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TSA Accepting Public Comments On Whole Body Airport Screening

cervo Israel airport security (223 comments)

In any case I found this fascinating article http://www.internationalpolicydigest.org/2012/06/19/what-israeli-airport-security-teaches-the-world/ that Israel does not have x-ray machines, or taking off your shoes to go in the airport. They have behavioral based interviews. And in the end everyone wants to blow up Israel, and yet I cannot remember hearing of planes crashing into buildings, or even being hijacked. It's really quite amazing. I would cut the security theatre and go do what Israel is doing.... Which seems to be behavioral based interviews and paying attention to how people act.

Also they do a ton of screening on cars. In some US airports, the parking lot is right near the terminal. Drive in a car full of explosive material and you could do a lot of damage. Or even pull right up to the terminal unchecked for dropping bags. In some terminals you could even crash the car right through the glass doors and then go do something..... That's not security.

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: CS Degree While Working Full Time?

cervo Re:I work full time and am getting a CS degree (433 comments)

Actually I'd say the reverse is even more important... I don't have any experience but I have this degree is probably even worse.... You have the best of both worlds so you should be good to go :)

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: CS Degree While Working Full Time?

cervo Re:Strange that the company should comp for educat (433 comments)

Having used tuition benefits, usually you don't just get them for free. Generally you have to work for the company x amount of time after payout or you pay the money back (they won't wait for you to mail a check, most of the time they'll take it right out of your final paycheck(s)). And since the payout tends to be at the end of the semester, they are pretty much keeping you for x amount of time after your training to benefit. At the two jobs I have had which had that benefit, the duration was 1 year. So basically they get the benefit of your "enhanced skill" for 1 year or their money back. Additionally some places have limits that you can only use the benefit after z amount of time employed with the company. So if you figure a 2 year Masters program the employer is probably going to have you stick around for 3-4 years which for some professions (like software developer) is well above the normal length of an employee staying.

about 2 years ago
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Real World Code Sucks

cervo One person's "good" code is not universal (292 comments)

Different people create things that they think constitute "good" code, and to that person it makes perfect sense. But to another person that's an unmaintainable mess or unclear. Fortunately code reviews can help this situation. But sometimes a developer could have spent a lot of work re factoring (really re-designing) parts of a system, and by the time the code review comes, you can spend some time helping make it a little clear, but if the whole design is unclear often you are stuck with it and things go live.

The way much code ends up more readable is by introducing abstractions, but if those abstractions only make sense to one developer (or a group of developers who are all best buds) then they don't really help and can make things more complicated.

In reality some people say 500 line methods are unclear, and often they are. But if the object oriented alternative has really shoddy naming, and people were unreasonable so multiple class hierarchies are involved, each one throwing code in constructors, and multiple methods which often have side effects in multiple objects...that 500 line "bad code" starts looking pretty good to the alternatives. But to the developer who wrote the object oriented solution, his code is good and the 500 line method was a monstrosity.

Sometimes even the same developer changes his/her mind about code being good/bad. Six months ago, it was good, now it sucks....

And there also seems to be no universal agreement. At work they have coding standards, but they are constantly changing. Heck for a while design patterns were considered the stuff.....use them wherever you can. Then design patterns were too complicated....use them sparingly. The definition of good vs unmaintainable mess is constantly changing.

So due to this whole "good" vs "bad" being not universal and the definition of "good" changing over time...it is hard to justify taking the time to do something "right" when often you end up with the same unmaintainable mess. In fact over 4 jobs (about to start number 5) I have not met code that I think is a pleasure to work with or is GREAT. I definitely think some was better than other code, but even that wasn't great. And when I look back at code I did, often I am not thrilled and think I could do better. But the reality is that at the time of designing the system, there was no way to anticipate when things changed, and the deadlines were pretty arbitrary/tight. If someone says you have 1 day to get this web page done....I would start writing inline HTML/Database queries to crank something out probably in 1.5-2 days (and possibly try to convince someone to let me write it in Perl for a 1 day special).

