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College Students: Want To Earn More? Take a COBOL Class

Matheus Re:The UK Cobol Climate Is Very Different (253 comments)

...and missing the point of the article. The article is saying that the average salary was higher by $10k/year. They didn't even say said salary was for a COBOL job! Not sure how salaries compare in the UK to here but GBP60K is about $100K and honestly that's pretty freaking sweet for a fresh grad in coding here.

Either way $10K difference in pay is probably not what a seasoned coder would refer to as "exciting" but for a fresh grad the difference between say $60K/year and $70K/year is pretty significant and maybe worth spending 3 credits on. Best if you don't have to even use it after graduation but knowing about it seems to be worth the pain.

I'm currently reading a lot of COBOL so if that bumps my next salary by 10K then I'll be pretty happy about it BUT I won't be taking any jobs writing COBOL any time soon :-)


College Students: Want To Earn More? Take a COBOL Class

Matheus Re:The UK Cobol Climate Is Very Different (253 comments)

That being said... your average (I'd go WAY farther) tech employee only needs to wear a suit in an interview and honestly I don't even do that. Wearing a suit to an interview implies a certain level of dress code following and i don't want to send the wrong message :-)

"Nice" suits cost in the arena of hundreds of dollars. Your average employee doesn't want to be spending 4 figures on a selection of suits so they don't have to wear the same thing everyday. Add to that dry cleaning costs too. Since I go into an office everyday (at the moment) I do have to rise to a certain dress code but that means: Shoes (first time in 15 years I haven't been able to wear my sandals to the office and that's just because some b!tch I never run into whined about it), Long pants (Jeans in good shape are acceptable) and a nice shift (I've worn as 'low' as a nice unbranded T but generally this involves some buttoned shirt of some variety / polo.). Aside from my $100 shoes that I wear everyday so don't need a selection of my average outfit is in the $100 range so I can afford to have a closet full. My last suit cost me $600 (and that was no where near as expensive as I could have gone). My cheapest suit was closer to $350. I make good money so I can afford to have a selection of those BUT that's a large number that my budget would prefer to put into something else.

SO.. long story short if you feel like requiring me to wear a suit to work then you are not going to be my employer.. ever. I can make similar remarks about needing to pee in a cup, etc... none of that is keeping me from being well employed. The world is a different place than it was 20 years ago.


Developing the First Law of Robotics

Matheus Re:So, a design failure then. (161 comments)

This. ...but more:

First of all: In reality, when all factors are considered (give me variables... ALL the variables), equality is rarely the case. That person is .00000001m closer than the other so my choice is made. BUT, in the rare case where all of the vars balance out to perfect even, there is only the above solution or "random". I was severely pained by the description of "the robot wasted so much time fretting over its decision". Who da fuq coded that? Robots don't fret or at least don't have to. In absence of a clear determination (however subtle an advantage that may be as I already stated) the robot doesn't need to "fret". If the choice is a flip of a coin then you get busy flipping the damn coin and get to that first person randomly chosen. An algo that takes so much time deciding that both die is piss poor and this person doesn't belong in this research.

2 days ago

Ask Slashdot: Any Place For Liberal Arts Degrees In Tech?

Matheus Re:Um (389 comments)

True on the response not on the original post. Look around any company that has gotten past the raw start-up phase and the balance shifts and shifts until there may or may not be even a majority engineers. Face it most companies are run and managed by non-engineers. Your entire H.R. department? Not engineers. Sales? Only if you're lucky (our last company had "Sales Engineers" to support the sales people and even most of them weren't *really engineers). Marketing, Shipping/Receiving, Maintenance, Finance... the list goes on.

Yes all of these people are paid less than us engineers but there are more of them and it's easier to get their job SO for someone looking to graduate and get hired for decent (maybe not great but certainly livable) pay then the math seems to lean toward the Liberal Arts degree unless you're going to be good at the STEM degree. You half-ass a STEM degree and you'll sit on the unemployment line looking for *that job. You half-ass an L&S degree and someone will pay you to push paperwork around because you're actually *applying for that job and there are more of them out there.

Just sayin...

2 days ago

Extent of Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches Record Levels

Matheus Re:It's getting hotter still! (601 comments)

I know it's a lot to ask on /. but if you plow past TFS and actually RTFA then you will find they say exactly why they think this is *realted to global warming not a contradiction of it.

"As the area covered in sea ice expands scientists have said the ice on the continent of Antarctica which is not over the ocean continues to deplete.

CEO of the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems CRC, Tony Worby, said the warming atmosphere is leading to greater sea ice coverage by changing wind patterns."

Conjecture but they at least have gone down this road already...

