Last changed 24 Aug 2001 ............... Length about 900 words (6000 bytes).
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On the beach: liquid software engineering

After intense competition from other students to stay and enjoy an exceptionally well watered August in Glasgow, Martin Ritchie drew the short straw and was forced to accept a free ticket to tediously sunny Perth, Western Australia. Carrying only an old Ipaq loaded with miscellaneous documents in a back pocket, he was met off the plane by immigration officials muttering about the dumping of skilled software engineers on poor old Oz ("In the good old days they sent people with street skills, that an immigrant can use straight away, now we get people actually believing we're the Knowledge Nation"). He was rushed off and chained to a computer to start installing Grumps software. (One of the problems implied by Moore's law is that the number of computers it takes to immobilise a student doubles every 7 years.) A recent message from him recommending beers and the beach as a cure for jetlag suggest that antipodean physiology may be the inverse of ours. His story could be used in recruitment to frighten students with the awful fate awaiting those signing up for unfashionable courses like computing science and then compounding the mistake by doing well.

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