about 2 years ago
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Heathrow To Install Facial Recognition Scanners

cervo Re:Unneeded tech? Photo taken of domestic passenge (114 comments)

Actually that is an example of something that is actually helpful. It's not too ridiculously expensive or unsafe (like bodyscanners using x-rays) and does not really invade your privacy too much (by showing naked pictures or something). I would welcome this system in American airports because it is possible for someone to open a door in a secure area and let someone else in. Really this is just an example of common sense.

more than 3 years ago
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Are You Too Good For Code Reviews?

cervo I WANT code reviews (495 comments)

I have always worked in places that do not work as a team and do not do code reviews. No one cares about software quality, they just want it done and to go home. Code reviews would be a great way to learn things from more experienced developers. IT would be a great opportunity to learn small tips for improving the overall code quality as well as pointing out flaws so I would know what to work on.....

Instead, I had it once and mostly the person just used it to complain about capitalization in SQL Code and a few other punctuation things. No tips for improving the maintenance, making things cleaner, etc. were given. On actual object oriented code I have never been reviewed. Which is sad really because there is much that could be learned about object oriented design. After all if no one is there to say this code is total crap, or fundamentally flawed....it ends up as production code....sorry.

more than 3 years ago
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Promotion Or Job Change: Which Is the Best Way To Advance In IT?

cervo Re:Job Change (247 comments)

Mostly increases are at rate of inflation or slightly more....... Job change tends to be much more of an increase

more than 3 years ago
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Americans Favor Moratorium On New Nuclear Reactors

cervo Re:So uh (964 comments)

I don't know, nuclear has a pretty big downside. Part of the issue is that way too many lapses in safety are allowed. In the Japanese reactors they basically had no business storing that much spent fuel on site. American reactors do the same thing due to the plants being more secure and terrorist concerns. Until these private companies can stop cutting corners and doing things that exceed the design parameters of the reactors, we should not be building new ones. I'm skeptical that any private company has any business running something as dangerous as a reactor because their first concern is profit, not safety. There are reports about many safety lapses on US plants and a lack of enforcement on many regulations. Any one of these lapses could be a disaster and yet they keep coming....After a disaster is a little late to decide oh yeah they had safety violations we should have enforced them, shame on us. Also sometimes the latest reactor designs address previous lessons/concerns learned in nuclear power, but we continue to run outdated designs. In addition to building new plants, some of the existing plants need to be renovated to newer, safer designs. Hopefully they include more shielding for the spent fuel pool....

Overall I favor safe nuclear power, but all the time I would prefer not in my back yard...because if something like this happens I'm screwed. And I'm sure even Obama, every senator, etc. has the same feelings... (well of the guys who support nuclear power). No one wants one of these things in their back yard. if you do then I say let's build one there....I sure don't...

another issue is nuclear waste. The stuff currently lasts hundreds of years. Basically we need to start re-processing to use more of it to both have more fuel and to cut the half life way down. Jimmy Carter was a moron.

What happens when we run out of Uranium? Is Uranium the new Oil of the 22nd or 23rd century? And it's not just uranium, specific isotopes are required, not any old uranium.

more than 3 years ago
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CS Prof Decries America's 'Internal Brain Drain'

cervo Re:Parasitic class overtaking STEM (791 comments)

No offense, but finance math is not that easy. I'll take calculus any day over that. Also the financial industry really likes people with a STEM background as it makes them more analytical. Also from a computer science side, a lot of hedge funds are interested in Algorithmic trading and they are very interested in people with advanced degrees in Computer Science. Nevertheless, the financial industry also likes its H1-B's....

more than 3 years ago
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DHS Eyes Covert Body Scans

cervo No fscking way (386 comments)

