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Mark Zuckerberg Speaks Mandarin At Tsinghua University In Beijing

Shados Re:'Notoriously difficult' - really? (209 comments)

English is not my native language (French is), but as virtually anyone in engineering has to, i learnt it. It didn't take that long or much effort, no real format training...just guessing at the word's meanings when playing video games and watching TV and eventually I picked it up... now I live in the US and most people can't tell I'm not a native speaker unless they see my first name. My writing could be better, as you probably can see, but I'm even worse in French, so its more that I suck at writing in general.

I tried learning Chinese (my wife is Chinese, so I'm immersed in it a lot). Unless you know a lot already, guessing the meaning of a written word is almost impossible, since its pretty binary: either you know that character, either you don't. People who know a lot can somewhat guess from comparing against all the words they know, there's some patterns, but still. It obviously also affects writing, though you can use input systems that use latin characters...you should won't know if you made a mistake.

Talking though, you don't have that issue, and the grammar is easy, but the tone system is very foreign to someone only used to western languages. Thus what happened as per the summary. He was able to speak, but sounded like a kid. Learning how to speak it is easy, but not sounding like a westerner is very difficult. At least it wasn't Cantonese :)

Thats probably what they meant.

yesterday
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NPR: '80s Ads Are Responsible For the Lack of Women Coders

Shados Re:Systematic bias, but also something else (765 comments)

Boys still have the relentless pressure. There's just less of a social trend to try to change it, so people don't even see it. Act a little weak? Get ready to be tossed in the trash can. Interested in books instead of football? LOL!. God forbid your favorite color be pink. And it also starts very, very early.

It comes from everywhere. Advertisement, TV shows, friends, school... you can't avoid it. And then there's probably SOME biological factor...at the end of the day we're just very complex chemical reactions-based machines, but machines just the same. No sane woman would agree to go through giving birth without some pretty strong biological programming/instinct.

I think the "trick" isn't to fight it, but to embrace it with some steering. There's a lot of unisex toys and crafts that will fall into the silly gender bucket, but steer them toward more diverse options. Think Lego Mindstorm for example. And if they like dolls, get them both the ones advertised to them and action figures (if you try and only buy "boy toys", it backfires because they want what they cant have...but if you get everything, they'll stop caring about the difference and make their own choices...). If they like cooking, you can encourage them to experiment, which ends up being chemistry.

3 days ago
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The One App You Need On Your Resume If You Want a Job At Google

Shados Re:Who wants to work for Google nowadays? (205 comments)

Changing job is always a gamble. Your next place could be better, it could be worse. By the time you know if you got lucky or not, its too late.

Never leave a job you're happy with unless you have a HELL of a good reason. Money rarely is a good reason unless its an absurd amount.

4 days ago
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The One App You Need On Your Resume If You Want a Job At Google

Shados Re:Who wants to work for Google nowadays? (205 comments)

All companies have slightly different promotion processes, but its a small world, and everyone ends up working everywhere, knowing each other, and trading notes. Google's promotion process is nothing uncommon. You just didn't happen to work somewhere that had a similar one, thats all. I only worked for 3~ Big Bank (tm), 2 of which had a very very similar process, the other did not. Maybe my sample just isn't representative. There are thousands of companies out there after all :) About about a 1/4th of other companies where Ive been had a very similar process. Thats just what I'm basing myself on. Your millage may vary.

Once you're talking 130-180k/year, no one moves jobs for the pay. The difference between making 140k or making 180k isn't going to change your quality of life enough to leave a job that wouldn't be as good. Thats why you'll never see someone switch away from Google for money.

For the rest, it depends what you compare to. If you're comparing to other companies that are similar, of course the pay will be similar. I live a block away from the Google office in Cambridge, so 75% of people I know work there or have worked there, half of which have moved between the Silicon Valley office and here. Quite a few are downright geniuses that could move anywhere and ask for a fortune, yet they're T4-T6, often making a lot less money than me, even though I couldn't dream of doing their job.

5 days ago
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JavaScript and the Netflix User Interface

Shados Re:Browser Apps are NOT desktop apps (194 comments)

A lot of AAA videogames have been done single threaded. Web apps can be done the same way.

Have the action change the state, and use requestAnimationFrame to update the UI nicely, v synced. 60 frames per second is enough to feel snappy. Of course, all I/O is already happening asynchronously, and for the very few cases that are left, you can use workers.

about a week ago
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JavaScript and the Netflix User Interface

Shados Re:Browser Apps are NOT desktop apps (194 comments)

Atom editor isn't as good as more mature equivalents, but its close.

Adobe has a tool to create responsive website mockups thats also all in javascript/html while still being a desktop app, I forget its name.

