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Comments

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Does Learning To Code Outweigh a Degree In Computer Science?

cshark Here's my 3800 satoshi (546 comments)

As someone who learned how to code without school, and gradually since the early days of the internet, I think I come to the table as someone with a lot of practical experience on this subject. Practical experience is great. But when you are a self taught programmer, you're (at least initially) going to speak a slightly different dialect than your counterparts that spent years in school learning how to do this stuff. And that's okay, because it's something that's workable.

You're also going to end up with a lot of experience that revolves around the way you think, and the way you, personally, happen to solve problems. This is going to be an issue for you until you have about a decade of experience or so in the corporate world. The advantage here, is that there will be certain areas where you run circles around the college guys, which is great for your ego, and strong egos are important in young programmers.

The drawback is that there are going to be other areas where the college guys can expound on a subject at length, and you'll have no idea what they're talking about. If you're smart enough to keep up, you'll get it; just bear in mind that there will be things that you'll have to begin learning that the college guys spent half a decade studying.

The best thing you can do, as someone who teaches yourself code is remember that everything you're doing, and everything you have done is part of the learning process. Unlike a lot of the guys who earn degrees, you're never going to stop learning, and for simple reasons of economy, you're going to have to remain faster, stronger on the practical matters of your trade, and more open minded to changing platforms and workflows than your counterparts. This is what makes you competitive in the marketplace.

In the event that you do end up going back to school, usually because you've convinced yourself that you need an expensive piece of paper, I urge you not to make the mistake that I've seen some of the best self taught programmers make. Don't unlearn what you know. Don't forget what you've done, or the practical experience you have. Just because you happened to hear it in a CS lecture doesn't necessarily mean that this is the most accurate or up to date information on any given subject.

If you decide not to pursue the academic route (like I did), my best advice would be to take your craft seriously. Young programmers are like cats with imposter complexes, and they can make the mistake of seeing other programmers as competition. What I'm telling you is that you need to run directly against that instinct, and go out of your way to find good mentors. Most people that would mentor you work day jobs, and with a little cyber stalking, it's not really especially difficult to get yourself on their teams.

Comb through big open source or high profile proprietary products that you can verify are much stronger programmers than you, who may work in areas you're interested in. Seek these people out, stalk them, try to learn from them. Apply for jobs where they work. Try to get jobs on those teams. Then... learn how to take orders, and let them teach you what they know about programming and life. Of all of the options available to you as a programmer, this is the most challenging. But in my experience, it yields the greatest rewards... even if it is an exercise in humility at times.

There will be days when you feel the job has beaten the shit out of you, but that's how you know you're learning.

Don't give up.
Don't pretend you don't belong there. It's never your place to make that call.
Rinse, repeat.
Do this for a years, and you'll be among the best.

Hope that helps.

about a month ago
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Japanese Firm Showcases "Touchable" 3-D Technology

cshark Neato (41 comments)

This is cool, but the Israelis are ten generations beyond this.

about a month ago
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Should police have cameras recording their work at all times?

cshark Re:video out of contex (455 comments)

We're already there my friend. That's the problem they're trying to solve. When a beat cop has the power to be judge jury and executioner, there's something seriously wrong with the system.

about a month ago
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Should police have cameras recording their work at all times?

cshark Re:Public Transparency (455 comments)

Exactly. That would be the ideal setup, but I don't think that's going to happen.

about a month ago
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Should police have cameras recording their work at all times?

cshark Re:Cameras reduce problems for everyone (455 comments)

Of course, it helps if it is working. That way, if there's ever a disagreement about the events, you can refer back to the footage and make a sound decision about it.

about a month ago
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Should police have cameras recording their work at all times?

cshark Re:Cameras reduce problems for everyone (455 comments)

Or maybe the LAPD stopped beating people for the crime of being poor because they knew they were on camera? That is the more likely explanation since it is the simplist, and since it has been proven that over 80% of the LAPD are Republicans so they hate minorities and want them dead. That is the way of their kind.

Have you been watching the news the last decade or so? Missouri cops are far more dangerous than the LAPD on their best day. Three summary executions this month. As a point of fact, most people in California are Liberals, so it stands to reason that the police force is demographically liberal as well... unless you've got some kind of evidence to the contrary. Would love to know what "proven" means here. And even if you were right, you're still talking about California Republicans, which would be considered "far left" in a place like Austin, or anywhere outside of California, if you want to be intellectually honest about it.

Of course they're going to beat fewer people when on camera. They're too cowardly to stand-up for what they believe, which is that minorities need to be beaten.

And in what way do you perceive that as being a good thing? But do you seriously believe this nonsense?