And why aren't these people in jail? Really from what I have seen reading experiences, it is obvious that the TSA people definitely enjoy looking at certain people more than others and can even be caught joking about it. It's not really their fault, because many of them are young people, and in their shoes I'm sure I would enjoy scanning that really cute blond too. But this is more about the sex crazed government guys sitting on their poles. Many of them are whining about pornography, that homosexuality is a crime, how dare you cheat on your wife, when it comes out they are doing the same thing.... How about that "family values" governor who ran to Argentina for his mistress. Congresscritters in general seem super hung up on sex and anything to do with it. Just look at what an outrage Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction caused... Or the outrage over the video games.... I really can't believe that they are going along with letting the TSA take all these nude pictures of people. Really they are all a bunch of spineless cowards, just attach think of the children or terrorism and then wooops....

Really my issue is the health. I'm not even a fan of the dentists. I put up with the normal x-rays, but when my dentist got the machine that goes around your head taking picture after picture, I changed dentists. I'm not about to start getting x-rayed all the time. Even if the power is low, if you start adding hundreds of scans per year, you end up being over exposed. And if they do it without you knowing, how do you know how much you are getting? Without data on how much people are being exposed how can you tell if the scans are causing cancer or not? This is my main issue, we know x-rays cause cancer or else the technician would not leave the room when taking them. If they are so safe, they should make a law that every time a TSA agent takes an x-ray of someone, they should have to x-ray themselves.... Then even if they keep using the devices, the TSA goons will start dying off...

more than 3 years ago
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Should Younger Developers Be Paid More?

cervo Re:The Real question is... (785 comments)

I agree that it should not be about age. However a programmer with the company x years probably knows much more about the company's industry and business problems than a fresh grad. Also, a fresh grad will typically not be that experienced in writing code and will make more mistakes and not be ready to go designing large systems (there are exceptions). I graduated college 10 years ago and just finished my Masters and I can say for sure that most senior developers can out program me, because they just have 40+ hours per week of practice in pounding away at code and object oriented analysis/design. I might be able to compute the big O or big theta of an algorithm that they cannot, but they'll turn out tons more maintainable code than me.

I would think the guy experienced in what the company does would be much more productive and write much cleaner code than the guy out of college who maybe had one or two classes on the subject (although there are exceptions....). The college graduate will have to be trained in the company business, the project, how to write maintainable code (honestly most colleges emphasize start up type code, e.g. get the project done NOW, don't worry about maintainability).

more than 3 years ago
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Should Younger Developers Be Paid More?

cervo Re:This isn't an obviously easy question (785 comments)

On point one I agree with you 100%. For some reason companies/recruiters don't believe that you know something unless you have experience with it. In a start up this is not as true. But larger companies want someone with 5 years experience in some obscure library that you might use a single call from. And recruiters will often ignore any skills you put on your resume that are not from a previous job. For example, I know linux, I used to build my own Kernel, I would switch back and forth between linux/windows as I would get annoyed with each operating system. But since recruiters do not see linux experience in a previous job, they assume I don't know it. What's more, most jobs asking for Linux experience just want you to be able to move around the shell and execute gcc/javac/whatever and know how to do a few "cd"'s, "ls"'s, etc....

The other thing is that if somehow the company can be convinced that the developer knows the technology, more often than not there will be no additional compensation. So where is the incentive?

more than 3 years ago
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Should Younger Developers Be Paid More?

cervo Re:As college student studying computer science (785 comments)

I don't use calculus or probability. But I do use combinatorics to assess the run time of algorithms. I also use set theory frequently in databases (union, intersection). Not to mention topological sorting for job scheduling. As a system administrator I would think you might use topological sorting as well in order to compute the schedule for a set of jobs when taking into account their dependencies.

