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Discussion on: Computer Science vs Software Engineering

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Dave Jacoby

I get thinking about linguistics as a subfield of CS, especially how the fundamental ideas on how to create programming languages is derived from Noam Chomsky's early theories on how human language works.

But I see a lot of pushback ahead at the idea that the field which investigates how thoughts are expressed and understood by humans and other animals to be fitted under another field that's named after inorganic machines. And less and less when you get into the other fields named. And I'm on that team.

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Jean-Christophe Helary

My idea about CS and linguistics was more about what vision of processes do you get from using such and such languages. Hence the reference to Sapir-Whorf. It seems to me that each programming approach or syntax "styles" gives a different perception of how to deal with "CS" objects and environments.

There is a hint of this when Eric Raymond says that "Lisp makes you a better programmer". Lisp does not expose CS objects better than other languages, it "wraps" them better.

Regarding my reference to, for ex, economics and CS, there is a social need for C-scientists to understand the limitations of the physical world so as to not produce aberrations such as the bitcoin mining energy waste.

Computing is intimately related to the real physical world because it is the result of electrons practically running on silicon. So, just like you don't ask an engineer to create things that can't resist to the laws of the physical world, it is important that C-scientists understand that their constructs have a huge impact on the world.


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