Academia: Why Can’t I Reproduce Their Results?

This is a fascinating insight in academia:

And here is where it gets tricky, because programming is undeniably a skill to be practiced and improved, and no good idea will produce good results if you don’t have the skill to implement it properly. Experience matters too.

Things like how quickly you can iterate, how intuitively you can work out what is wrong, how easily you can fix it, how deeply you understand the concepts you’re using, how many times you’ve programmed this sort of thing before, all make a massive difference in the manifestation of the idea.In fact, most often research in computer science is not at all the meritocracy of ideas we imagine.

An average idea executed well tends to produce better results than a good idea executed poorly. And I’m sorry to say, but this is most likely why your results are worse – the original authors just have more practice and experience doing this sort of thing than you – that’s all.

Why Can’t I Reproduce Their Results?

The whole debate centres on this crux- what is a good idea, anyway? Therein, lies the heart of innovation- perhaps it is a sum total of average ideas which work well in unison or individuals and teams tend to figure out that it is the “best way” forward anyway.