Nevertheless the majority of CS (at least for me) was all math (linear algebra, differential equations, calculus, probability, discrete math, etc.) and I'm not really using super advanced math. But there are some jobs that use it (computer graphics, scientific computing, etc...), I just can't seem to get them :( Hell even data mining (which is becoming more popular in the corporate world) uses some advanced math (a lot of it uses advanced linear Algebra). For example Principle Component Analysis (PCA) which is used to extract a set of features from a dataset is an application of eigenvectors/eigenvalues.

more than 3 years ago
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Should Younger Developers Be Paid More?

cervo Re:Keep up or shut up (785 comments)

Well ask yourself this. Is the boss going to say "We're working on a new project and I want you to learn how to program for the iPhone, I'll make it worth your while with a 30% pay increase if you succeed.". Hell no, he's going to say learn how to program the iPhone and get this done.... It will fall under the scope of your job duties. If you learn it and do it, to reap the benefit you are going to have switch jobs probably.

Financially I would think for the company it would make sense in some cases to set aside an hour a day or even a day a week for the developer to learn the technology on his own, but often they'd rather just get a plug and play solution.

more than 3 years ago
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Should Younger Developers Be Paid More?

cervo Re:Keep up or shut up (785 comments)

There are definitely some people who do not learn anything new since they left college. I don't know that they become useless because a lot of the core programming principles are the same. Many of the same languages have been in use for 10 years or more, ie Java/C/C++. It's true that the frameworks do change and if they aren't able to learn those then there is a problem. Still not everyone needs to know the hottest framework, people who know enough Java or even C++ to maintain old boring business objects have a place as well.

In any case, the reality is that if you read TFA it seems like the guy who complained was the lead developer (you generally have to learn new stuff to get there) and would have been willing to learn the technology, but management said there was no time. For some reason IT management in general seems to favor more plug and play solutions. What's really pathetic is that the mobile application development experience is probably not more than one or two classes at the university in an elective that a developer could probably pick up by reading a book and playing for a month or two.

But let's assume the lead developer learned the mobile application development on his own. Is it realistic to assume the company would pay him 30% more? Would the company give him any sort of compensation at all, or most likely consider it just part of his normal duty to the company? If these skills are so hot, it seems to me the only way to get more money is to jump ship, or have an offer and get the company to make a counter offer. I'm sure the 30% difference is not just not having the mobile skills, often if you stay at a company for a long time your salary stagnates. Most companies give 3-7% raises each year. Jumping jobs nets you 15-20% immediately. If you do it a few times you tend to make way more than someone who stays at the same company.

more than 3 years ago
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Democrats Crowdsourcing To Vote Palin In Primaries

cervo Re:As a voter who normally leans Democrat... (1128 comments)

What if the democrats do this and Palin actually wins the general election? Obama kind of sucks, I wish someone good would challenge him. He has proven himself to be a liar and a spineless coward and to continue many of Bush's existing policies. The only difference between him and Bush seems to be that Bush was an idiot so he had an excuse for his behavior, Obama is not so basically he is just evil!!!

Also he has proven that he ignores what the people want as well so of course they are pissed off. He gave wall street a huge bailout, he rammed his healthcare plan through as well, instead of focusing on jobs for normal americans. I mean come on, how much are people going to take?

Still Palin would be a disaster. And if the democrats vote her as his challenger and he continues pissing enough people off so she wins the election, it will be a disaster. I think Palin is the one politician who is worst than George Bush. I'd vote Ron Paul for president, but some of his policies I don't agree with, like eliminating the FDA.... It may do a shitty job, but it is better than nothing..... But Ron Paul does seem to make sense and have integrity in voting for what he believes. He can be trusted (at least now) to vote in line with his ideals and to not compromise them at all, even if it means he is the only Republican to vote for/against some piece of legislation....

more than 2 years ago
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RubyGems' Module Count Soon To Surpass CPAN's

cervo Re:But Python is shit due to: (206 comments)

I'm sorry I meant http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CPython. Basically the the python interpreter/compiler is implemented in C. So basically while working on the python implementation, there are curly braces due to the C. I don't mean some amalgamation. I mean perhaps he is referring to Guido's rules for contributing to CPython in which case the contributions would be in C.....

more than 3 years ago
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RubyGems' Module Count Soon To Surpass CPAN's

cervo Re:But Python is shit due to: (206 comments)

If you are referring to the C implementation of Python you might want to clarify that. Most people seem to think you are referring to the Python language which doesn't have curly braces.

