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Ask Slashdot: Minimum Programming Competence In Order To Get a Job?

talldean Re:That's not how the world works, thankfully. (466 comments)

If you're looking to get a software job, but can't get the interview, one thing that enormously helps is writing code for open source projects, or having sufficiently complex project work that you built yourself available to see online. If someone can read a short link on your resume, and then go see your actual code, you become *much* less of a wildcard and much more of a known quality; they then know you can do the job, if the code matches up well enough.

Alternatively, if you've done automated test scripts, look for QA Analyst positions as a bridge into most tech organizations.

What's your academic background? And are you located near a large city, and/or a tech hub?

about 6 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Minimum Programming Competence In Order To Get a Job?

talldean That's not how the world works, thankfully. (466 comments)

Your scale implies one set of skills, and there's certainly more than that! As two important ones; the ability and desire to learn, and the tools you already know. I've worked with a lot of junior engineers who didn't know much, but were good at picking things up and moving with them. I've worked with a lot of senior engineers who knew lots of tools and theory, but weren't very good at picking up new things. (I've also worked with junior engineers who were terrible, and senior engineers who could pick up new things faster than me; it's a mix.) To get hired, you need to convince the hiring manager you can do the job, can do it better than the next guy, and can do it at a price they're willing to pay. Right now, there's simply not enough developers who can do the job, so even if you're not great but still get the job done and don't seem awful to work with, the determining factor is "did someone else better apply?"

about 6 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Communication Skills For Programmers?

talldean Lunch. (361 comments)

Always go to lunch with coworkers, and chat with them about... anything, or just hang out while they chat if you can join a group doing so. If they want to talk work, ask them what they're working on; if something in what they say is actually interesting to you, ask 'em about it. If they don't want to talk work, where do they live? Where did they go to school? What do they think of both? What did they do this week? Ideally, they want to talk work at least part of the time, as that's likely more useful. :-) At lunch, if you find yourself talking more than a fair share, work on talking less. If you find yourself talking not at all, work on talking slightly more.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: What To Do When Another Dev Steals Your Work and Adds Their Name?

talldean Show that it's your code, and get the new job. (480 comments)

Much more useful than seeing code with someone's name on it is hearing that person describe the code. If someone calls you on it, offer to explain the design of the code, the decisions and tradeoffs made along the way, and what you'd improve next, or how you left the code in a state to be more easily maintained (by you or others) in the future. That would feel *much* more useful than seeing your name on it, and would take you a fraction of the time invested to get it done.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Am I Too Old To Retrain?

talldean Get the hell away from VB (418 comments)

Avoid technologies that don't easily transfer to other technologies; VB is hellishly rough for being a bit of a dead end, albeit terrifically useful at what it does. Leverage the .NET part of your resume, and spend a few months learning C#. It's not terrible, and will make you a better VB developer at the very least. At the most, you can pivot out, and do a wider variety of tasks - for better pay - in C# than in VB.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: What's the Best Place To Relocate?

talldean Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (999 comments)

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I moved here three years ago looking at staying 10-20 years. So far, so good. We have a thriving tech community, a low cost of living, and low crime. Due to this being the steel making capital of the world 100 years ago, we have a lot of old and awesome cultural institutions much larger than would be expected of a city of this size, but houses cost next to nothing compared to larger cities. We're in the middle of a natural resources boom; we export quite a bit of energy. We sit at the junction of three rivers, and west of a mountain range; we rarely have droughts. Winters are reasonably mild. Summers are reasonably mild. There's an enormous education center here. Healthcare is great. And we certainly have jobs, as well. Take a look at Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh, the Software Engineering Institute, and the National Robotics Engineering Consortium; pghtech.org lists quite a bit more. Education, medicine, finance and software tend to be the dominant industries here, which are (not coincidentally) more recession-proof than most. Best small city I know.

more than 2 years ago
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Blocking Gun Laws With Patents

talldean This has come up before. (1165 comments)

The technology doesn't work. Five seconds win a nail file rendered it useless. 100 rounds at a practice range *also* render it useless. It simply does not work; it was proposed as a roundabout way of banning guns entirely. From the side, revolvers also don't leave casings at a crime scene. At best, it's going to alter gun sales, but not slow them.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Reasonable Immigration Policy For Highly-Trained Workers?

talldean Re:Green Card (357 comments)

(Digs) SPSS seemed to be hugely used around NIH/Bethesda, if it helps. Tossed your resume into the system here at work as well, can't hurt. :-)

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Reasonable Immigration Policy For Highly-Trained Workers?

talldean Re:Green Card (357 comments)

Keeping up with your profession and keeping your skills recent doesn't take a whole lotta time; call it a five hour a week investment that's the difference between "having trouble finding work" and "can quickly find work in any major city in the world". If that's an hour a day after work, it's arguably a pretty good spend of an hour of time. On the managerial front, I've met very, very few managers who worked a 40-hour workweek; they're not doing managing outside the office, but they're certainly stuck *in* the office more than most. Or, for white collar jobs, the 40-hour workweek is often a myth; 45-50 seems the absolute norm in America.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Reasonable Immigration Policy For Highly-Trained Workers?

