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When Customer Dissatisfaction Is a Tech Business Model

jammag jammag writes  |  about 4 months ago

jammag (1021683) writes "A new trend has emerged where tech companies have realized that abusing users pays big. Examples include the highly publicized Comcast harassing service call, Facebook "experiments," Twitter timeline tinkering, rude Korean telecoms — tech is an area where the term "customer service" has an Orwellian slant. Isn't it time customer starting fleeing abusive tech outfits?"
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Does Heartbleed Disprove 'Open Source is Safer'?

jammag jammag writes  |  about 8 months ago

jammag (1021683) writes ""Almost as devastating is the blow Heartbleed has dealt to the image of free and open source software (FOSS). In the self-mythology of FOSS, bugs like Heartbleed aren't supposed to happen when the source code is freely available and being worked with daily. As Eric Raymond famously said, 'given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow'...Tired of FOSS's continual claims of superior security, some Windows and OS X users welcome the idea that Heartbleed has punctured FOSS pretensions. But is that what has happened?""
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The Burning Bridges of Ubuntu

jammag jammag writes  |  1 year,21 days

jammag (1021683) writes ""Whether Ubuntu is declining is still debatable. However, in the last couple of months, one thing is clear: internally and externally, its commercial arm Canonical appears to be throwing the idea of community overboard as though it was ballast in a balloon about to crash." So claims a top Linux pundit, pointing out instances of community discontent and apparent ham-handeness on Mark Shuttleworth's part. Yet isn't this just routine kvetching in the open source community?"
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Are We Witnessing the Decline of Ubuntu?

jammag jammag writes  |  about a year ago

jammag (1021683) writes ""When the history of free software is written, I am increasingly convinced that this last year will be noted as the start of the decline of Ubuntu," opines Linux pundit Bruce Byfield. After great initial success, Ubuntu and Canonical began to isolate themselves from the mainstream of the free software community. Canonical, he says, has tried to control the open source community, and the company has floundered in many of its initiatives. Really, the mighty Ubuntu, in decline?"
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Do Developers Need Free Perks to Thrive?

jammag jammag writes  |  about a year and a half ago

jammag (1021683) writes "Free sodas, candy and energy bars can be surprisingly important to developers, says longtime coder Eric Spiegel. They need the perks, not to mention the caffeine boost. More important, free sodas from management are like the canary in the coal mine. If they get cut, then layoffs might be next. “The sodas are just the wake-up call. If the culture changes to be focused more on cost-cutting than on innovation and creativity, then would you still want to work here? I wouldn’t.” Are free perks really that important?"
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GNOME or KDE? The Old Question Is New Today

jammag jammag writes  |  about a year and a half ago

jammag (1021683) writes "The question is as old as Hatfield vs. McCoy, but it's taken on new relevance as user loyalties have broken down — and the Linux desktop now has a dazzling array of design philosophies, applications and unique features. Veteran Linux pundit Bruce Byfield awards points for ranking in each category. He tallies them up and recommends what he feels is clearly the best answer. You agree?"
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The Perils of Developers Hooking Up

jammag jammag writes  |  more than 2 years ago

jammag writes "Who better for a developer to love than another developer? Yet as a veteran coder describes, it's not always a good idea for a programmer to fall for another programmer. He describes his experience observing — and getting partially pulled into — a romance within a development team. Part of the problem, perhaps, is that some developers spend so much time buried in code that, well, they quickly find themselves out of their league. Then again, why not love among the code?"
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Boy Developers: Is "Brogrammer" Culture Really So Bad?

jammag jammag writes  |  more than 2 years ago

jammag writes "In the testosterone-laden world of software development, "brogrammer" culture – boys being boys in the workplace — is a well known phenomenon. A veteran coder (who's more the thoughtful type) talks about his experience with brogrammers, and the resulting conflict when a female developer came on board. To be sure, things got weird: "Tacked to the wall was a poster of a girl in a red bikini laying on a red Ferrari with the caption 'Red and Juicy.'" Doesn't it seem that brogrammers are more prevalent than they used to be?"
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Open Source....Beyond Open Source

jammag jammag writes  |  about 3 years ago

jammag writes "The idea of open source is greatly influencing the larger world — far beyond software. As detailed in this article, an "open source" housing competition freely shares all winning blueprints. Likewise the Open Source Washing Machine Project and Open Source Solar. Open Source Yoga believes no practice should be copyrighted. The folks at Open Source Cupcake enthuse that "it's time to open source the cupcake." Open Source Prosthetics claims that fake limbs "shouldn't cost an arm and a leg," and so freely share all designs. Where's it all headed? Is the proprietary finally dying?"
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Will Windows 8 'Secure Boot' Hamper Linux Use?