I am assuming you are talking about C Python language implementation.

more than 3 years ago
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RubyGems' Module Count Soon To Surpass CPAN's

cervo Re:But Python is shit due to: (206 comments)

Maybe he is referring to the C implementation of Python which would be implemented in C and thus have curly braces....

more than 3 years ago
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Hand-Off, Reconnect To Verizon LTE Can Take 2 Minutes

cervo LTE seems like a rip off (53 comments)

first off, this piss poor service that was just advertised. Two minutes to reconnect?? Sounds like it isn't ready for prime time...

Next, look at the per use charges. I'd rather have a slower connection with much hire quotas (or no quota) than a super fast connection with a tiny quota. Good luck to anyone who wants to watch videos.

As it is cell service is a huge rip off, and LTE is even more of a rip off than 3G. But what do you expect from providers who charge a fortune for delivering simple text messages and the rate hasn't gone down as their networks are upgraded...In fact ATT's rate went up (they used to be free to receive, but after the Cingular merger the double charging started....).

more than 3 years ago

Submissions

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Options for organizing/searching notes

cervo cervo writes  |  more than 4 years ago

cervo (626632) writes "What is the best way to organize/search notes on computer systems, configuration parameters, business issues, SQL queries, etc... Wikis seem a pain to maintain the markup. Also, as information changes it is hard to find all the relevant articles to change the material, so I tend to end up with outdated data which is often worse than none. I tend to lose notepad pages, or just be unable to locate the information. A project log with dates of information on each project is not good because often a small obscure piece of information in one project will apply to multiple other projects. Notepad files also get hard to organize as they become too long or I end up with too many of them.

The best thing I have for keeping information is e-mail. However I use outlook and its search can basically only look for text/phrases and is kind of slow. Also each year I archive into archive files which take forever to open. Opening/searching 3 or 4 years of history is a really expensive operation. For the inbox it is helpful to sort by person and then locate a project e-mail, then sort by date and find other e-mails around that time relating to the project. But on the outbox sort by person is not consistent since sometimes e-mails are sent with other people in the to/cc field which changes the sort order. Unfortunately as time marches on it gets harder to remember who might have e-mail about a specific project (say 2 years later) so I definitely need a better searching system. Also not all information is in e-mail and often there is a lot of noise (4-10 e-mails can all convey one small idea easily stated in a few words).

So what is a good solution to keep information on multiple projects organized so that it can be efficiently found and easily understandable. When I leave my job I would love to pass the information onto the next person and have them able to quickly jump in and use all that information to get up to speed quickly.

Also my employer is "financially sensitive" in the sense that I would be lucky if I could even spend $50. Still I would still be interested in learning the best expensive solutions as well as the free and low cost. If a solution was really that great, I might even spend my own money on it (and just export the data for my employer when I leave). I would definitely be interested in more open formats so that I don't lose all my notes if a vendor goes out of business.

But ideally instead of having to think when doing a task about all the little gotchas and details (and often missing a few) I would like to be able to just search my notes and come up with the list of things that might potentially interfere and need checking. I would also love to organize the adhoc SQL queries I do for people so I can easily look them up and run them rather then having to rewrite them all the time."
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Google releases Nexus One with 3G on AT&T/Roge

cervo cervo writes  |  more than 4 years ago

cervo (626632) writes "Google has released a new nexus one with support for the ATT/Rogers 3G bands. Great news for those unhappy with ATT's lackluster android support thus far.... Unfortunately it is only available unlocked at $529 currently."
Link to Original Source