2 days ago

Harvard's CompSci Intro Course Boasts Record-Breaking Enrollment

Matheus Re:Linux, cryptography, HTML and JavaScript. (132 comments)

(FIRST Rant: Since I wasn't asked for the damn CAPTCHA getting the message that I didn't confirm I was a human and throwing away my whole freaking novel of a post makes me think that the /. devs *really need to take this intro course again... grr...)

Honestly some of that list fits in an intro course but with clarification.. I certainly hope that's not an exhaustive list tho! Everything on that list should be "as well as" not core topics.

Linux: These kids, even these days, have a high probability of never having had worked (knowingly.. Android/MacOS/Bar gaming systems/ATMS/etc don't count) on Linux before. SO if that's the type of machines they will be working on (as was the case at my school) then the intro class will at least have to get their feet wet here... command line / ls / rm -rf / ;-) That might include a small amount of "What is Lunux and why do we care" but that's it.

HTML: The class might also include a sampling of various technologies these kids will be using in the real world... let's face it most of them will end up mobile or web devs SO this is useful but should not be more than a small touch.

JavaScript: See my comments on HTML but also this is being used more and more as a full blown language SO maybe that's what they are using as their training language? Even in my 4 years (long time ago) I saw the Intro classes go from Pascal > C++ > Java. I think continuing that > JavaScript is a poor choice but I've heard of worse.

Cryptography: I *certainly hope this is 30,000 ft view and they aren't implementing it BUT getting the right mindset in early and even including calls to default libraries in some of their projects might not be a bad idea... beyond that it's meant for a much more advanced class.

My impression of intro as provided by the one I took and how well it did the job is as follows: You have a first week of getting the students into the coding world which could include a lot of the above but most importantly guaging their prior knowledge and teaching them the environment/language they will be working in and getting started on their first code. After that you are teaching the starter algorithms to get their heads thinking right and giving them progressively harder programming tasks to make it useful and concrete for them. If the above 4 items are the entirely of the class then this better be a pre-Intro course (we had one where I went... CS majors didn't take it... History Majors did ;-) (hint it included time on the MS Office suite of products) leading up to a "100" class that is the real intro for CS.. else who knows... I didn't RTFA only TFS so maybe it was as usuless as typical and Harvard has the intro course their $60K/yr or whatever it is would promise!

5 days ago

Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion

Matheus Re:I don't get it (532 comments)

1% aside... *anyone can get Cuban cigars without much trouble.

The real connoisseurs don't bother because you can get better cigars legally imported from the Dominican :-) if Cuba really wishes they had something that we need more than we need to be right to the end.

about a week ago

Unpopular Programming Languages That Are Still Lucrative

Matheus Re:In Theory (385 comments)

I'm currently *reading a LOT of COBOL (JCL, etc) We're doing a migration project away from the existing 370 mainframe to 'modern' tech. The requirements gathering was spotty at best so every time I get a new chunk to replace I'm reading lots of COBOL to grep for what I need my new code to do.

I'm very thankful I'm not writing any 'new' COBOL but I can read it fairly smoothly. I can say for certain that skill will never be on my resume.

On the topic as a whole: This article (or at least the summary) seem to imply you need to put all your eggs in one basket which is completely false. I've learned a new language for almost every job I've had. I am fairly fluent in Java which tends to shape the jobs I go after but every single one has required proficiency in some other language for some other reason. (Small example I wrote a library for a large international project in Java for my own purposes. It was useful enough that the rest of the project started using it so it bumped up against contractual requirements that everything "delivered" had to be in Java and C# SO I taught myself C# and ported the library to it. C# is *very similar to Java so this was pretty easy but a great example of learning a language on the fly.)

Learn em all I say! Sort it out later...

about two weeks ago

The Quiet Revolution of Formula E Electric Car Racing

Matheus Re:quiet = powerful (116 comments)

"Can Not" != "May Not"

The whole point of Formula 1 is that all cars are under a very tight parameter restriction so the race is in the hands of the driver more than it is the mechanics. (Not to say they are all truly "equal" but they could be.)

Electric cars are more than capable of going faster than that:

about two weeks ago

Does Learning To Code Outweigh a Degree In Computer Science?

Matheus Re:Probably not. (546 comments)

I've got 2 side to this issue:
1) There's a LOT I didn't know after I graduated about "how to code". Given *when I graduated a lot of that was pretty immature and my school wouldn't have been able to teach me anyway (Version control is completely different now, Frameworks? What are frameworks? plus some countless design patterns that weren't as formal as they are now... oh yeah and the Web was on 1.0) but there were some aspects at the time that were definitely missed that would have helped me post grad (I'd never coded a UI before graduating for example... just never had the need with all of my profs being Unix/Command Line friendlies)) Honestly I'm not sure where that would have fit in anyway but even an advanced coding class beyond the Intro to Programming class we had would probably have been useful. All of my classes post that course were all teaching theory and just used the language as a tool to do so.

