Bad Coding?

As an ORF, one of the things I have difficulties comprehending is the GEN Y use of the phrase “GO TO”. I keep hearing it in advertisements and reading it on web sites. And the dissonance of it drags my attention away from the intended effect.

Fifty years ago when I was a college Freshman, I became one of the three Arts and Sciences College students to enroll in a FORTRAN course taught (only) in the Engineering College. Needless to say – as I have previously – we had to get permission from the A&S Dean, and that was a near run thing.

One of the first things we learned about FORTRAN was line numbers and “GO TO” statements. Given the primitiveness of the composition environment, these were necessary and useful things.

Many years later, when the PC had invaded the workplace, I took a C++ course and was told by a not very impressive academic that “GO TO” programming was incompetence. I discounted the statement except as an indication of the man’s arrogance and quietly applied the things I had learned in PASCAL – courtesy of Phillipe Kahn – to eliminate the GO TO need.

And now I hear it from all these GEN Ys and I finally see some wisdom in what that schmuck meant.

GO TOs in coding are an easy way out, the sign of someone who is too lazy to think. And that’s what they are for GEN Ys. Evidently. 

And now I can take the intent of those advertisements and websites and discount them as alternatives to being really human.

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