Journals

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Employment Situation

cervo cervo writes  |  more than 3 years ago

It seems I am in a bit of a tough spot. I just got my Masters degree, but no one is interested in hiring me to be a developer because I am too experienced... Though I have done some .NET development (mostly ASP.NET pages) alongside mostly database stuff (SQL Server stored procedures/etc.) I definitely never had experienced developers giving any feedback about design...so basically there is none. But at the same time I can't be hired for Junior/Entry level jobs because I have too much experience. Also I can't afford the pay cut that some imply. At the same time I do know a more than an entry level developer, just not for a specific platform. It's tough though because though I can "know" Java, C++, Python, etc. I have 0 work experience with any (except I have used Python on some scripts...). Core Java is no problem, but Spring, Hibernate, Struts, etc. I don't know. And I can't go learning every single Java framework in a bid for a job because there are too many. Also even learning on my own, most jobs I see want 2-5 years work experience with each framework...and I have none.

What I'd really like is a job on a team with more experienced developers who can tell me my code sucks, or my code is good, and give me tips for improving the design/readability. Where I work now there is no design on .NET code, just a bunch of functions. I read about Design Patterns, Object Oriented Design, etc. but I'm not sure where they fit in. I'm reading about Domain Driven Design, but it seems like without the support of management/the customer there is no real making of a domain model and an ubiquitous language. The best companies that seem to have this are a bit of design bigots and that's okay...but they want object oriented design/domain driven design experts coming in and do not care for anyone who has not worked in such a place to become an expert.

I really despise database development. SQL stored procedures (at least on SQL Server) make me jealous of even C. Since Java and C++ (and even Python/Perl) are way more advanced than that, this is pretty pathetic. Really I think business logic in stored procedures is a horrible idea. Because when you try to wrap things in small functions that do one task, your performance suffers. In SQL Server if you cut/paste the same expression into 10 queries, they tend to run much quicker than if you wrap an expression in a UDF. Really to do things clearly it would work better if you had a program building the SQL and abstracting the expressions. Kind of like how for longer Regular Expressions you start wrapping pieces of the expression inside of functions. But in any case the other sad part is that I always liked to program since QBasic and now I seem locked out....

At least I bought a web domain so now I can fiddle around with Python/DJango and stuff and maybe someday get a job doing that through a project profile...

Still I can't help but wonder if things would be better if I moved to Seattle/California. There jobs seem to be worded more sensibly asking for general programming experience as opposed to 10 years in platform x, 5 years in frameworks y, z and 2 years experience in frameworks a, b, c, d.... In New York it seems with the way job ads are, even if you have 10 years experience in .NET then switch to Java for 2 years, then go job hunting again, you will not be able to find a Java Job easily because most Java Jobs ask for 5 years experience at least in Java plus tons of specific frameworks (either some EJB Server or Spring)....

In any case I think the most important thing is to find a team of more experienced developers and switch to working there so I can learn from them. I don't think Object Oriented design/Software Architecture is something you can learn entirely from books. I think you need to work with more experienced people and learn from them... Also people who actually care about things. Where I work now everything is a silo and no one cares if things can be done better... They just want to get stuff done, go home, and not talk about it. Even if things totally suck they don't care as long as it is done....

I'll admit I also want to leave because the place moved from NJ to NYC turning my commute from 30 minutes to 2 hours each way. But I would be willing to accept a job in NYC for the right company (although in NYC I need a much higher salary than in NJ). But I'd prefer to find a fun company doing something interested in NJ....

Also it's hard to convince anyone that they should hire me as a developer when I don't think I'm not that good. In the Masters program I was better than most of my classmates, at least in as far as getting projects done. And at my first job fresh out of college I was better than most people there whose code was even worse than mine. Unfortunately that sucked because out of college you don't know how to break apart programs or design clearly and often you get that knowledge as feedback during code reviews and bouncing ideas off of more senior people. There senior meant x years of working experience. And at the companies where senior seems to mean knows how to write/design/architect clear, correct, simple, maintainable software I can't even get a junior developer job....

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