Category: Programming

DJ Patil Twitter Storm

So last Saturday I replied to a retweet of DJ Patil (data science guru). The whole exchange involved me responding to another person “StartupLJackson” who posted “No. More STEM workers creates more companies making $, which creates more STEM jobs in the US. We have massive shortage.” My response to this was “More STEM workers, like PhDs making lower than the median wage as postdocs? Or ones out of work?” I went out that night and didn’t see what happened until the next day, when lots of people had responded to StartupLJackson, including DJ Patil again.


Mainly the conversation revolved around StartupLJackson making comments about how welding will be completely replaced by machines in 10 years and that lots of “kids” need to get “skills” for the new economy that is coming. Also the argument against postdocs was that they should just get “tech writer” jobs and make a “decent paycheck” instead of staying in their “shitty postdoc jobs.” The two sides were broadly that 1) we need STEM workers (their side) or 2) we don’t and that we already have enough now (which is roughly my side of the argument). I think there’s more evidence on our side, but feel free to comment on your take. I think if the comment was that we need more developers I might agree (and Microsoft’s Steve Balmer would for sure…see link).



The Rise of Python

So after being out of the programming world for a few years during grad school I’ve come back into it to find that Python has really taken off. From being a “toy” language, it’s gone on to become THE language of choice for data science, arguably even over stand-alone statistical software like R. In grad school I was programming mainly in Perl, and I just want to say that it was all about the $ with that language (or rather, it was all about odd scripting like declaring an empty string as $s = q++ and other code that could be very confusing to understand ESPECIALLY when the people coding did not write clear comments). That being said I look forward to learning and working more with Python, a language that seems straightforward and handles a lot of things for the user so we can save time and post stuff on our websites that probably nobody is reading. If you read this and are not a bot, please feel free to leave a comment. Thanks.