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Ask Slashdot: How Should a Liberal Arts Major Get Into STEM?

kramer2718 Ph.D. Program? (280 comments)

You might consider a Ph.D. program. If your grades are good and you have the basics, and you can tell the department a good story, you can get admitted and get funding in many STEM disciplines.

You'll have to spend a long time getting your Ph.D., but if it's what you want to do, it may be worth it. You should probably choose a program that grants a Master's along the way so that if you don't finish, you'll have something to show for your time.

about a month ago

It's Not Developers Slowing Things Down, It's the Process

kramer2718 And in other news... (186 comments)

Expensive consultants have released a shocking report demonstrating that water is wet.

about 2 months ago

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

kramer2718 Not Anti-Social If Done Properly (786 comments)

Software development is usually done in an anti-social way. You chunk up a release or backlog or whatever into features, each dev takes a feature and goes off and writes some code. Later there is some collaboration in testing, code reviews, troubleshooting, etc.

But that is a TERRIBLE way to do it. The wrong code gets written way too often. Designs are bad because people aren't contributing along the way. Requirements get missed because the developer makes an assumption that s/he didn't know was an assumption. The more eyes on the code at all times the better. Devs should be constantly communicating with testers and people who understand the business case (product owners). One way to do that is pair programming. It sounds like a waste of time, but it is actually faster. Silly mistakes get caught right away. Debugging goes faster. Another way to do that is to chunk the work into very small pieces and constantly communicate to integrate your tiny piece with the other devs' tiny pieces. This leads to clean interfaces and modular code.

The Cowboy Superhero model of software development only makes sense if you are the only one developing a project. And remember in that case, your code dies when you get hit by a bus (or kill your wife and go to prison).

about 3 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Finding a Job After Completing Computer Science Ph.D?

kramer2718 It isn't what you know. It's who you know. (479 comments)

Network. Go to career fairs. Meet the hiring manager. He needs talented software engineers. Teach yourself more modern technologies and get certified. I'm not usually a big fan of certifications as they don't usually show that someone knows how to program in a general sense, but your degree shows that.

I have a pretty ridiculous professional network. (Not bragging really. When you have done in-demand technologies and looked for jobs, the network comes to you.) Message me me and I can add you and perhaps even give you some introductions to recruiters.

about 4 months ago

How many devices are connected to your home Wi-Fi?

kramer2718 Don't Have WiFi (260 comments)

How many devices are connected to the free WiFi of the bar downstairs? I don't know, but my apartment gets the best receptions and the bandwidth is pretty good.

about 5 months ago

Vint Cerf on Why Programmers Don't Join the ACM

kramer2718 It Costs Money (213 comments)

I can get every thing I need from Google. Why would I pay money to join the ACM? A 25 year old bottle of Scotch is a much better value.

about 6 months ago

Facebook Patents Inferring Income of Users

kramer2718 Prior Art (129 comments)

Agreed. There is probably plenty of prior art, but one would be crazy to challenge the patent because:

  1. That would give away a trade secret
  2. Facebook could crush most competitors in patent suits

Congratulations, Facebook, you are a patent troll

about a year ago

Yahoo! Sports Redesign Sparks Controversy, Disdain From Users

kramer2718 Re:One word (172 comments)

Honestly, it isn't as bad as the Flickr redesign. That one was both uglier and far less functional.

about a year ago

Is 'Fair Use' Unfair To Humans?

kramer2718 Scrape them yourself (259 comments)

Scrape them yourself in a semi-automated way, host them somewhere and provide a way to submit a DMCA take-down notice.

Done and done.

about a year and a half ago

How Did My Stratosphere Ever Get Shipped?

kramer2718 Re:Company rushes to meet launch date (238 comments)

I have been pulled aside by a very high level manager, told to put all of my development on hold and implement entirely new functionality for a large enterprise product

This functionality required three months of team effort to develop properly + another two weeks of due diligence, pre-release testing, and deployment. And then he told me to get it deployed in three weeks.

That's how this can happen.

about a year and a half ago

Who should have the most input into software redesigns?

kramer2718 Re:It Depends (262 comments)

I am actually not suggesting that software engineers be allowed to decide WHETHER OR NOT a design is called for. Managers who have bug rates, outage numbers, and development velocity should be decide WHETHER to do a rewrite. Software engineers should decide HOW to do that rewrite.

about 2 years ago

Who should have the most input into software redesigns?

kramer2718 It Depends (262 comments)

On the goal and nature of the redesign.

