powerful context = the right data structure

Very much enjoyed how Alan Kay (probably in 1987) is building up in this talk with a nice example towards context that is doing most of the thinking for you and then compares it to choosing the right data structure that helps computing results just through their inherent structure.

I transcribed the three crucial sentences starting at 3:55:

If you want to be good at solving a problem and acting much smarter than you are then you have to find your context so its gonna do most of the thinking for you.
Most computer scientists know this because it goes under another heading called “choose the appropriate data structure before you start tinkering around with the algorithm”. Find the right data structure, it will have most of the results computed almost automatically as part of its inherent structure.


– – Addition Feb 22, 2014

Also enjoyed this statement from Michael Blaha in this interview about UML for Database Design:

Often the most difficult aspect of software development is abstracting a problem and thinking about it clearly — that is the purpose of conceptual data modeling.
A conceptual model lets developers think deeply about a system, understand its core essence, and then choose a proper representation. A sound data model is extensible, understandable, ready to implement, less prone to errors, and usually performs well without special tuning effort.


Published by

Benjamin Aaron Degenhart

Currently pursuing a Masters in Computational Science and Engineering at TU Munich.

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