Updated 2003-06-27 13:48:35

Started by Theo Verelst

The term popped up on the wiki, and considering I'm officially a master of science (electrical engineering, network theory, computer design, graphics, software, mathematics), and because terminology like gurus, wizards, cracks, hackers and all that seem to refer to similar ideas, where one expresses a certain knowledge or skill in the area of computers in this case, or better put, in software. Which is important narrowing down and distinction.

When is one a tcl guru ?

And is that something to brag about over a good beer to strangers enough or attractive women, or maybe even to your friends?

That calls for a good idea or even definition what a master or a guru is in general, and what, historically and contentwise, those ideas mean in software world.

I know very well from when computers started to spread in holland too, that roughly when I went to university, jobs there were affluent, most very well paid, and firstly reserved for intelligent people and cracks, and maybe handyman kinds.

I mean it was considered difficult material, a lot to learn, and outside the usual, so taking an open mind and intellectual skills. Which was good and challenging of course, and left me at early age with a considerable part (small part in fact) time job job as UNIX course leader with for the time incredible income (which is reversed today as matter of fact).

Mastery for many people in that time probably was not something easily attained to or strived for, except for some who would be actual programmers who knew what they were doing. Bill gates in the time of the basic rom. People who would write a language like lisp, Kerningham and ricy, some people being leading forces in your local computer club, system programmers, maybe some ibm consultants, and later on the people who could actually get things done on a PC which worked and weren't trivial, and probably even, in their own area, system managers with knowledge.

Would we now consider TCL MCE (microsoft certified engineer) to be a 'master' of tcl? Someone who orders pizza and coke over a automated tcl script analizing his or her typing behaviour and the time of the day and last night's programming efforts? Who writes a compiler in tcl? Who can sit down with an average flowerist and sell him a program to maintain his administration and planning? Or who would teach schoolteachers to use the language fruitfully themselves?

A Guru is the one you go to with a question, who listens, and then gives you the answer that you need, not the answer that you asked for.

This is true for any subject matter. In fact most Gurus are able to answer questions in unrelated fields and provide answers to unasked questions. The Gurus are the ones who think.

-- JBR