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Ask Slashdot: Are We Older Experts Being Retired Too Early?

sjdude Young whippersnappers (629 comments)

I spent 20 years contracting in Silicon Valley after working for Apple in the late 80's. I could tell lots of stories relative to the OP's question, but I am going to boil this down for you young whippersnappers who are going to down-vote this post no matter what. I found a few reasons why OP would ask these questions: 1. Some managers, particularly under age 40, are assholes who, even in this connected age, if they can't see you typing away all day, right under their noses, believe you are "not productive", a term others seem to toss around in their answers. What is productive? 100 lines of code a day, or 20 lines that actually work? What proof? Well how about the silly ass religious adoption of "agile" methodologies. How can everybody look over each other's shoulders if they aren't all in the "hive"? Clearly, these managers have never worked with someone with serious experience. The mania for groupthink management has always originated in academia, where the rubber meets the sky when it comes to shipping anything more than research projects, not real commercial work. 2. Managers hiring "older workers" object to paying them nearly as much (or more) than they themselves make. The younger the manager, the worse this is an issue. They prefer to hire people younger (and cheaper) than themselves. 3. Younger managers don't possess the life experience to appreciate hiring people who are smarter or more experienced than themselves. They feel threatened by experience, not appreciative of it. And they are naively convinced that hiring two younger, cheaper guys is a better bet than hiring one, more expensive, more experienced one. They end up with crap code that maybe works and rarely scales or is resource efficient. I made lots of money mopping up after exactly these kinds of failures. 4. And lest I come off as a "young manager hater", most older managers suffer from some of the same issues, particularly the "I don't want to pay you as much as me" and "I don't believe you are working unless I can see you". But they are even less likely to hire offsite workers, frequently being utterly ignorant of the collaboration technologies that are in common use today. So I don't believe there is any misconception about there being age discrimination in the business of software development. I have seen it first hand. But being old or having 30 years' experience does not give anybody a right to a job. You have to have relevant experience. I figure everything in this business is obsolete in about 3 years, so anybody who has more than 3 years of experience has to have learned new technologies in order to remain relevant. This cycle never stops and it gets shorter every year. But even if you have the latest tech under your belt, there are still age and location to consider. I beat them by remaining current, networking constantly, and living where the work is. Anything less will make it harder. But that doesn't invalidate the points above. Of course, YMMV.

about 10 months ago
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Amazon Poised To Get Cut of CA Sales Taxes

sjdude Envy (295 comments)

The hilarity of this is that other California cities didn't think of it first and make their own pitch to Amazon. Now you hear them crying "boo hoo". Other tax grabbing wankers are pouting, "Oooh, that's not how sales taxes are supposed to be used!". Winers! Taxation is corrupt in the first place, so you want to object to how that particular sales tax money will be used? Sounds like sour grapes! One local goobermint screwing another over money!: I'm LMFAO... Where's the popcorn?

more than 2 years ago
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California Going Ahead With Bullet Train

sjdude Re:The bond measure was for $98 billion (709 comments)

Of course, they still demand all the services.

Hogwash. I've lived in CA for 25 years and the only thing I expect is the roads to be maintained and for public schools to be operated. Everything else I get is fee for service (utilities, trash pickup, etc). The only Californians I know of demanding services are people who don't pay jack shit into the system in the first place, just like everywhere else in this bankrupt country.

more than 2 years ago
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Steve Jobs Questioned In iTunes Monopoly Suit

sjdude The article title is a troll (370 comments)

The article title reads: "Steve Jobs Questioned In iTunes Monopoly Suit". QUESTIONED??? This hasn't happened yet, so Jobs has not been questionED. Bullshit troll article title.

more than 3 years ago
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Gates' Future of Education Straight Out of '60s

sjdude Re:Existence != Importance (203 comments)

“A generation which ignores history has no past -- and no future.” - Robert Heinlein

more than 3 years ago
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Music Execs Stressed Over Free Streaming

sjdude Define "buyers" (375 comments)

We have lost 20 million buyers in just five years

This is easily misleading. If Mr. Crupnick means "album buyers", he is more likely to be correct than if by "buyers" he meant total number of customers buying music. The fact that people can now easily purchase single songs when they previously were forced to buy entire albums in order to get only one or two songs they really wanted might have something to do with this. In fact, it might have everything to do with such a typically misleading music industry claim.

more than 3 years ago
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Chrome May Drop the URL Bar

sjdude Follow the money (343 comments)

One thing is for sure: If they drop the URL bar, it will increase the use of search and, thus, increase the click through to ad-words sites. Nothing like a pretty fucking obvious money-making move on their part, eh?

more than 3 years ago
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America Losing Its Edge In Innovation

sjdude Re:follow the money (757 comments)

Thanks. But you should have told me that 10 years ago.

