> >>Programmers can be created by some kind of crash course but not
> >>Statisticians, hence no need to worry.
>I'm now several months into cleaning up my third "Rube Goldberg" machine
>of a SAS based data management and reporting application that was
>initially born and "developed" for years based on this mentality.
>The flip-side of this is that I worked my way through grad school in
>stats at a very large high tech company. Out of the several stat/data
>related jobs I put in for after graduating, the attitude was: why would
>we hire you for this when we can just send an engineer to a stats class?
Almost every field I have ever worked with had at least some
people who had this sort of insularity. "We had to spend years
learning our stuff, and *your* stuff is just crap we have to do on
I've seen MBAs who had no concept of the material they were
asking programmers to implement.
I've seen ecologists who assumed that the 4 stat courses they had
in grad school made them better than real statisticians.
I've seen 'real' programmers who refused to believe that people
working with a program like SAS could be real programmers.
I've seen programmers who figured anyone could learn stats in
a few days, and statisticians who figured anyone could learn
programming in a few days.
I've seen *lots* of engineers and MBAs who felt that SQC
(Statistical Quality Control) was just something they had to do
to make a boss happy, not something which might actually
make their product better or make their job better. "Quality
is Job 1." Yeah, right.
Joe Whitehurst could probably explain *why* people develop
this kind of mindset, but that won't change the fact that
lots of people have it, and we have to work around it on a
regular basis. I mean, how many times in SAS-L have we
seen statisticians ask why SAS was so slow and/or awkward,
when the problem was their bad programming? How many
times in SAS-L have we seen programmers ask how to do
something which was a statistical nightmare, because they
didn't know better?
David L. Cassell
3115 NW Norwood Pl.
Corvallis OR 97330
Get today's hot entertainment gossip