talldean Re:With unemployment where it is at, send them hom (357 comments)

Science degrees are rough, honestly; many of the physics majors I've met have wound up doing math or software.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Reasonable Immigration Policy For Highly-Trained Workers?

talldean Re:Green Card (357 comments)

I assumed you were talking about "glut of unemployed factory workers". My bad. Where is there a glut of unemployed software engineers? To be fair, "years of language X" isn't a great sign; "years of languages X, Y, and Z, with nonprofessional experience in A, B and C" is *much* more likely to find work.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Reasonable Immigration Policy For Highly-Trained Workers?

talldean Re:Green Card (357 comments)

The glut of people have the wrong skills, and can't always be retrained, and certainly can't finish training now. H1-B visas don't go to unskilled laborers; the temporary visas go to people who have the skills we need, and have them now, and are likely to gain *more* skills in the future.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Reasonable Immigration Policy For Highly-Trained Workers?

talldean Re:With unemployment where it is at, send them hom (357 comments)

Junk degrees in college are an issue here, and they aren't helping much of anyone. College loans are available to all, but they're not quite enough to pay for a top-tier engineering school. College loans are available to all, but they subsidize comparative medieval literature majors just the same as electrical engineers. We need more of certain professions, but we aren't actively helping people go into those professions any more than a random pick on a dartboard. We also explain to high school students "you can do anything!", when in the real world, some careers are *enormously* harder to pursue than others.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Reasonable Immigration Policy For Highly-Trained Workers?

talldean Green Card (357 comments)

Temporary, no. Permanent, yes. We should be stapling green cards to every engineering degree with a 3.0 average granted by an accredited US university. We don't have enough highly skilled folks to fill these jobs, and these jobs are leaving and not coming back. If a company in America wants to hire you to do work for more than the average *household* income in America, and it's not a profession with a lack of job openings, we should be doing our best to convince you to become a permanent citizen. Average household income is under $50k, FWIW.

more than 2 years ago
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Venezuela Bans the Commercial Sale of Firearms and Ammunition

talldean Re:The premise seems failed. (828 comments)

Gun control can be about control, but often, is about a kneejerk reaction to something people just aren't familiar with. I grew up (in America) in a fairly rural area. Long guns were commonplace. Pistols were a bit odd, but not a problem. I moved to a large city, and guns are viewed as a completely different thing there, some for good reasons, some not for good reasons. Dunno. Much like most problems, it's an issue of communication and spin, and not an actual issue. Much like most problems in America, I'd blame the media.

about 2 years ago
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Venezuela Bans the Commercial Sale of Firearms and Ammunition

talldean Re:The premise seems failed. (828 comments)

I'd believe guns kill people if gun bans in other countries had successfully reduced crime, instead of just changing it. The majority (2/3rds) of gun deaths in the US are suicides. We'd be most successful reducing *deaths* by having better support for depressed people, for instance.

about 2 years ago
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Venezuela Bans the Commercial Sale of Firearms and Ammunition

talldean The premise seems failed. (828 comments)

The United States has more guns than people. If the guns were causing the crime, we'd live in a post-apocalypse already.

about 2 years ago
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Maryland Teen Wins World's Largest Science Fair

talldean I actually chatted with him. (193 comments)

I'm late on this one, and haven't posted in awhile, but this is probably worth chiming in on. (Posted above anonymously, just replying in full here.) I chatted with him after the fair, and also chatted with his parents for awhile. He understood the theory behind and around his work, and by all accounts did the work himself; this wasn't a parent doing it for him. What he did is likely going to save lives. I also had a chance to talk to Nicholas Schiefer, who did a project called Apodura; better search of short content based on markov chain modelling. He also very much understood what he had done, how it worked, what some of the pitfalls were, and what he might do on it next. Or, in short, at least at the level of winner/runner-up, they've done the work themselves, and are phenomenally advanced students. If you have experience in the target field - which the judges do! - it should be *very* evident which students have done the work, which students have done the work with assistance from a university lab, and which students are essentially parroting knowledge that a parent handed to them. Students that do phenomenal work on their own and can speak intelligently about that to a subject matter expert, I'd certainly give the benefit of the doubt.

more than 2 years ago
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Android Orphans: a Sad History of Platform Abandonment

talldean The chart is exceptionally misleading (770 comments)

First Slashdot response in maybe five years here. Wow, that chart is misleading. My girlfriend bought a 3G from an Apple store. Support died in her SECOND year. It's not "years since initial release" that counts; it's "years since last unit sold retail", which is *enormously* more telling. Apple sucks at this, while all of the Android devices I know have gotten 2+ years support from last retail date.

about 3 years ago
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Data Sorting World Record — 1 Terabyte, 1 Minute

talldean Re:Only 52 nodes (129 comments)

This would be a lot more interesting if they all ran on the same hardware?

more than 4 years ago

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