State of New Jersey needs COBOL programmers

Paul Koning paulkoning at
Mon Apr 6 08:42:51 CDT 2020

> On Apr 5, 2020, at 6:17 PM, Antonio Carlini via cctalk <cctalk at> wrote:
> On 05/04/2020 22:27, Neil Thompson via cctalk wrote:
>> I'm convinced that Dijksta (and anyone else who came out with similar
>> comments were full of horseshit.  In my opinion, it's the ability to
>> translate a real world "thing" into an algorithm that is the essense of
>> programming,
> Dijkstra was a computer scientist not a computer programmer. The two are only tangentially related!

That's clearly not true.  He was hired as a programmer, the first in the country, by the Mathematical Center.  And he wrote a number of major programs: the first implementation of the Shortest Path algorithm, the world's first ALGOL compiler, and the THE operating system -- among others.  Also the BIOS for the Electrologica X1 computer, which was the topic of his Ph.D. thesis.

It's true that later on he focused on computer science theory, but to claim that he didn't know about programming shows a lack of understanding of his history.

BTW, the reason he didn't like the IBM 1620 is that you can't build a multiprogramming OS on it since it has no interrupts and uses blocking I/O.  


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