Variety

Fri 22 May 2015 | Tags: rogue, allagash, xingu, samuel adams, oculus, nasa

The spice of several things.

When I say, "beer", what kind of thoughts go through your head? If you're reading this blog, it would be almost impossible to predict. You're enlightened and know that there are dozens of different kinds of beer, many so distinct that you might not recognize them as belonging to the same family. Think of a domestic light beer, then think of a tongue-melting barleywine you've tried. Beer comes in colors from black to white (and red and gold and amber and sometimes green). It may have very little alcohol or it may have a lot of alcohol.

Computer science is no different. At a basic level, you have to learn to think algorithmically and understand data structures. From there, the possibilities branch like crazy. You can program close to the machine or in almost-English. Some of us worry about user interfaces, others worry about the best way to store huge amounts of data. For some applications, you really, really have to be fast; in others you really, really have to be accurate.

So what should you make of all this variety? Well, don't pigeonhole beers or computer scientists without learning more about them. The next time you meet a computer scientist, find out what color they are and how much alcohol they contain.


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