2) ALL of that I learned just fine on my own post-grad. Given I graduated right before the big bubble popped I saw first hand the hordes of "Learn to Code in 30 days" developers that absolutely swamped the job market. The degree on my resume meant something but most of the time I had to argue the merits. The real answer which many employers discovered the hard way (why I have no trouble finding jobs now) is the simple fact that it's easier to learn the practical on your own than it is to learn the theory. In our field we are learning new tools/etc every day or we are falling behind and losing our value. Yes maybe it would have been nice to have a few more under my belt upon graduation but all of that would be fairly obsolete by now anyway. The *Theory I learned rarely expires and helps me be a better *Engineer every day. If my job was just being a coder I'd be bored and honestly I have to work with people who that's all they can do more often than I'd like. (Like cream I rise to the top but honestly it'd be nice to to have to carry their load all the time)

Long story short: Yes my University could have taught me a bit more practical but in the long run I don't see that as a problem that really needs to be solved as what they did teach me was SO much more valuable.

about two weeks ago

Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

Matheus Re:Send in the drones! (848 comments)

How 'bout we just let them have Mexico if they give up on Ukraine? ;-)

about three weeks ago

GOG Introduces DRM-Free Movie Store

Matheus do it, to do it, to do it right. (126 comments)

"it's gonna take patience and time to do it, to do it, to do it right." That's kind of catchy... pretty sure I'll write a song with that as the chorus :-)

about three weeks ago

When Customer Dissatisfaction Is a Tech Business Model

Matheus Re:Fleeing abusive companies? (257 comments)

^ This exactly (mod parent up).

Every single company listed in the summary has little to fear from competition at the moment. They have no incentive to placate the user base so the corporate drive of "maximize profits and growth" goes unabated.

about a month ago

Ask Slashdot: What Do You Wish You'd Known Starting Out As a Programmer?

Matheus Re:Grit (548 comments)

Combine this with the ability to, on a schedule, step away in such a manner that you can reliably get past whatever hurdle/writers block you are suffering from. If you're really good you can 'force' those a-ha moments when you don't have the time to wait for them to happen. Sometimes just blindly grinding on will get you nowhere.

Back to the hell yeah tho: You don't get paid if you never ship. If you can't get the job done then it doesn't matter how great you were at starting it.

about a month ago

Ask Slashdot: What Do You Wish You'd Known Starting Out As a Programmer?

Matheus Re:A Programmer Competency Matrix (548 comments)

Thanks... that was a nice ego boost! Level 2 or 3 in every category with at least 75% in Level 3.

Unfortunately I know very well a lot of what I don't know or am not good at and this list doesn't begin to scratch the surface...

about a month ago

Ask Slashdot: What Do You Wish You'd Known Starting Out As a Programmer?

Matheus Re:Pick a different job. (548 comments)

I know servers making double that so... don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out!

about a month ago

Ask Slashdot: What Do You Wish You'd Known Starting Out As a Programmer?

Matheus Re:Pick a different job. (548 comments)

Oh and PS: To a few layers up poster...

"programmers aren't smart enough to unionize" are you kidding me? To be clear I am not anti-union by any means but for my job not on your life. I'm sure life is different in the valley or big code farms elsewhere but honestly I am better equipped to negotiate as an individual than within a group. The world changes and as development becomes more commoditized this situation may change as well but I don't see that anywhere in the near future. (read my employment lifetime) when my threat as an individual to walk away carries as much weight as a union making the same threat there is no perk to the tradeoffs.

about a month ago

Ask Slashdot: What Do You Wish You'd Known Starting Out As a Programmer?

Matheus Re:Pick a different job. (548 comments)

Sorry it sucks where y'all live.

Minneapolis here. Getting 40 hours or keeping to 40 hours (whichever is your issue) is not a problem. Wages easily put you in a high standard of living. Of course cost of living is much lower here than any of the cities mentioned but that's part of the appeal of living here... more bang for your buck. Well that and everything else.

If you really think it sucks everywhere that is not NYC/SF/Austin/Boston then you need to pay more attention.

about a month ago



MN-US Ceases Attempt to Blacklist Online Gambling

Matheus Matheus writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Matheus writes "In response to a lawsuit filed in federal court against the head of the MN Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division the order for all ISPs to block access to a list of on-line gambling sites has been dropped. This topic came to light here when the order was placed the end of April. Thankfully a bad mistake undone by my home state!"
Link to Original Source


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