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The Sapir_Whorf hypothesis: Code Complete / Wikipedia

The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis says that your ability to think a thought depends on knowing words capable of expressing the thought. If you don’t know the words, you can’t express the thought, and you might not even be able to formulate it (Whorf 1956). - (Steve McConnell, Code Complete 2nd Edition)

As McConnell pointed out, this hypothesis applies nicely to the Software Engineering realm. Your ability to be a successful Software Engineer depends on your Software Engineering vocabulary (Metaphors, Abstractions, Design Patterns, Programming Languages, and so on). “If you don’t know the” concepts you certainly won’t be able to express a coherent / feasible solution, “and you might not even be able to formulate” any solution at all.

The original Sapir_Whorf hypothesis:

We dissect nature along lines laid down by our native languages. The categories and types that we isolate from the world of phenomena we do not find there because they stare every observer in the face; on the contrary, the world is presented in a kaleidoscopic flux of impressions which has to be organized by our minds-and this means largely by the linguistic systems in our minds. We cut nature up, organize it into concepts, and ascribe significances as we do, largely because we are parties to an agreement to organize it in this way – an agreement that holds throughout our speech community and is codified in the patterns of our language… all observers are not led by the same physical evidence to the same picture of the universe, unless their linguistic backgrounds are similar, or can in some way be calibrated.   – (Sapir_Whorf. Language, Thought and Reality pp. 212_214).

Read more here (Wikipedia).

Author: Adam Kahtava Categories: Musings, Software Tags:
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