Posted by: A. C. Cockerill | October 30, 2017

Techie Corner – 2017 – Post #14 – Core Skill

Techie Corner – 2017 – Post #14 – Core Skill

What is the required core skill for all things technology?

My two cents, but please share yours:

My answer is skepticism.

  1. Since there’s no such thing as “settled science,” don’t assign confidence levels of 100% or 0% to any detail, but do calculate probabilities and confidence levels accurately as often as possible, wherever possible.
  2. Don’t trust machines. Expect bugs, especially early on and at the most inconvenient times.
  3. Don’t trust computers. Expect round-off errors that alter results, and, of course, “garbage in, garbage out.”
  4. Don’t trust humans. Bias often creeps in, either unintentionally through not controlling variables well enough, or intentionally as in data doctoring.

Healthy skepticism makes for better scientists, engineers, and programmers.


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