jammag jammag writes  |  more than 3 years ago

jammag writes "A new feature coming in Windows 8 called Secure Boot may prevent users from installing Linux on a PC. It's likely, of course, that Windows 8 users will be able to turn off or disable Secure Boot. But will most users know this and — a bigger challenge — understand how to do it? And how will the OEMs handle this? Is it vaguely paranoid to think that OEMs might present a "once per boot" disable function for Secure Boot that will place a stumbling block in front of Linux users?"
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Fear and Loathing: Software Developers Do Customer

jammag jammag writes  |  more than 3 years ago

jammag writes "A longtime developer talks about the semi-rebellion that erupted when his manager decided that the developers were going to provide phone support to end-users. "I left out the obscenities to protect our younger readers. But they were numerous, salty, and at the level of your average drunken sailor," he writes. But with today's bare-bones staffs, developers are being forced into this role more often (especially when they launch their own small shops). With proper guidelines and perhaps a CRM package, can developers be effective at phone support? Should developers ever be asked to operate a live telephone?"
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Lessons From Quirky Software Development Managers

jammag jammag writes  |  more than 3 years ago

jammag writes "Veteran software developer Eric Speigel describes some of the odd and annoying bosses he's worked for during years of coding. The litany runs from the "friend" who wants to hang out (until the crap hits the fan and the screaming starts) to the "hovering micro-manager" who sneaks up behind him. Yet as every coder should know, there are ways of dealing with these difficult personalities, which Spiegel details (sort of — in the end it might be a case of grin and bear it). How do you cope with difficult managers as you code?"
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Do Developers Really Need A Second Monitor?

jammag jammag writes  |  more than 3 years ago

jammag writes "It was an agonizing moment: a developer arrived at work to realize his second monitor had been taken (given to the accounting dept., to add insult to injury). Soon, the wailing and the gnashing of teeth began. As this project manager recounts, developers feel strongly — very strongly — about needing a second monitor (maybe a third?) to work effectively. But is this just the posturing of pampered coders, or is this much screen real estate really a requirement for today's developers?"
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That Developer's Salary is Bigger than Mine!

jammag jammag writes  |  more than 3 years ago

jammag writes "Longtime developer Eric Spiegel remembers earlier in his career when he accidentally glimpsed all his fellow developers' salaries. To his shock, he realized he was almost the lowest paid coder at the company — though he wasn't the newest or youngest. As he confronted his manager (who had just praised him in a salary review) he realized some nitty gritty facts about programmer pay — including how he had failed to get the best pay package for himself."
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GNOME vs. KDE: The Latest Round

jammag jammag writes  |  more than 3 years ago

jammag writes "The debate about whether KDE or GNOME is the better Linux desktop is longstanding. Yet as Linux pundit Bruce Byfield discusses, it has entered a fresh chapter now that both desktop have versions that are radically different from their incarnations just a few years back. Moreover, "the differences in KDE 4.6 and GNOME 3 (the latest releases) are greater than they have ever been," he writes. Casting aside his usual diplomacy, Byfield acknowledges that he's heard rave reviews about GNOME 3, but disagrees: "I suspect that the majority of users are more likely to be satisfied with KDE 4.6 than GNOME 3.""
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The Dumbest Ways To Interview A Developer

jammag jammag writes  |  more than 3 years ago

jammag writes "It seems like it's a growing trend: developers are asked some dumb or weird questions as part of their interview process. A veteran developer talks about some of the strangest ones he's heard of, including one about the relationship between light bulbs and java coding. Huh? Companies apparently want to find the brightest, most creative minds (witness Google's baffling mind field of interview questions) but in the process, what about...actual coding expertise? And what's the strangest question you've ever been asked?"
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What Makes A Smart Developer? (Is it Google?)

jammag jammag writes  |  more than 3 years ago

jammag (1021683) writes "A project manager talks about hiring young developers in the Age of Google. He points out that, for many of them, "I can just Google it" is a substitute for a larger knowledge base. He concedes that, okay, he himself used to rely (heavily) on reference books, but he wonders if it hasn't gone too far. Oh, and by the way, they wear flip-flops to job interviews. What's up with their young whipper snappers?"
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Should Younger Developers be Paid More?

jammag jammag writes  |  more than 3 years ago

jammag (1021683) writes "A project manager describes facing an upset senior developer who learned that a new hire — a fresh college grad — would be making 30 percent more than him. The reason: the new grad knew a hot emerging technology that a client wanted. Yes, the senior coder was majorly pissed off. But with the constant upheaval in new technology, this situation is almost unavoidable — or is it? And at any rate, is it fair?"
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Does Every Developer Deserve a Mental Health Day?

jammag jammag writes  |  more than 4 years ago

jammag (1021683) writes "A longtime developer talks about getting introduced to the "mental health day" by a veteran coder. Clearly, after days of looking at snaking lines of code, everyone needs one. However, while one of the top developers on his team knew how to get away with it — he called in sick for a undisclosed personal reasons — a younger developer tried the same tactic and failed, because he didn't know how to properly set it up with management. Either way, shouldn't a "mental health day" (or several) be part of every developer's contract?"
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Playing Software Developer Hot Potato

jammag jammag writes  |  more than 4 years ago

jammag (1021683) writes "Most developers have worked with "the difficult developer," the coder who nobody wants work with. A veteran development manager talks about developer hot potato — the process by which that person bounces from team to team, making no one happy. Headaches galore happen while everyone waits for the inevitable semi-meltdown, the pissed-off clients, the cubicle clashes. The problem is that, short of actually firing the developer, how do you deal with them? Maybe more important, how do you keep them off your team?"
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