Of course if they had enough morals to stand-up for what they believe, then wouldn't be idiot Republicans in the first place.

No, you're absolutely right. They would be self entitled, racist liberals, that spew offensive dribble like this on Slashdot.

about a month ago
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Should police have cameras recording their work at all times?

cshark Re:No (455 comments)

I haven't been constantly monitored at work for awhile, but I've never been given a gun and permission to kill people either. We either need to monitor police officers on the job; especially in dangerous situations, or we need to strip them of their right to kill.

about a month ago
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Should police have cameras recording their work at all times?

cshark Why would we not want this? (455 comments)

At the very least, we should be able to audit whatever a police officer does in the line of duty. A single $900 camera can stop a riot. Somehow, we've got the money to outfit these guys with military equipment, but we're balking at cheap cameras? Come on now.

about a month ago
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In Maryland, a Soviet-Style Punishment For a Novelist

cshark Re:Sue the bastards (441 comments)

I wonder, are they holding him as a witness to a crime that doesn't happen for 900 years? How are they taking this seriously?

about a month ago
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Anita Sarkeesian, Creator of "Tropes vs. Women," Driven From Home By Trolls

cshark Re: Her work (1262 comments)

At the end of the day, whether or not you play video games is a choice. You have the right to decide not to buy a game. You have the right not to agree with the context or subject of the game. What Anita does is assume that since she's offended, that the games have no right to exist.

about a month ago
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Anita Sarkeesian, Creator of "Tropes vs. Women," Driven From Home By Trolls

cshark Re:Her work (1262 comments)

Is awful. Her "points" are silly, and I wouldn't be surprised if this was a sham put on by her to get more attention.

Whose word do we have on this other than hers? Answer: Nobodys.

about a month ago
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Anita Sarkeesian, Creator of "Tropes vs. Women," Driven From Home By Trolls

cshark Bullshit (1262 comments)

This is a woman who has been caught lying about this kind of thing in the past. She's getting criticism, she doesn't like it, or know how to deal with it; so she makes up stories like this. She's done it before. She's been caught. Don't buy into this woman's attention whoring.

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

cshark Re:Don't reinvent the Wheel (548 comments)

Hard to say. I would almost consider building new wheels to be part of the learning process for a new programmer. And I think there's value in it. Not just in the base problem solving skills that comes with re-inventing the wheel a few times, but in the perspectives that come along with it. If you don't re-invent the wheel at least a couple of times, then you will have no basis for forming a valid opinion on the best way to implement a wheel. Which, granted, may not sound like much, but it makes a difference in so many other areas. Besides, even when you're talking about literal wheels, those get re-invented all the time. If they weren't we would never have gotten innovations like the rubber tire, or the memory foam insert for armored cars. We would still have wooden wagon wheels, which, while useful, aren't especially interesting or versatile. I think, in the long run, the same is true for code. If someone wants to write a big new shopping cart product, based on what they think are the best practices for such an implementation... let them. If someone wants to think out a new way to write a blog, or send an email, that's fine too. If I were bringing young guys onto my team, I would honestly prefer to work with people who had that kind of experience, over people that didn't. Just my 3800 satoshi.

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

cshark The other thing... (548 comments)

The other thing I wish I had known earlier as a programmer is that while open source is nice for developing skillsets, it's also nice to make a few bucks with the things I create. Had I been a little more business minded in my early years as a programmer, I would have been a lot richer, a lot sooner. This also relates back to mentoring. As a young programmer, it's very important to seek out and work with grizzly old programmers who have been where you are, and experienced the things you might be trying to figure out right now. Personally, I didn't even realize I needed mentors until about five years in. I should have looked for them earlier.

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

cshark Personally??? (548 comments)

I wish I had learned C as my first language instead of Visual Basic. It would have saved me years of headaches.

about a month ago
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Are Altcoins Undermining Bitcoin's Credibility?

cshark Hate to be the one to point this out... (267 comments)

But they said the exact same thing about Linux distributions in the 90's, after the post Redhat influx of distros. What we learned from that experience, and some of us knew it at the time, was that the more people you have working in their own isolated environments, solving the problems that are important to them... the more innovation you have in the greater Linux space. It's the trickle down effect in open source software, and it's what makes a product or product ecosystem stronger. And we're seeing the same effect in the Bitcoin space. Just look at the proliferation of Scrypt variation, Gravity wells, different variations on proof of work, proof of stake, and others. Like Linux, Bitcoin is more than a bundle of software products, it's an entire ecosystem. To dismiss that, and say that there should only be about Bitcoin seriously misses the way open source innovation works. The rest is all marketing, which is bullshit by definition.

about a month and a half ago
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Microsoft Considered Renaming Internet Explorer To Escape Its Reputation

cshark Never never never. (426 comments)

I don't care if they did have a change of heart on the name, and released a version for Linux.
I'm still not installing the fucking thing.

about a month and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Are Online Job Applications So Badly Designed?

cshark It's like this.... (278 comments)

The old world job applications were not designed to let you highlight your skills or paste specific sections of your resume. The text boxes were built too small, and it was intentional. That’s because the objective of the old world job application was not to learn about your skills and competencies. To put it bluntly, they were designed to see how well you follow written instructions.

