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Ask Slashdot: Joining a Startup As an Older Programmer?

whatthef*ck Mod parent up (274 comments)

Really good programmers, of any age, are not easy to recruit and hire. If you're consistently hitting home runs with your actual work product, and you're easy to work with, it should more than make up for any shortcomings you might have in the social/cultural aspects of your job.

about 4 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Can an Old Programmer Learn New Tricks?

whatthef*ck To ask the question is to answer it. (306 comments)

If you can't do it, you can't do it. Don't assume it's because of your age.

about 6 months ago
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Quebec Language Police Target Store Owner's Facebook Page

whatthef*ck Re:Their country - their issue (506 comments)

Canada is a democracy. They make their own laws and govern themselves. It is none of my business as an American what they decide to do inside their own borders any more than it's my business what happens in the privacy of my neighbor own home as long as it stays inside their home. Privacy, mmmmkay?

Non-Canadians can certainly have an opinion about this stupidity, and call it what it is. What the hell does privacy have to do with it?

about 7 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Options For Ongoing Education?

whatthef*ck Re:I would view it as a red flag on your resume. (149 comments)

In my own defense, I wouldn't have any problems picking up a new language. The issue is that employeers word job postings so that they can find the perfect candidate. I doubt they would consider an engineer that dosnt have experience in the 12 languages they were looking for, even though I would be completely capable of doing the work. This is why I would consider formal education, rather then learn-it-on your own.

You must not have much experience hiring developers. The "perfect candidate" is something you *might* encounter once or twice in your career. (By "perfect", however, I don't mean bullet points on a resume. They're barely better than useless.) And if you had extensive hiring experience, you'd know that the competition you're facing as a candidate is not all that fierce.

I've always used a "hardware vs. software" analogy, both when I pitched myself to prospective employers for a job that my background may not have been a perfect fit for, and when I've screened candidates for hiring.

If you had your choice between a free state of the art 64-bit laptop with 16GB RAM, that had only the OS and maybe a few utilities, and a free 32-bit 5 year old laptop with 4GB RAM, loaded with a useful applications, which would you choose? You can add software to to the new laptop, but you can't make the old one fast and powerful by today's standards.

To me, the bullets on a resume are analogous to software. But that ability to attack and solve difficult problems and overcome obstacles no matter what, without making excuses, is special. It seems that people either have it or they don't. That's why I consider those abilities part of a person's hardware. (Or firmware, if you will.) I want people who have those abilities.

Lacking knowledge of a particular language should not be viewed as a difficult obstacle to overcome, especially considering the resources that are readily available online for free. Whether it's your motivation or not, for an established professional developer to resort to university courses to learn a language would indicate to me, perhaps incorrectly, a certain passivity that would not weigh in his favor as a hiring candidate.

about 7 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Options For Ongoing Education?

whatthef*ck I would view it as a red flag on your resume. (149 comments)

In my experience, the best programmers all have one (among others) critical skill: They have the ability to pick up new languages, APIs, technologies, etc., quickly and on their own. The fact that, after 10+ years as a programmer, you see ASP, .NET, C#, etc. as so formidable that you feel (apparently) that you might learn them more efficiently by sitting in a classroom and being spoon-fed would give me pause if I were considering hiring you for any developer position.

about 7 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Are the Hardest Things Programmers Have To Do?

whatthef*ck Focus. (473 comments)

And not waste time on Slashdot all day.

about a year ago
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New Unix Implementation Turns 30

whatthef*ck When is the last time he released any code? (290 comments)

This question is not meant as flamebait. I wonder that every time his name is brought up. I could be wrong, but I'm not aware of any significant piece of software he's developed since the ones that that he's well known for, that were written before the turn of the century.

about a year ago
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How I Got Fired From the Job I Invented

whatthef*ck Admit it dude, you're thrilled by the publicity. (252 comments)

You're obviously no fool, and you know this is the best thing that's ever happened to your blog. Youtube videos that you posted a mere two months ago are showing less than 100 views, but your most recent one where you discuss this issue has 23,000 views. I understand why you're acting so glum -- it should sweeten the "pain and suffering" damages you'll eventually get -- but not all of us are fooled by the act.

I'm not saying I blame you a bit, just that I'm not buying the "woe is me" schtick.

about a year ago
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Canadian Couple Charged $5k For Finding 400-Year-Old Skeleton

whatthef*ck Re:Idiot lawmakers (601 comments)

Nope, it's the laws that have no room for exception and interpretation that are among the worst kinds.

Laws where you can show mercy, where you can recognize the limits of human capacity, are actually among the best kinds.

At least, as long as humans continue to be imperfect.

I prefer my justice blind, thank you.

That's not to say I think that laws can't prescribe a range for punishments, for example 1 to 5 years in prison for something, with a judge considering various factors while deciding the actual sentence.

