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200 upvotes in nine hours?! Is that a Stack Overflow record?

no, I guess many people started to understand this behavior just now. (something you don't meet when all you do is javascript and ruby/python)

Maybe I'm an elitist but I find it rather scary that people write code for a living without understanding concepts such as this. It's easy to forget what a huge service StackOverflow provides to the developer community by spreading knowledge in an easily accessible and entertaining fashion.

If those people who write code for a living never program in C++ or other languages with pointers, instead using languages like Java and Python, I wouldn't expect them to know what happens when you mess around with pointers in C++. If you don't use pointers, and your language doesn't even support pointers, why care about the behavior of pointers? Understanding the simpler concept of "references" is good enough.

> I find it rather scary that people write code for a living without understanding concepts such as this

It's scary but the industry is full of such people. In germany here it's really bad as we have 2 ways to become a (official) professional programmer:

1) Studying CS at the University 2) A 3 year apprenticeship where you learn to be a state approved "computer scientist with a specialization".

Way 2 is still pretty popular and though not all people going way 2 are bad there's not much fundamental CS theory you learn there. You work for 3 years in a company where they teach you their way of software development (and you have blocks of school lessons every few weeks). The education is pretty lacking in fundamental theory. The people only learn either .NET or Java (depending on the shop they are working in).

It's not uncommon that people can't tell you the difference between long and double (other than that one can has a decimal point). Don't start about pointers, manual memory management or things like stack frames/stack layouts. And they don't want to know that stuff. "Why should I learn that? The compiler/runtime does it for me!" is often an answer you hear.

It's great that you don't meet this since Python/Ruby were designed not to have the same problems C/C++ had.

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