The technology we have now was inconceivable when these old job applications were created, but the objective of the application stays the same whether you’re writing one out on paper, or filling out an online form. If you've reached a point where the form is timing out, you’re either over thinking the thing, giving answers that are too thoughtful for the context, or you’re not going in prepared.

I can tell by the wording of the question that you've got entirely the wrong mindset. Applications are not resumes. Think of it like the good parts version, know that ahead of time, and you should be able to fill out just about any application in a few minutes.

about a month and a half ago
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Network Hijacker Steals $83,000 In Bitcoin

cshark Re:That's okay.... (101 comments)

And it's just now that they've caught it?

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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cshark cshark writes  |  more than 7 years ago

cshark (673578) writes "Yep, the Actionscript virtual machine is going to be open sourced. Code named Tamarin according to the adobe press release, they're promising to implement the ECMAscript 4 standard. Very interesting."
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cshark cshark writes  |  more than 7 years ago

cshark (673578) writes "A friend of mine was teaching me about the principle of abandoned property. In his example, he stated that (in most states) garbage when thrown away falls under this principle. In theory, he stated, anyone could legally go into your garbage can and take whatever they like with no fear of legal reprisal.

I'm not really sure if that's an urban myth, as my brother was arrested in Colorado for dumpster diving. It seems to me that regular property (assuming the above paragraph is true) can be regulated by the state, as New York (for example, I don't actually know this) may have no rule against it, while it is a priority in Colorado.

So that got me thinking...
If it is possible to consider regular property abandoned and free to the public, can the same principle be applied to digital property? Theoretical example: a software company puts out a small program or utility, it doesn't sell, and they stop selling it. Could one legally distribute the software? It's been abandoned, discarded the same way regular property would be.

Or, say someone reserves a domain name, puts up a web site, does not register a copyright formally, but notes the copyright for the content of the domain as property of the domain name itself. If they allow the domain to expire (without trademarking it), and I reserve that domain name... do I then have the right to use the original content of that domain name?

Is there any precedent for this that I can read up on?
Just curious.

Thanks."
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cshark cshark writes  |  more than 7 years ago

cshark (673578) writes "Back to square one.
Need to research linux distros later, or else I'll be downloading crap for weeks.

Figured out how to solve the networking problem.
Free BSD will compile and run (sort of). It will run well enough to get to the point where I can download new sources.

Now, let's see how long it takes to get it right!
heh heh.

More to come."
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cshark cshark writes  |  more than 7 years ago

cshark (673578) writes "I toasted my Windows instalation recently. Don't really know how it happened this time. Network analysis indicates a script kitty, but no way to be sure.

So I figured this would be a great opportunity to give PC-BSD another shot. Heard the new version has better hardware support, and I'm running a much less esoteric setup this time. Just one thought. Why the hell aren't the kernel sources included in the base install?!

Here's my thinking.
I live in an older house with two phone jacks and cable wiring on the first floor only. So my options for connectivity are limited. Luckily, there's a DSL boosting station two blocks from the house, so DSL gets decent speed around here. I run my connection through a Linksys router, which would work under PC-BSD with Project Evil (which happens to be built in) and porting the driver. Sounds good, works extremely well. Driver make file gets set up, but in order to install it, I need to re-compile ther Kernel.

There doesn't seem to be link to the kernel sources anywhere. When I tried the PC-BSD message boards, the best anyone could tell me was "Click the refresh sources" button under settings, and download them from the web. Argh!

If I could download them from the Web in the first place, I wouldn't need to download the sources to begin with.

The Free BSD and Net BSD sources are available for download, but they're just different enough to break PC-BSD if I tried to use them to re-compile the Kernel.

So now I'm going through the liteny of live CD's, looking for something compatible.
First Ubuntu (dapper version), serious driver problems, Gnome only, I seem to need KDE for Wireless support.

Knoppix still won't boot.

Morphix and Phase both cause my Trinitron screen to do very bad things.
Freespire hangs and won't do much of anything.
Debian mirrors won't seem to complete a download.

On to Slax live CD.
The kill bill edition looks promosing.

I'll keep you posted."

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