But there should be no built-in provision for non-enforcement. If you're not comfortable with everyone being equally subjected to a law, perhaps the activity in question should not be illegal.

In this case, the couple did nothing illegal, they're just being penalized because of what happened on their property centuries before they were born. That goes against the notion of basic fairness held by most people. That's why the law has to contain provisions for "relief".

about a year ago
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Canadian Couple Charged $5k For Finding 400-Year-Old Skeleton

whatthef*ck Re:Idiot lawmakers (601 comments)

Why do you assume that the process to get relief is arbitrary? I'm sure they have some reasonable guidelines written somewhere.

Really? What makes you so sure?

about a year ago
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Canadian Couple Charged $5k For Finding 400-Year-Old Skeleton

whatthef*ck Re:Idiot lawmakers (601 comments)

Yep, because of muckraking reporting that neglects to mention that the couple can file for relief which will almost certainly be granted.

That doesn't mean the law is in any way just. In fact, laws that have arbitrary and selective enforcement built in are among the worst kinds.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Becoming a Programmer At 40?

whatthef*ck I don't think your age is an issue (314 comments)

I don't think your age is an issue, but the fact that you asked the question:

"do I have a chance of becoming good at programming?"

indicates that you have at least some level of doubt. And the fact that you have doubts about your own abilities raises doubt in my mind about your abilities.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: What's Your Company's Marketing-to-Engineering Ratio?

whatthef*ck You're not being cynical... (202 comments)

Just naive, that's all.

Get a grasp on the concept of marginal costs, and it all might start to make sense to you.

about a year ago
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Bruce Perens To Answer Your Questions

whatthef*ck What have you released recently? (78 comments)

What is the most recent code you've written that has been released in a production-ready state?

about 2 years ago
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Lawsuit Challenges New York Sugary Drink Ban

whatthef*ck Re:That is seriously an unhealthy amount (642 comments)

The daily reference intake for sugar states that added sugar should nto exceed 25% of calories.
For a 2000 Cal intake that is 500 Cal. The 7-eleven shitty "super gulps" and whatever exceed this
in a single serving.

If you ask me they should just go and make a law that a single serving cannot contain more than
50% of the reference intake. That way you can sell those stupid 5 pint "drinks". You just would not
be allowed to have half a pound of sugar in them.

So real freedom means NOTHING to you?

Obviously not, and it's a pretty sad state of affairs. Sugar is not nearly as big a threat to our society as the ever-growing segment of the population who pine for a nanny state to treat them like children and take away their choices.

about 2 years ago
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Lawsuit Challenges New York Sugary Drink Ban

whatthef*ck Re:Good (642 comments)

Drinks used to be served in smaller containers, and society survived just fine. Restaurants started using larger containers to exploit flaws in human psychology, allowing them to trick customers into buying more than they want or need. This is done to make more money, and to hell with the health of the general public.

Your free will isn't as all-powerful as you think it is. There are a great many people spending billions of dollars every year on cutting edge science to control your purchasing decisions, and you don't stand a snowflake's chance in hell against them. Only as a group can we fight back.

Thankfully, there are government nannies and other assorted busybodies who will save us.

about 2 years ago
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Lawsuit Challenges New York Sugary Drink Ban

whatthef*ck Re:Good (642 comments)

Oh, one thing comes to my mind: They could allow for large servings under the condition that the glass/cup will have multiple mandatory photos of repulsively obese people on it. Just like with cigarettes and the warning labels on them.

Do the busybodies who are convinced they're smarter than everyone else, and hence, entitled to manage their lives, ever rest?

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Should Developers Install Their Software Themselves?

whatthef*ck That depends... (288 comments)

Do you want it installed today, or do you want to wait a week while I write up instructions and scripts and test them in a clean environment (that will probably need to be built from scratch)? And, of course, while I'm doing that I won't be working on the other projects everyone's been hounding me for. Is it OK to push the delivery for those back a week? Your call.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Get Old Commercial Software To Be Open-Sourced?

whatthef*ck Re:The google's way ? (234 comments)

We quickly found out that even with games that hadn't been in print in 20+ years and that frankly never sold worth a shit in the first place (we're not talking Doom here folks, we are talking those cheesy knockoffs and platformers and puzzlers) that when we found the owners the amount of sheer fucking insane levels of greed was beyond nuts. There were several wanting 4 and 5 figures up front NOT for the code, NOT for even the complete game, but just for the right to use the original shareware! And many wanted the rights to OUR code on top! The sad part is we also found that we could just go the Chinamart route and say fuck the IP bullshit and get it done that way.

Sounds like they gave you guys the "go away and quit bothering me" price. I might do the same thing if someone contacted me out of the blue asking me to sign over rights to something for them to sell, with the assurance, of course, that they "never expected to make any money" off it.

more than 2 years ago

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