How about a general thread about programming related type discussion that doesn't focus around a particular problem or language etc?
Episode #2 from here: http://www.pbs.org/cringely/nerdtv/shows/
Max Levchin wrote:
But I think there's a huge benefit to knowing what it is you're working for. And there's definitely - one of the typical pitfalls in the world of engineering - and I don't mean to slight my fellow engineers, but - is this dichotomy of hard versus valuable. And lots of engineers mistake hard for valuable. (source)
And the inverse is certainly true. Most things in the world that are valuable are pretty hard to do. So doing something like Microsoft or eBay or Google is pretty hard to execute, invent, to create, etc., and therefore it's valuable. And that's why these people make so much money, and that's why the company is worth so much on the market.
But if you just pick something really difficult, like breaking _____________ with your thought, it wouldn't necessarily be valuable. And so I think this notion of being an engineer who thinks about the business issues is a projection of this part where I need to make sure that what I'm doing is actually valuable and not just hard.
And I think in college I used to stay up all night a lot because I was doing things that were hard. And in the morning I would be like ah, I have _____________ 80 cycles off this MIPS assembly thing on a made-up processor that will never be used by anyone. And these days I stay up all night thinking if I do this, I might get my user conversion coefficient up by 10 percent, which will be really valuable.
Hard vs Valuable...