No 30 years ago, damn it.

more than 3 years ago
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Why WikiLeaks Is Unlike the Pentagon Papers

sjdude TFA = No Surprises (696 comments)

It should come as no surprise that the Wall Street Journal would publish an article asserting that publishing the Pentagon Papers is "different" than what Wikileaks is doing. Why? To help set the stage for justifying the government resurrecting the Espionage Act of 1917 to prosecute Assange, and killing all dissent since we are supposedly "at war" (Iraq, Afghanistan, War on Terrorism, War on Drugs, etc. ad nauseum). Of course, there has been no formal Declaration of War by Congress, as required by Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution. But since the U.S. Government doesn't actually seem to protect and enforce the Constitution any longer, WTF matters?

more than 3 years ago
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Chrome OS Doesn't Trust Apps Or Users

sjdude Re:It makes sense for the business market (410 comments)

Companies don't trust their employees and Chrome is a sandbox within a sandbox. This is a good thing in the corporate world where centralized control is valuable.

Chrome is a very thin client that really works.

And you need a whole new OS for this? What about using *nix machines, setting the login shell to /usr/bin/firefox and limiting the network accessibility to the corporate LAN? You could have done this many years ago and wouldn't need a new OS to do it. As for thin client, ChromeOS is nothing more than what I just described with a specialized browser with customized hooks for Google's proprietary app world/framework. Bletch.

more than 3 years ago
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Chrome OS Doesn't Trust Apps Or Users

sjdude This makes perfect sense... (410 comments)

This makes perfect sense once you understand that the majority of the people working on ChromeOS (in Google's Kirkland offices) are Microsoft refugees. Since most people psychologically try to solve problems in their new jobs they were unable to solve at their previous ones, what better way to keep from having the most virus infested OS on the planet than to prevent anybody from ever installing or changing anything! I bet the colleagues they left behind at Microsoft are envious beyond belief.

more than 3 years ago
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Google Admits To Collecting Emails and Passwords

sjdude Trust us... really (157 comments)

So Google is appointing a Director of Privacy, Alma Whitten, from the UK, the country with more surveilance cammeras per person than any other country on the planet. She assures us that, "We are now strengthening our internal privacy and security practices with more people, more training and better procedures and compliance." Oh just wonderful! With all the Chinese programmers at Google, it really makes me feel really much more secure. China is such a bastion of personal privacy, what could possibly go wrong?

more than 3 years ago
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Pentagon Makes Good On Plan To Destroy Critical Book

sjdude Old news (306 comments)

This story is old fucking news. Things must be pretty slow at Slashdot to stoop to posting this story again...

more than 3 years ago
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BP Claims Gulf Well Has Been Stopped

sjdude Re:Whew (601 comments)

It does seem that they were very focused on being able to extract the oil rather than just stopping the leak. Now, I'm not an engineer, but could their desire for continued extraction of oil have delayed their plans, made the stack more complex?

I thought the same thing, but I have consistently read in the last several weeks that the well that blew up was an exploration well not a production well. So there was no plan to take that well, as it was, into production.

more than 3 years ago
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Sound As the New Illegal Narcotic?

sjdude Outlaw advertising? (561 comments)

Any chance they could use this stupidity to outlaw advertising? I mean, sound and lights that affect human behavior and all...

more than 3 years ago
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The Creativity Crisis

sjdude Ritalin consumption (571 comments)

The amount of Ritalin consumed in America from 1990 to 1998 almost quadrupled (link to chart). Might that have something to do with it?

more than 4 years ago
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The Creativity Crisis

sjdude Re:Ritalin use (571 comments)

A teacher friend of mine told me the real reason why public schools push potential ADHD kids into Ritalin treatment, and its not about behavior. Its that once a child is diagnosed as ADHD and on medication, they are categorized as having a "learning disability" and the school gets more Federal funding.

more than 4 years ago
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The Creativity Crisis

sjdude Re:Creativity is disappearing for many reasons (571 comments)

Courses and lessons like music, art, dance and drama are being removed from schools as they continue to focus more on academic performance and (for those kids who show talent) performance on the football pitch or the basketball court or whatever.

Here in California, they've gotten rid of all that and the sports as well. The reason isn't to focus on teaching to the test (though, for sure, they do just that), but because the teachers' unions have maximized their pay rates and consumed what little public money existed for teaching only the basics. Its all about money, as usual. I volunteered as an art teacher in elementary school for 3 years just so my kids would have some art in school. And to be fair, more than half of the money spent on "teachers salaries" actually goes to administrators who never set foot in the classroom. Teachers are underpaid and a real minority in the "teachers union". The rest are paper pushers who suck the system dry of money for their salaries, health benefits, and pensions. The kids get screwed. California public schools are rated 46th in the nation today.

more than 4 years ago
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Police Stop Journalists From Photographing Metrorail System

sjdude Re:Hmmm... (601 comments)

Pretty brutal. I searched to see if there was follow-up to the police beating. The person who was beaten, Duanna Johnson, was shot to death later the same year in Memphis. I wonder where the two cops in the beating video were on the night Johnson was shot? Here is a link to a follow-up story on the homicide.

more than 4 years ago

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