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United Nations and Cisco Join Forces in Iraq

Network systems company is setting up regional IT training centers

3 min read

24 November 2004--Even as Iraq continues to be wracked by fighting, terrorism, and destruction, a United Nations agency based in Beirut has teamed up with Cisco Systems Inc., in San Jose, Calif., to provide computer, networking, and information technology training to hundreds of Iraqi teachers and students. Under a program called the Iraq Networking Academies, teams began their first sessions on 21 August to provide opportunities for more than 500 Iraqis to learn IT skills before year-end and, it is hoped, for thousands more to acquire those skills over the next two years, a U.N. official told IEEE Spectrum .

The level of response has been really fantastic," said Abdulilah Dewachi, a regional adviser on communications and computer networking for the U.N. Economic and Social Commission for West Asia, the agency in charge of the program. In a telephone interview from Beirut, Dewachi said that despite the rising level of violence in Iraq, 13 university professors from four Iraqi universities managed to make the trek from the cities of Baghdad, Mosul, and Basra to Beirut for the first training session. Next they plan to put that training to work by educating others in Iraq.

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Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

11 min read
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A plate of spaghetti made from code
Shira Inbar
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You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

So why did they take shortcuts? Maybe they didn’t realize that they were cutting any corners. Only when their code was deployed and exercised by a lot of users did its hidden flaws come to light. And maybe the developers were rushed. Time-to-market pressures would almost guarantee that their software will contain more bugs than it would otherwise.

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