[nycbug-talk] MSNBC on the decline of technology jobs

Isaac Levy ike
Wed Jun 22 14:43:14 EDT 2005

Hey Alex, All,

On Jun 22, 2005, at 2:15 PM, alex at pilosoft.com wrote:
> It *helps* to have some theoretical underpinning (having taken CS
> classes in school and picking up useful things from them), but it isn't
> strictly required.
> C has a lot of "gotchas" - if you don't know them and can't recognize
> them, you'll fail my interview.

Just thinking out loud here, and perhaps a bit off-topic, but Alex- I 
think your C/C++ knowledge would make a great workshop or lecture 
material- at the following capacity:

A *ton* of UNIX SA's, people I know around NY, constantly jump across 
high-level and scripting languages very easily.  (Myself, I'm a big 
Pyhon fan, but we have loads of smart PHP folks, everyone has to do 
stuff with Perl, and everyone knows their way around various shells for 
scripting- and your right that people who 'get it' can jump across to 
new languages fast...).
In some instances, in systems failure or under attack, many SA's have 
had to hack C/C++ code- yet these folks don't really have much or any 
formal background in anything C (speaking largely for myself).

Regardless, I'm in a position where I just started groking the FreeBSD 
source auditing for some instances of particular system calls, and 
reading the C it all just started making sense- but I want more...
I want to be on the road to providing *decent* patches back to the 
community, instead of hacking stuff I'm certain is full of it's own 
rudimentary holes... and I think there's a lot more folks like me out 
there.  I'm not looking to be a C developer overnight, and actually 
have little desire or need to go deeply down that path, I'm just 
looking for basics so know how not to hang myself with all this rope...

I'd think a lecture that covers an 'Alex-view' of practical basics of 
C/C++ in the context of common 'gotchas' and best practices for an 
SA/Scripter audience, (covering stuff that SA's and 
non-formally-trained folks tend to mess up painfully), would be a 
REALLY cool topic somewhere... I'd *totally* show up.

Anyone have any thoughts, on this?


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