Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board

ACM & IEEE Publications

Are they worth reading for an application developer.

Saturday, May 10, 2003

Well, I certainly wouldn't pay any money in order to read them.

The biggest reason I don't find these articles very useful:

Most of the IEEE articles (from IEEE Software Magazine, etc.) that I have read seem to be authored by academic researchers.  What is wrong with this picture? The problem is that most developers that I know typically work in very chaotic work environments. These folks tend to write articles that make the opposite assumption.

While I believe many of the articles have been dumbed down to appeal to a wide audience, I also believe the primary target audience for these authors is other academic researchers.

One Programmer's Opinion
Saturday, May 10, 2003

You'll find only 1% of interesting articles. Remember that these "science guys" just write papers to get and justify their grants.

Saturday, May 10, 2003

One Programmer: quite true. To get an article published it needs to respect certain unwritten rules, and use a certain language. There is no focus on readability whatsoever.

The raison d'etre of academic articles is usually to document the advancements of science. They are not there to explain something, but more to put it down on paper in a publication. They are more simillar to a standard.

When a certain area of the science becomes popular or usefull, articles and books on that area start to be published, based on the existing scientific articles. These books and magazine articles have a focus on readability, because they are supposed not to set down a specification, but to explain it to the masses. Therefore I think it's more productive for a programmer to read these articles instead of the scientific ones.

Unless of course the programmer in question is working on something on the edge of the technology, and needs the latest information available.

Saturday, May 10, 2003

"While I believe many of the articles have been dumbed down to appeal to a wide audience"

Believe me, they have not been "dumbed down". They are not some popular renditions of very clever stuff that inevitably can only hint at the incredible breakthroughs because the average Joe could be permanently braindamaged if exposed to this blinding insights.
What you get is pretty much all there is.
No, I take that back. In 95% of the cases what you get is a lot more than what is actually there.

Just me (Sir to you)
Monday, May 12, 2003

I think the "Communications of the ACM" magazine is pretty useful.  There are some good columns on software practice there, and the technical articles are usually accessible to general software developers with a CS background.  It is well worth following the active research, as many of these topics can become mainstream in the future.

The journals vary from group to group.  SIGPLAN has some good publications for anyone working in the tools space, but often I only find one useful article for every couple of issues.

Ben Combee
Monday, May 12, 2003

ACM has a new journal called Queue that's designed specifically for software practitioners.

Monday, May 12, 2003

I noticed these while searching for 'acm'.

das gringo
Monday, May 12, 2003

They certainly are worth reading, and worth every penny. They are *definitely* not dumbed down! The do have an academic slant which is exactly why I read them. You have to get a dose of acadamia once in a while to stay balanced.

Friday, May 23, 2003

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home