If the goal is to improve usability, then the customers should. Of course their input should be focused through the UI/UX guys.

If the goal is to increase profitability, then for B2C software, marketers and for B2B sales.

If the goal is to improve the maintainability and stability, then software engineers.

If the goal is to improve operability, then the operators.

If the goal is to improve scalability, then capacity planners and enterprise architects through the lens of software engineers.

about 2 years ago

Browser Choice May Affect Your Job Prospects

kramer2718 Customer User Agents (374 comments)

And job candidates who customize their user agents are smart asses who will probably hack all of your systems.

about 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Preparing For the 'App Bubble' To Pop?

kramer2718 Services (240 comments)

Apps may or may not stick around, but one trend will continue: the increase in service oriented computing.

I.e. computing functionality is being broken down into modular services (usually web services) that are simple enough and independent enough to be easily scaled horizontally but that can be composed in order to provide richer more complex functionality.

If you understand this architecture, it will help your marketability immensely whether you are writing end user interfaces (such as apps) or building the aforementioned services.

about 2 years ago

Graphene Aerogel Takes World's Lightest Material Crown

kramer2718 Quotation marks (198 comments)

The convention in the United States for decades has been to places periods inside the quotation marks. All others are based on the actual quote. The Chicago Manual of Style, as one of many, recommends this, but most guides point out that the British style placing anything not part of the quote outside of the quotation marks is acceptable but may be seen as unusual to American readers--of all ages.

Although putting periods inside quotation marks is recommended by various manuals of style and others recommend putting them outside, I believe that both approaches are misguided

Clarity should be the primary concern in language. Quotation marks are used to indicate that the current passage is repeating something verbatim from another source. It is most accurate to include punctuation inside quotation marks if that punctuation is repeated verbatim. In that case, they are punctuating the original. If they are not from the original source, they should be used outside.

about 2 years ago

Pierre Deligne Wins Abel Prize For Contributions To Algebraic Geometry

kramer2718 What should he buy? (55 comments)

Give that he spent decades of his life slaving away over complex mathematical proofs, he really ought use his well deserved prize money to buy


about 2 years ago

Botnet Uses Default Passwords To Conduct "Internet Census 2012"

kramer2718 BitTorrent (222 comments)

The FBI only cares if you embarass a major campaign contributor. e.g. AT&T is the largest campaign contributor in the country, beating out even Goldman Sachs.

Or if you use BitTorrent for completely lawful purposes.

about 2 years ago

Using Truth Serum To Confirm Insanity

kramer2718 Re:Precedent... (308 comments)

“But I don’t want to go among mad people," Alice remarked.
"Oh, you can’t help that," said the Cat: "we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad."
"How do you know I’m mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, or you wouldn’t have come here.”

about 2 years ago

US Government May Not Be Able To Fix Cell Phone Unlocking Problem

kramer2718 Free Trade? Yeah right. (203 comments)

I find it really ironic that it is a "Free Trade Agreement" that is preventing an activity that fundamentally is "Free Trade" (you can sell an unlocked phone to someone on another network).

I believe it comes down to the fact that governments support business at the expense of small business and DIYers. Probably because small business can't aford lobbyists.

about 2 years ago

Bradley Manning Makes Statement

kramer2718 Re:Typical scenario (440 comments)

A dictator backed by US gets toppled by his own citizens. Typical response from US government is to support dictator to the last possible moment. If it does not help, US politicians with their mouths full of lies about "democracy and freedom" attempt to reinstall the old regime with another frontman. This scenario played well in Egypt. In Libya, US and EU did much worse things: old dictator has been removed and whole country has been pushed into permanent civil war.

Your comment is unfair to the U.S. government.

In one breath, you criticize the U.S. for supporting friendly dictatorial regimes. In another, you criticize it for supporting popular rebellions. What is the U.S. supposed to do? You accuse the U.S. of committing atrocities in Libya, but it neither sent ground troops nor war-planes beyond those providing logistical support to allies.

As you mention, the outcomes in those countries that have cast off dictators have not been good, but that can't be blamed on foreign powers–they stayed out of the nation building process. If you are going to blame them for not attempting nation building, I point you at the cautionary tales of Afghanistan and Iraq.

We don't hear nor see anything about it because of media blackout instated by fucking corporate media.

