English has been my pain for 15 years

6 min read
fairly easy
Article URL: http://antirez.com/news/61 Comments URL: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=26735432 Points: 1 # Comments: 0
antirez 2775 days ago. 315381 views.

Paul Graham managed to put a very important question, the one of the English language as a requirement for IT workers, in the attention zone of news sites and software developers [1]. It was a controversial matter as he referred to "foreign accents" and the internet is full of people that are just waiting to overreact, but this is the least interesting part of the question, so I'll skip that part. The important part is, no one talks about the "English problem" usually, and I always felt a bit alone in that side, like if it was a problem only affecting me, so in this blog post I want to share my experience about English. [1] http://paulgraham.com/accents.html A long story --- I still remember me and sullivan (http://www.isg.rhul.ac.uk/sullivan/) both drunk in my home in Milan trying to turn an attack I was working on, back in 1998, in a post that was understandable for BUGTRAQ users, and this is the poor result we obtained: http://seclists.org/bugtraq/1998/Dec/79 Please note the "Instead all others" in the second sentence. I'm still not great at English but I surely improved over 15 years, and sullivan now teaches in US and UK universities so I imagine he is totally fluent (spoiler warning: I'm still not). But here the point is, we were doing new TCP/IP attacks but we were not able to freaking write a post about it in English. It was 1998 and I already felt extremely limited by the fact I was not able to communicate, I was not able to read technical documentation written in English without putting too much efforts in the process of reading itself, so my brain was using like 50% of its energy to just read, and less was left to actually understand what I was reading. However in one way or the other I always accepted English as a good thing. I always advice people against translation efforts in the topic of technology, since I believe that it is much better to have a common language to document and comment the source code, and…
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