jueves, enero 03, 2008

Flowcharts and Decision Making

So, in my degree in Computer Programming, I was incredibly popular with the lecturers - NOT. The only time they were glad to know of my whereabouts was when I was in the pub, preferably during their lectures.

As an example, with flowcharts you have one box (a diamond shaped one) called a 'decision box' which rather became a derision box once I got started. So, the lecturer is trying to explain how it works.

"It's quite simple, if it's a 'YES' you go down one path, if it's a 'NO' you go down another one" he started to explain...

(The lecturers text is in italics)

"So you mean like, do you want to cross the road?"
"Exactly, Mr Goth. The answer would be either a Yes or a No"
"But wouldn't you need a depends option too"
"No - but why would you ask for a 'depends' option?"
"Because it would depend on whether you were blind or not"
"So then you would add a decision box to ask if they were blind"
"But then they wouldn't be able to see it - that's kind of the definition of blind"
"Look, this really isn't the point, the principle about decision boxes is..."
"What if they had no legs either?"
"Pardon?!"
"Well, if they had no legs and were blind, they wouldn't be able to cross the road even if they knew where it was"
"Class, just ignore this and concentrate on the principles that I am..."
"Would you need extra decision boxes for hedgehogs too?"
"Bloody hedgehogs - what about bloody hedgehogs?"
"Well, they have four legs and they're not really blind but they have terrible trouble crossing the road"
"Yes, you could add a decision box for hedgehogs.. so anyway class"
"That's a bit fucking stupid"
"Pardon?"
"Well, hedgehogs can't read - perhaps that's why they get squashed on roads all the time"
"MR Goth - I have a quick decision for you, and it's a yes or no"
"I'm listening"
"Is the pub open yet?"
"That'll be a definite yes"
"Then please go, but try to ensure your assignment is handed in"

*a quick wink to my Gothic girlfriend who would help me catch up later whilst I debugged her programs - and off I was*

Well, nobody said decision making was easy, but flowcharts only help plumbers.

8 comentarios:

PI dijo...

You must have been a joy to teach. Not! Health and happiness for you in 2008.

Ariel dijo...

Oh goodie, the Goth has gone all Peter Snow on us... Uh? That was pie charts? And bad ties? Oh whatever...

Daphne Wayne-Bough dijo...

It's impossible to get a Pole to answer a question with a straight yes or no. All questions provoke a response along the lines of "Ah well, that depends, you see ..." and usually includes the fact that they didn't have a country for 150 years as part of the answer. I came very close to slapping some of them when I was working over there. Strangely enough, they're quite good at IT.

Sewmouse dijo...

I loved flowcharting in school.
It was one of those "no-brainer" exercises that I could do easily.

Unlike "story problems" which always gave me hives.

bananas62 dijo...

Always one to push the envelope, eh?

SpanishGoth dijo...

Pat -> I was a pleasure in that I passed all the exams

Ariel -> Peter Snow? Whatever next - a Goth-o-meter?

Daphne -> They're not that good at IT - I know because I have had to fix their cock-ups enough

Sewmouse -> but it is so bloody boring (and there's is no box for 'it just fucking IS - OK?')

Bananas -> depends what's in the envelope

Mr Farty dijo...

In - Christ, 1976 - my Comp Sci lecturer told us that flow charts were ancient history. I've never used one since then.

I make a living working with pooters and that.

SpanishGoth dijo...

Mr F -> they had puters in 76? wow. I thought the world began in 1980 ;-) ZX