If you believe that there were atrocities committed by the U.S. in Libya, please be more specific. Preferably cite reliable sources (there are other sources than corporate ones). If there were atrocities, they certainly weren't large-scale. The U.S. military doesn't have sufficient information security to keep large scale atrocities from becoming public. Certainly not the murder of 1500K Libyans are you are implying. If you can't be more specific, STFU.

The lack of success in achieving stable democracies in the middle east and central asia obviously has far greater factors than foreign involvement. The lingering effects of colonialism obviously play a role, but other parts of the world have been able to bounce back from colonialism (East Asia and South America are examples). The inequality bred by a large economic dependence on extractive industries (mining in particular) is a better candidate. The failure of West and Southern Africa to achieve stable, equitable societies supports this factor as explaining middle eastern stability. Of course, there are likely cultural issues involved as well, the extremism of Salafist Islam and the general misogyny do not support peaceful, democratic social ends.

And we still perceive ourselves as being "good" except that we are no better than nazis were. Just our warmongering elites learned that masquerading killing with crap about "democracy" and "freedom" is better than being explicit and grotesque as Hitler was. This is propably the greatest mass hipocrisy excercise in history...

Of course, the motives nor methods of the U.S. nor its allies are beyond reproach. There certainly have been many atrocities committed by U.S. forces. There have also been many interventions undertaken for nefarious purposes. However, there have been several undertaken for reasonable humanitarian purposes. Furthermore, if any nations that does not want the U.S., U.N., or other stable Western democracies to intervene militarily can simply adopt a stable, peaceful democracy.

about 2 years ago



Ask Slashdot: How to Avoid Working With Awful Legacy Code

kramer2718 kramer2718 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

kramer2718 (598033) writes "I have worked for about a decade as a software engineer. I am almost never hired to build new software from scratch, so my work satisfaction tends to be proportionate to quality of the legacy code I have to work with. Some legacy code has been good. Most of it is bad. I know a few questions to ask during an interview to determine the code quality: Are recent technologies used? Are there code review processes? Is TDD practiced? Even so, I still encounter terrible quality code. Does Slashdot have any advice for other questions to ask? Any other ways to find out code quality beforehand?"

Traffic shaping at home

kramer2718 kramer2718 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

kramer2718 writes "I'm running into a difficulty with my roommate. We share an internet connection and he uses P2P a lot. So much in fact that it dramatically affects the latency and bandwidth with which I can surf the web (and don't get me started on remote X sessions). I would like to continue to share a connection with him (cheaper) and would like him to be able to use the Internet in whatever way he sees fit, but I can't deal with this situation.

I would like a home networking solution whereby his P2P traffic can be throttled down whenever other traffic comes through. I see a parallel here with CPU scheduling where batch jobs run with lower priority than interactive processes. It would be great if the solution would work with a standard WiFi/wired router (I think we are using a Buffalo router). Any ideas?"

Energy Efficient Desktop PCs

kramer2718 kramer2718 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

kramer2718 (598033) writes "I'd like to run a server in my home, but am not too thrilled at burning a couple of hundred watts. At the same time, if I don't leave it one, it won't be much use. Energy Star seems to concentrate on entire systems rather than on specific components. Are there other standards for high efficiency components? And what about software? I would not be able to put my server into hibernate or it won't function as a server. Are there creative ways to reduce power usage under low or zero load while still maintaining responsiveness? I'd love to hear what loyal Slashdot readers have done to slash the power consumption of their home servers."

AT&T censors PerlJam--Band fires back

kramer2718 kramer2718 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

kramer2718 (598033) writes "Recently, AT&T censor Pearl Jam for some anti-Bush comments during a performance.

The band fired back saying, "This, of course, troubles us as artists but also as citizens concerned with the issue of censorship and the increasingly consolidated control of the media. What happened to us this weekend was a wake-up call, and it's about something much bigger than the censorship of a rock band."

Other public interest groups have used this censorship as an argument for net-neutrality.

Ars Technica has more. What do slashdotters think?"

Link to Original Source

kramer2718 kramer2718 writes  |  about 8 years ago

kramer2718 writes "I go through a lot of batteries in my digital camera, remote controls, etc. I'd like to go to the rechargeable route for the environment and for my pocketbook, but I don't know which rechargeable batteries are the best. Can the Slashdot readers out there give me some advice about which brand and types of batteries work well?"


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