A lot of stuff is done in Node-Webkit, and in many cases you probably don't even know.

about a week ago
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The One App You Need On Your Resume If You Want a Job At Google

Shados Re:Who wants to work for Google nowadays? (205 comments)

It will mainly depends where you come from... Google was unique a few years ago, but now a lot of companies are "cool", and Google has a lot more silly bullshit process than many others (ie: the promotion process, which has a lot in common with how big banks do it for engineers...and thats not a good thing).

For the pay, its because the tiers are shifted. An engineer lvl 2 (making up titles, read between the line) at Google is paid the same as a lvl 2 engineer elsewhere... but a lvl 2 at Google could be a lvl 3 or more elsewhere, and thus be paid a heck of a lot more. That made sense and was fine when Google was unique, but I guess they did a bit too good of a job at spreading their culture.

about a week ago
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The One App You Need On Your Resume If You Want a Job At Google

Shados Re:Who wants to work for Google nowadays? (205 comments)

Its no longer "THE" place to work, for sure, but they do have all the nice perks and benefits and all the on-site stuff, interesting problems, and interesting culture. You also don't have to worry TOO much about them hiring a few retards that never get fired (at least not on the engineering side).

There's a lot of companies that provide the above, but not that many are well established with as many benefits (usually they'll be "profitable startups"). So while its not the "OMG OMG OMG OMG I NEED TO WORK AT GOOGLE" scenario anymore, its still on the list of places to consider.

Of course, then you have their "1 size fit all, basically random depending on who does the interview" interview process to go through, so it may not be worth the trouble, unless you're feeling lucky.

about a week ago
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As Prison Population Sinks, Jails Are a Steal

Shados Re:great news. (407 comments)

Just be a software engineer in one of the tech hubs. Problem -> solved.

Its still going to sting, because SOME companies have automatic policies, but I used to work with a guy who, we eventually found out (there was no BG check at that company) was a convicted felon, and if you googled his name, the FIRST thing that came up was a picture of his mug shot and a lot of details on what he did (it was pretty bad).

He eventually got fired (for completely unrelated reasons...ie: he was terrible), and got a job 2 weeks later FOR A BANK (again as a software engineer). He's still there as far as I can tell.

Companies in the booming tech areas are desperate.

about a week ago
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Mixing Agile With Waterfall For Code Quality

Shados Re:Agile is the answer to everything (133 comments)

Joke aside, that's basically the issue. "You're doing it wrong". Now there's various flavors of Agile, and one size doesn't fit all. But often, when people use "hybrids", instead of using the best of both worlds, they use the worse.

So we want sprints, but I can't just let my engineers work unchecked! So we'll have a full day planning meeting every 2 weeks, and a checkpoint meeting every week. The daily standups are going to last 45 minutes, and the PM will also have a 20 minute talk with each individual every day to see if anything changed during the day!

Now, I also want the full design documents and architecture up front, before the sprint start, lets have everyone sign off on it, and if anything changes, we'll just extend the sprint. /true story, happened at my last job...I quit a month and a half in.

Nothing is set in stone and each company has to figure out what will work for them...but virtually all the "hybrid methodologies" or pseudo-agile I've worked in only took the parts of Agile that suck, slapped in the worse parts of Waterfall on top, then wondered why it was a shit show.

about a week ago
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Torvalds: I Made Community-Building Mistakes With Linux

Shados Re:Society hypocrisy.... (387 comments)

That doesn't change my point though: that his argument would be just as strong, valid and convincing otherwise. The strength of Linus' arguments come from the details and the logic trail he puts out when he argues. My personal favorites are when he argues Git design decisions.

Without the language and offences, the amount of people he convinces wouldn't change. AT ALL.

At which point its literally just a matter of self control.

Now before you think I'm just a delicate little flower: I'm probably far worse than Linus in that regard. That doesn't change that its unnecessary. Best case scenario, it changes absolutely nothing (see above), worse case some people get defensive and miss the point completely.

about a week ago
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Torvalds: I Made Community-Building Mistakes With Linux

Shados Re:Society hypocrisy.... (387 comments)

Its a balance. The important part is knowing when and how to be assertive. Being an arrogant asshat is a variation of that for sure, and it will work to some extent, but the important part is that you're assertive, not that you act like a 9 years old who just learnt "bad" words.

If you know your stuff, you assert that you know your stuff, and can make coherent arguments, you'll get somewhere.

Take any of Linus' more famous mailing list arguments where he rips someone to shred, remove the "offensive" words, and the argument would still stand on its own and he would still have "won" those arguments hands down, in the vast majority of cases.

