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

Prien715 Re:Pick a different job. (459 comments)

Do you understand the benefits of a union?

Classically speaking, unions existed to drive up benefits through threat of strikes or walkouts. In the 20's and 30's, unions were responsible for the 40 hours workweek, Saturdays off, and a living wage -- by preventing things like random firings and unpaid work (see 80 hour work weeks in the game industry).

To be clear, if individuals were better at negotiating wages, we'd see a rise in salary in the field, but according to statistics this is quite simply not the case. "Ah, but salary went up from 80K to over 100K you say", to which I agree, but if you adjust for inflation, you'll see that that $80K in 2004 is equivalent to $100K in 2014 (26.1%). In the same period, the tech heavy Nasdaq grew 143%. While some of this can be attributed to there being more people employed in the field, I doubt there 2.5x more CS graduates than there were ten years ago.

So while pay is still decent, there's still no rise in salary despite what many consider an obvious shortage in the field. If more CS majors studied those useless fields like "history", we'd have a union and there wouldn't be a bunch of indentured servants known as H1Bs driving wages down (by artificially inflating the labor pool with people who can't quit).

8 hours ago
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Professor Steve Ballmer Will Teach At Two Universities This Year

Prien715 Re:Those who can't... (174 comments)

This is especially true of the Suicide Bomber Training Academy.

10 hours ago
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Helsinki Aims To Obviate Private Cars

Prien715 Re:Am I responding to a troll? (271 comments)

I wasn't trolling; I was merely writing a comment from the opposite view as the post to whom I replied (ok, maybe that is trolling;))

I indeed have travelled and Europe is wonderful -- can't wait to go back. Glad you're enjoying where you live.

yesterday
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Helsinki Aims To Obviate Private Cars

Prien715 Re:Living in the country is an anachronism (271 comments)

You indeed have a very skewed definition of "city".

For reference, I did live in a small town on the east coast for years. My high school had a graduating class of ~300 and was the only high school. Upon moving there, I was informed by the children in my neighborhood that it was featured prominently in a 60 Minutes segment entitled "Cracktown: USA". The nearest movie theater was in another state; the only bowling alley in the city closed, and once WalMart came in, the local shops (which provided living wages) started shuttering. It had one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the nation; in the one high school's "Earth Science" class, all the girls were expecting with a single exception.

There's many place where small town life is good, I'll grant you that, but the McDonaldification of the small town America has destroyed any sense of place left.

yesterday
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Helsinki Aims To Obviate Private Cars

Prien715 Living in the country is an anachronism (271 comments)

Back before the days of public sewage, I would understand living the country. Before laws against air pollution, city air was shit. I don't understand why people would ever want to be so distant from one another -- we've a social species. We don't need distant farms at this point.

I love that there's music at night, made live by humans -- and sometimes I even get to dance with the people making it! How in the world are you supposed to find an orchestra to play with in BFE (I play clarinet -- not exactly a great solo instrument)? If you like gardening, there's community gardens all over that I don't need to tend every single day.

Cities are also easier on the environment. By centralizing transportation, waste management, and education, you achieve savings just from the economies of scale. Cities subsidize the rest of the country as it's literally not efficient to have roads/phonelines/internet/etc to nowhere -- destroying the environment in the process. As far as crime, I like having a decent police force so I don't have to own a shotgun.

Issues with racists, idiots, homophobes, and the chain score hellscape that litters small town America -- I have no idea why anyone could ever love such a thing except out of ignorance.

yesterday
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Ask Slashdot: Would You Pay For Websites Without Trolls?

Prien715 Fired for Trolling (381 comments)

I work at a Certain Silicon Valley Tech Company and we recently had an employee fired for trolling.

Essentially, she claimed the right to park in handicap lots (despite not having children for "200 years"), wanted to bring her dogs to work (other people bring their "disgusting kids"), and complained she was severely overworked. Everyone on the thread posted pics of "facepalm" and inviting her to maybe not use the company-wide email list for such things, but she kept on trolling. The next week, someone commented on the thread to note she "no longer works here". Ouch.

Etiquette is as important for most jobs and human interaction as skill set.

