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Programmers: It's OK To Grow Up

mtutty Re:most young developers are at least as bad (232 comments)

Speaking for myself, I've been through six different frameworks/versions of "data binding", starting with VB3, now all the way through AngularJS. I've got 20 years of similar examples in DBMSs, distributed protocols, GUI design, testing, requirements, etc.

It's not that I refuse to learn new technologies, because I've taken on new things every year that I've worked in this field. jQuery? Love it. HTML5, CSS transitions? B-E-A-utiful. Bootstrap? You betcha.

I do, however, refuse to make all the same mistakes and work through the same leaky abstractions and other problems just to try the new hotness. A great example is the NoSQL movement - now that Postgres supports JSON documents (and has had great K-V support for a while now), I'll be very happy to exploit those features without wrestling MongoDB or Firebase to the ground.

about 8 months ago

California Students, Parents Sue Over Teacher Firing, Tenure Rules

mtutty Re:Dangerous... (399 comments)

You had me at Feynman.

1 year,2 days

Ask Slashdot: Best Open Source CRM/ERP System For a Small Business?

mtutty Re:Get serious about your selection process (163 comments)

Came here to say essentially the same thing - GET REQUIREMENTS. No matter which road you end up choosing, the requirements will make choices much clearer, and their objective nature will give you a buffer against the business folks who agreed to them, but want the flaming logo on Wednesdays.

I did this a few years ago for a decent-sized telecom, that wanted to get rid of dozens of home-built systems in favor of telecom-specific ERP type software (usually called OSS for this industry). The RFP was a bust (no vendor selected), but those requirements guided the next 18 months of systems development, COTS adoption, integration and legacy retirement. In the end, even the business folks acknowledged that without the written requirements, they would not have been able to make any of the advances we made.

about a year ago

Your Moral Compass Is Reversible

mtutty Bugs Bunny (295 comments)

This is also known as "Bugs Bunny-ing" someone.

more than 2 years ago

Tech's Dark Secret: It’s All About Age

mtutty Age-ism or just willful ignorance? (2 comments)

I was brought into my current job about eight years ago, ostensibly to bring PM and SDLC process to the wild west of application development in my department. The mainframers wanted nothing to do with process improvement, saying they had everything under control. The client/server and web folks gave me the "we're different, old rules don't apply" argument. I asked around, looked through old documentation, anything to get a feel for where this group was at and what they'd done. After about six weeks, I decided it was basically a green field and brought in your run-of-the-mill PMI-style project mgmt and basic SDLC. Nothing fancy, and pretty stripped down since most projects were in the $50K-$150K range.

Fast forward to this year. Management makes a sweet offer for early retirees, and they take the bait. In droves. One of the retirees drops a folder off on my desk as she's headed out the door. It says, "Blast from the past...thought you might enjoy this." It was a fairly complete PM and SDLC definition, from two years before I'd arrived. No one (including the manager who had hired me and given me the task) had offered this to me before, even though that manager's name was on the approvers list.

Now I'm not sure this was strictly age-ism, but might this problem be more properly defined as a "green-field" syndrome? That is, that people would rather bump into the same problem than have to listen to someone else who's already been there?

more than 4 years ago

HP Gives Printers Email Addresses

mtutty Um, Outlook Rule, anyone? (325 comments)

I can do this with an Inbox rule in Outlook today. Why would I want my printer doing it autonomously?

more than 4 years ago

Streaming Video Service Coming To the Wii

mtutty Re:Sad (103 comments)

Depends, many people enjoy doing crazy jumps and moves and fighting monsters and stuff (yes, that includes Mario games), which they couldn't perform when they would be wearing a a mo-cap suit and have perfect 1:1 mapping. Abstraction helps you do stuff you couldn't do in reality, complete lack of abstractions just puts you back into reality, which is not where most people want to be when they think about games.

To some extent, I think that's my point, too. But wouldn't you agree that there are many cases where pointing at the screen or moving the controller in space is a more effective abstraction? The controlled level of physicality in Wii games is different and very enjoyable for non-gamers.

And yet I have never seen such huge obtrusive tutorial texts as in Wii games on any other console. Those games sure have to explain a hell of a lot of stuff for their "intuitive interaction".

As a recovering 133t gamer, I sure don't need those, but if they help my wife, nieces, and kids catch up, then that's fine. It's not all about me anymore.

Really? How come third party developers largely ignore the Wii and focus on Xbox360 and PS3 instead?

That's a pretty subjective point.

Bottom line - the Wii is definitely made for a different class of gamer. Hardcore gamers are generally not going to understand the point of it.

more than 6 years ago

Streaming Video Service Coming To the Wii

mtutty Re:Sad (103 comments)

AC above is clearly an idiot. The abstraction is a neccessary evil, not a feature. Motion-sensing controls and peripherals (like the Wii Fit board) give the user more intuitive interaction with the game. This is where game developers (and non-133t gamers) WANT to go - it's not some degradation of "pure" gaming design.

more than 6 years ago

Ask the Presidential Candidates

mtutty Re:Universal Health Care (916 comments)

Interesting examples...all are areas in which the current administration has taken an active hand in reducing both the scope and the depth of the services provided.
How about Medicare? Its administrative (overhead) costs are estimated at about 5.2% (even by someone trying hard to debunk the numbers). Compare that with between 8 and 20 percent for the industry.
There's good and bad in government, just like the private sector. The ONLY difference is that you have a legal right to know what the government's doing with your money. And reporting that also costs money, by the way.

about 7 years ago



Shameless Microsoft plugging for ARRA IT dollars

mtutty mtutty writes  |  more than 5 years ago

mtutty writes "Because of the unparalleled focus on transparency, the ARRA will require a huge increase in the amount (and efficiency) of tracking. The vast majority of this increased scrutiny will come through the use of IT, not by adding staff. States and other entities receiving ARRA money are scrambling to find solutions, and of course the big vendors are only too happy to show them the light...

The National Academy of Public Administration (http://www.napawash.org/) has sponsored a free and open discussion about IT approaches and solutions at http://www.thenationaldialogue.org./ While there are some genuinely free and open discussions (e.g., Citability — http://www.thenationaldialogue.org/ideas/citability-org-making-govt-documentation-web-citable-to-a-paragraph-level), there's also some pretty shameless self-plugging going on there. Check out the suggestion called "Use the tools you know and the software you trust " at http://www.thenationaldialogue.org/ideas/use-the-tools-you-know-and-the-software-you-trust.

While the posting itself is a fairly honest, straightforward sales pitch, the comments are obviously slanted ("Stimulus 360 is an incredible solution that is taking off rapidly.", "I'm encouraged by this opportunity to evaluate Stimulus360 even further.", "I am thrilled that Microsoft has released an end to end solution") and in some cases misleading ("Microsoft is not charging for the Stimulus360 solution!").

Full disclosure: I work for the IT department of a small State government. We were pitched the Microsoft solution two weeks ago and I found it less thrilling than these posters."


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