Colin Devroe

Reverse Engineer. Blogger.

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What developers sound like to non-developers

No matter your profession, industry jargon can quickly become laden with acronyms, buzz-words, and other gibberish.

I was reminded of this today when I read the abstract from this scientific paper re: mammoth cells showing some signs of activity in mouse cells.

The 28,000-year-old remains of a woolly mammoth, named ‘Yuka’, were found in Siberian permafrost. Here we recovered the less-damaged nucleus-like structures from the remains and visualised their dynamics in living mouse oocytes after nuclear transfer. Proteomic analyses demonstrated the presence of nuclear components in the remains. Nucleus-like structures found in the tissue homogenate were histone- and lamin-positive by immunostaining. In the reconstructed oocytes, the mammoth nuclei showed the spindle assembly, histone incorporation and partial nuclear formation; however, the full activation of nuclei for cleavage was not confirmed. DNA damage levels, which varied among the nuclei, were comparable to those of frozen-thawed mouse sperm and were reduced in some reconstructed oocytes. Our work provides a platform to evaluate the biological activities of nuclei in extinct animal species.

Do you have any idea what that means? Perhaps if you’re a biologist it makes complete sense.

If you listen to two developers talking about building apps you’ll quickly realize how insane it sounds from an outsider’s perspective. Even the real-world sounding names of software languages and frameworks can be baffling; React, SASS, Bourbon, Grunt, Python, Swift, SQL, Ruby, Perl.

We must sound like totally nutters.

I need to learn a new language

Not a programming language, I’ve got those covered for now, but a spoken language of the tongue.

I tried my hand at Dutch, since my family comes from The Netherlands, but I just couldn’t stick with it long enough for it to take.

I feel totally ignorant to the world around me – which makes me feel small and confined. Learning a language may help that. Any suggestions?