Heck, I'd dare say if you act like a little kid when arguing, you need to be 2x as good and have an even more solid argument for anyone to take you seriously.

about a week ago
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Torvalds: I Made Community-Building Mistakes With Linux

Shados Re:Society hypocrisy.... (387 comments)

I'd say growing a thicker skin is probably as important as having enough self control and creativity to get your point across without using extra words that don't add a whole lot to the discussion.

ie: if your neighbors above your apartment are too loud, you should get used to dealing with noise, but they ALSO shouldn't have their sound system at max.

about a week ago
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For Game Developers, It's About the Labor of Love

Shados Re:I hate this strategy of justifying exploitation (164 comments)

Purely supply and demand. The amount of people who go in computer science or what have you to start making games is crazy. Stupid mini-games aside, the effort/knowledge/skill it takes to make even an average game is absurd compared to most other type of applications, yet programmers flock to that industry in droves. That lets companies be more picky.

This is in contrast to average, more business-oriented fields (law, banking, data, etc), that can be interesting if you're into that stuff, but doesn't have the same kind of appeal. Very very few people get out of school thinking "Damn, i can't wait to write the next stack to handle SWIFT messages!". Thats why developers working for big banks in NYC make a crazy amount of money.

There's no money to be made in a field a lot of people find fun/easy/exciting, because too many people are willing to do it for peanuts (there's a reason so many open source projects have terrible UI... very few people get excited about UX development). Find a niche that interests you if you want to make money.

You can't be a special snowflake if you look like every other snowflake.

about a week ago
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After Negative User Response, ChromeOS To Re-Introduce Support For Ext{2,3,4}

Shados Re:Well, thanks, (183 comments)

They probably have pretty extensive usage statistics that made it easy to push down in priority until it totally fell off the list of things worth doing.

At that time, bad publicity wasn't part of the metric. Now it is. Thats probably all there is to it.

about a week ago
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Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

Shados Re:Rich guy says don't tax capital... (838 comments)

Hmm, there is still a point in it. When you tax consumption, you can very easily target segments. Like, if you don't tax unprocessed food and clothes (something that is already common), you help the poors a lot. If you tax the shit out of high end cellphones and luxury cars, you then specifically target rich people, without hurting those who buy a phone just to talk and cars just to get to work.

The primary issue with it obviously is that if people change their spending habits because of taxes, they then hurt businesses, who hire less people, and you go full circle.

about a week ago
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Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

Shados Re:Income inequality is bad because ... (838 comments)

The harm is very similar to why you want everyone having access to health care.

Basically, if everyone was rational and calculating, it wouldn't be an issue. Its just offer and demand, the market, the result of your situation, and some luck.

The problem is that humans being humans, and by their very nature, will not always want to take responsibility for getting in a situation (and sometimes they really are not at fault...where you're born for example factors heavily).

You could say "Well, either work harder or just accept it". But they won't (well, some won't). They'll take shortcuts. Some will start selling drugs and weapons, some will become pimps, some will take a gun and go hit a bank. Then the person worth $1,000,000 come back home to learn his 12 years old daughter got raped.

When people aren't jealous, they're much much MUCH less likely to do something stupid, and that's better for everyone.

Again, like I said, its like why you need everyone to have health insurance. In a perfect world, some people would get it if they want, some wouldn't...the ones that didn't would sometime get sick, not be able to afford it, and die. That would be their choice to make. But its not how it happens. They take a risk, then when their 3 years old son gets sick and they can't afford the hospital, they take a gun and get the money, or they start manifesting and saying they're owed health care anyway. Its just easier for everyone to make sure no one ends up in that situation.

Basically, humans are emotional, irrational being by their very nature, including you and me, no matter how much we'd like to pretend otherwise, and a society built assuming everyone is logical and will accept the consequence of their decisions will simply fall apart, have crazy crime rate, etc.

about a week ago
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Microsoft's JavaScript Engine Gets Two-Tiered Compilation

Shados Re:WebGL disabled due to unresolved driver issues (46 comments)

You took that out of context and read too much into it. My statement wasn't only about targeting newer browsers, but when you have some form of control over a small, focused user base.

If your target audience is data scientists in big companies (that was the scenario i had in mind, based on a real product we shipped), 99.9 (I almost want to say 100%) of our target audience (a few hundreds users across a couple companies) was running less than 2 years old Macbook Pros. That worked quite nicely.

Sure, once you start growing and widening your target audience you'd start needing some kind of fallback...but the way we saw it, it was like if you were making 3d Studio Max or Maya or whatever... you can assume a certain level of hardware from your users.

about a week ago
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Microsoft's JavaScript Engine Gets Two-Tiered Compilation

Shados Re:That's great (46 comments)

Yeah, especially older ("more mature") systems tend to have those restrictions, because ERP developers usually prioritize "crossing the checkboxes" (ie: feature bloat) over good engineering. There's a few that have more forward thinking approaches...

about a week ago

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