3 days ago
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Interviews: Ask Bjarne Stroustrup About Programming and C++

Prien715 Re:Will C++ Continue to be verbose? (425 comments)

I still program in C++ but I have to use Qt as an SDK initially for UI and now just because it makes the language much more concise. Whether it's qSort(anySTLcontainer), QString (which supports unicode, regex, etc), or foreach(int& item, myVector) being legal -- and this is all pre C++11 and still works today (in addition to being just as portable). Having a perl-like circular list which supports O(1) prepends, appends, etc. is really nice too. And don't even get me started on why boost::signals are inferior and lead almost inevitably to instability;) Like any other language however, it's only as good as the people who use it so it's no guarantee of readable code.

I really do need to check out Python some more. I'm fluent in Perl and it's served me well over the years, but I've heard nothing but good about Python.

about a week ago
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Interviews: Ask Bjarne Stroustrup About Programming and C++

Prien715 Re:Will C++ Continue to be verbose? (425 comments)

I don't think so. The simple "for" loop with auto is easily understood by someone with a passing familiarity with any programming language.

I've been programming (mainly in C++, mainly scientific applications) for ~10 years and I had to look up std::iota -- it's a neat construct but it's really obscure and the question is, does it make code more readable? My answer would be no. For the same character count, it's a wash.

That's my main issue with language philosophy really. They're expanding the language quite a bit while some constructs have negligible value -- and entirely avoiding constructs that fit 99% of use cases. Would it have really killed them to not force one to use iterators, for example? Who doesn't sort a whole list (std::sort(myVec) ought to work...we can both agree what that ought to do right? The language tools to do it are there. Is there any other language that is that uselessly pedantic?)?

about a week ago
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Interviews: Ask Bjarne Stroustrup About Programming and C++

Prien715 Re:Will C++ Continue to be verbose? (425 comments)

...but funny thing, here's what your program prints:
0 0 0 0 0 0...etc.

It should read for (auto& x : myVec) x = i++;

The C example I typed without even thinking -- I'm guessing you could too. You've revised the C++ example once already, which happened to be wrong. I spotted your error immediately -- but then again, I have years of experience.

about a week ago
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Interviews: Ask Bjarne Stroustrup About Programming and C++

Prien715 Will C++ Continue to be verbose? (425 comments)

My main criticism of C++ is that it's overly verbose. There are many issues resulting from it (difficult to write, overuse of old school pointers, etc). Let's take the simple for loop (I'm using { in place of "less than" since /. code is retarded):

// C
int myVec[100];
for (int i=0; i { 100; i++) myVec[i]=i;

//Now, let's look at C++ (not 11):
std::vector{int} myVec(100);
for (std::vector{ int }::const_iterator i=myVec.begin(); i != myVec.end(); i++)
{ myVec[i]=i; } // When did you decide this ^^ was a good idea and how drunk were you?

With C++11, it's slightly better:
for (auto i=myVec.begin(); i != myVec.end(); i++) myVec[i]=i;
 
...but it's amazing that C style (1970's) syntax is both the more concise and readable -- but still loses to C:
for (int i=0; i { myVec.size(); i++) myVec[i]=i;

Aside from the addition of auto, do you ever plan on admitting and addressing the language's problems with verbosity -- which hurts readability, learning curve, etc. -- or just keep introducing increasingly arcane features?

about a week ago
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The Benefits of Inequality

Prien715 Math loves to be Anthromorphized! (254 comments)

Terrible summary and title.

From TFA:
Our model predicts that the transition to larger despotic groups will then occur when: (i) surplus resources lead to demographic expansion of groups, removing the viability of an acephalous niche in the same area and so locking individuals into hierarchy; (ii) high dispersal costs limit followers' ability to escape a despot. Empirical evidence suggests that these conditions were probably met, for the first time, during the subsistence intensification of the Neolithic.

So availability of resources to a minority and the inability to escape cause large despotisms, much like CO2 and Greenhouse gases cause global warming. Climate science should be renamed "The Benefits of Global Warming". Or after a man's parachute fails to open he "realizes the benefits of gravity in assisting his painless disassembly".

I know it would be odd to ask for editors to, uh, you know, edit.

about a week ago
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Apple's Diversity Numbers: 70% Male, 55% White

Prien715 Re:Quick rule of thumb (557 comments)

Single white Christian males were enslaved for half of our country's history.
A single white Christian male (who was unarmed and had his hands up) was shot to death by a black police man last week.
The incarceration rate of single white Christian males was over 6 times higher than that of black males, mostly for drug offenses, despite no difference in percentage of drug use. (source)

I continue to be stunned at the entire level of ignorance of oppression displayed in the community. Yes, I'm a black male. At the same time, when I get gas in certain "sundown towns" with my white girlfriend, I see racial disgust.

