0

I was reading a FaceBook note, Mastering Programming by a renowned software engineer Kent Beck.

This is the 2nd paragraph.

Here are ways effective programmers get the most out of their precious 3e9 seconds on the planet.

3e9 seconds (300000000) roughly translates to 9.5 years according to Google.

What does 3e9 seconds mean in this context?

closed as off-topic by user3169, P. E. Dant, fixer1234, Peter, Laure Jul 9 '17 at 7:10

  • This question does not appear to be about learning the English language within the scope defined in the help center.
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 5
    You didn't convert it correctly. Add a 0, then it's 95 years. – mkennedy Jul 8 '17 at 21:17
  • 2
    You obviously understand the exponent nomenclature. It looks like your confusion about the meaning stemmed from a counting error; leaving out a zero when converting to years, leading to a result without obvious meaning. With the correct result (95 years), is the meaning obvious? If so, consider deleting the question, as there would be nothing English-relevant, so not really applicable to the site. – fixer1234 Jul 8 '17 at 23:42
  • 5
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is not about learning English. – user3169 Jul 9 '17 at 1:04
4

Actually, it's 3e9 = 3*(10^9) which is about 95 years. So it would be

Here are ways effective programmers get the most out of their precious 95 years on the planet.

It's just a geeky, indirect way to say time:

Here are ways effective programmers get the most out of their precious time on the planet.

Your/their/etc time on Earth is a common expression that means your lifetime. Naturally, in the given text, "the planet" is Earth. The suggestion is that your lifetime is short and that you should make the most of something, like life, or in this case, programming.

95 seems kind of high, so I'm assuming the author just made up a number and that it is not a reference to some work, or joke, or some other thing. I assume that 3e9 just follows the theme of programming.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.