environment.

For other jobs: