Village Pump/De-skilling?

From Rosetta Code

I came across this cartoon in which an initially enthusiastic programmer laments the amount of boilerplate cruft they have to write; finally finds an interesting problem; roughs-out an algorithm; then googles for other solutions only to become depressed on finding good or better algorithms pre-written in every language. They end up even more depressed.

I immediately thought that RC has a lot of examples in many languages so could be the source of such despair; but really think the mindset of the person is wrong. Why be depressed about not being able to contribute an original algorithm. Algorithms and their implementations are better off being honed and copied.

Maybe RC will spur lecturers to create even better examples for their students.

(This was written by Paddy3118 (Talk | contribs) at 26 February 2011, 08:20 UTC)
+1. "...being honed and copied." The name of that algorithm is evolution. —Sonia 15:23, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
There's an app task for that! –Donal Fellows 14:54, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
If they want something to do that isn't immediately available, there's always the "tasks not implemented in X" pages. And there's a crapload of things from WP that could certainly stand to be implemented as tasks:
  • Hashing algorithms (there are a few variants on Soundex, for example)
  • Graphics algorithms
  • Transcoding to and from different encoding types
And then there are more pragmatic programming problems like demonstrating read/write locks, showing how signals work, meaningfully parsing a string like "Apples: 4\nOranges: 3.1".
There's a recurring problem with the early energetic stages of volunteers...they (we (mw)) are pretty tightly bound to "I want to do something, and this is what I want to do, and this is what I want the consequence to be." Lists of "here's how you can help" items will typically lack the excitement of that first creative spark that triggered the explosion of energy. --Michael Mol 14:32, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
Interesting side note...Rosetta Code isn't the first website of its nature--I simply hadn't found or heard of any similar sites before creating it. I do find it remarkable that it seems to have grown beyond any of the others, though. Sometimes re-inventing the wheel isn't always a bad thing. --Michael Mol 14:32, 23 May 2011 (UTC)