Concepts or Skills?

I’ve known a nice Indian man.  He spoke us about some important aspects in programming and comunities.
I had lots of questions but while he spoke he answered my questions.

This man said us “learn concepts not skills” so I remembered when I was an student. I read about programming languages, databases and tools. I said to myself.. Every day i find a new tool or a new programming language or a new database.. how can I learn all of them and remember their “tips”, configuration and sintaxis?

Arround OLPC project I’ve known a man.. a crazy man with an interesting story. He showed me his Blog and some articles. He says the same thing: “Concepts are most importants than skills”.. and other interesting things about programming as a job.

My favorite professor at the University said me “Don’t learn the partition, learn how to make partitions and you will make songs. Each song is like a new tool or a new language but there are a lot of concepts behind they”. He is a musician on his free time.

And I did it, thanks for the advice professor. I can learn DataBase,programming languages and tools in a prudent short time.. But if I don’t practice then I forget this skills, but not the concepts behind they. I am not the best, I am not the fist one in the top 10, I don’t know all “Tips”, but I can see beyond than other people is a fact.

But for industry, the most important things are your skills. Skills in Java, in C in PHP… You can be promoted if you have a certification, skills knows or many experience. But what is a programming language certification? I DON’T KNOW… for me is a piece of paper that says you know where put a ; or a {. This kind of certifications must dissapear!!!(is my opinion). A certification must be most general an theorical test. If you forget the parameters of a library method or API method you open your browser and type for google or yahoo and search for the method. What is experience? is many many years doing the same thing!. If you have knowlege but not skills you won’t be promoted.

Skills or concepts? I love concepts but I need skills, more and more skills if a wanna be promoved and to earn more money. I change my job frecuently but not for money (hmmm… some times), I change it because i find it bored. All jobs are similars for me. I have to do the same thing each time. Today for a bank, to morrow the same program for a airline and next week for a food distributor. You need skills, your concepts are outside.

I prefer to play “Satisfaction” by Rolling Stones each time or I prefer to compose a song?

Well I don’t know. I think like this guys.. and I have a hope.. they are four and they are not stupid men. On the other way, if I am on a mistake they are on a mistake too!!  and we are four!! I am not the only one!!

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5 thoughts on “Concepts or Skills?

  1. I’m partially agree with this post or maybe fully agree, is question of the point of view. But i think each “new” tool has an system of concepts behind it, and ways you should do the things with it. Each computational tool as a DBM or a programming language is an human creation an represents the conceptual system of their creators, that as all humans thoughts may vary. So as you can use all tool in an standardized manner in these way you couldn’t deliver the full power of these tool.

    But again is matter of concepts, and its implementations and interpretations again.

  2. I think in the same way as you, I dont think in skills, I think they are stupid, you need skills for everything, but the remaining in all those things is the concept beyond them. But if you have a clear concept of things you can learn the skills easily.

  3. I think the same, is better have more and more bases and concepts, but in the industries actually pay more for the skills than for your knowledge 😥

    great opinion, great person, great Robotito!

  4. well, nowadays the indutries and all the business world move very fast and linear without looking at the talent of the people… all they want is fastly know a person-bot who shows (with a ridiculous and easy falsificable square of paper)what that person KNOW to do. i think these businessman might make a “test period” but not for making the people do what the boss want, it must be for know the creativity and the innovating ideas that eployee might have and what that person CAN do…Google make it as that way and look where are they!

  5. well, the industries and all the business world move very fast and linear and these businessmen only want to fastly know a person like a bot that shows(with a ridiculous and easy falsificable squere paper) what that person KNOWS to do, i think there might be a “test period” not for giving orders to the tested employee, must be for seeing the capabilities and innovating ideas that the employee cold have and see what CAN he/she does.

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