Anyone who thinks "white culture" is to blame, ought to spend some time in Mississippi, Alabama, or west Texas (Jackson, where a single white Christian male was dragged behind a truck for being white). Or Vidor where less than 0.07 % is white Christian male.

When we see glaring racial disparities, it's best to pretend the problem doesn't exist. The Jim Crow laws, which disenfranchised white people in the south, never mentioned race -- just a fair literacy requirements and a token tax to pay for elections. Why were single white Christian males so offended?

about a week ago
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Every Day Is Goof-Off-At-Work Day At the US Patent and Trademark Office

Prien715 Cheap Salaries yields cheap talent (327 comments)

They earn at the top of federal pay scale, with the highest taking home $148,000 a year.

That's not even the salary of a manager at Google (and don't even talk about benefits -- free food is amazing) -- and this is the highest of salaries. For a lawyer (law school is will run you over $100K by itself). Can you imagine why they may not have the best and brightest? With the new patent office opening in San Jose, why would anyone actually want to work for the USPO who has any amount of talent?

about two weeks ago
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Digia Spinning Off Qt Division Into New Company

Prien715 Re:Can't beat the Micro$oft Machine (59 comments)

I can name some more: Halliburton, Shell, and Pixar.* One application I worked on made over $1 million a week last I heard.

For anyone doing serious 3D scientific computing on Linux, Qt is the de facto standard. Motif is simply awful and Gnome doesn't solve portability.

(*I wrote code that shipped for 2/3 the three companies.)

about two weeks ago
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Ridley Scott to Produce Philip K Dick's The Man In the High Castle

Prien715 Re:Considering his history... (144 comments)

Whedon's quality issue with Avengers is the same one we find with Scott's "Prometheus", Aronofsky's "Noah", or Lucas's "Anal Excretions with Jar Jar Binx".

Too many SFX. I enjoy tech demos as much as the next person, but part of the charm of Firefly was that a low budget forced the team to focus on story, personality, and acting to do what they were trying to do with their special effects. It also forces the creative folk to manage a larger team -- which takes time away from the developing the "soul" of the project.

about three weeks ago
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Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline

Prien715 Re:Radicalization (868 comments)

Hamas and Israel both don't recognize their mutual rights to exist at the moment -- Hamas uses rockets and Israel uses bombs to demonstrate this.

At least Hamas is honest about its intentions.

about three weeks ago
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The Daily Harassment of Women In the Game Industry

Prien715 Crystal Ball (962 comments)

Based on my discussions in the past, I'm guessing the mostly male audience here will say something like "not here" or "I've never seen that". I am reminded of a (financially struggling) friend of mine who posted on her blog talking about the myth of white priviledge and her other (entirely white) friends saying "Right on!". In casting herself as a vicitm, she tried to say that the experiences of minorities were not unique.

No one here, unless you've been a woman, knows what it's like to work in an overwhelmingly male (and foul-mouthed;)) culture. And yes, it's possible to overcome that treatment -- but that doesn't it right.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Many Employees Does Microsoft Really Need?

Prien715 Re:My experience (272 comments)

I don't think at this point that they really have any valid position in the hardware business.

82 million xBox 360 owners can't be wrong right?

about a month ago
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ChickTech Brings Hundreds of Young Women To Open Source

Prien715 Re:many girls are brought up to believe that (158 comments)

So, you are trying to explain the entire disparity with mistreatment by males. I don't buy it...

I follow the data. In numerous other countries, this is not the case. Again, if you have better data, please share (as I did in GP). Otherwise -- buying into the idea of female inferiority with no data to support your assertion -- is precisely the kind of prejudice I'm talking about and you are the perfect example.

about a month ago

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M$ vs MS and My Sig

Prien715 Prien715 writes  |  more than 10 years ago

The M$ vs MS joke was funny the first time I saw it. The second time, not so much. The 3rd time. By now, it's really old and neither witty nor funny. What this spelling does do is remove any hint of journalistic integrity from the poster. Would it be any different if MS spelled Linux "Lunix" every time?

Though I may disagree with some MS business practices and dislike some of their products (*cough* Windows Me *cough*), I think if the OSS community wants respect, it begins with their respecting other people. To respect those who respect you is expected; only by respecting those who disrespect are you truly respectful.

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