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Why the New Guy Can't Code

zoomba Re:The Real Problem: Degrees Without Side-Work (948 comments)

Yes, there's a point of diminishing returns. Absolutely. I hit that wall myself many times in college.

And yes, course loads can get down-right evil. And commuting time can be a killer for some.

I'll gladly concede that your second year left you no free time. But what about 1,3 and 4? Summer terms? While you obviously had far less free time than most, are you saying you had 80+ hour weeks every week for four solid years?

I may appear to a bit dismissive to time concerns, but I've always been leery of people who claim they have no time. I heard that a lot in college from folks who were out partying every night and most weekends. Who made trips home every other week, and spent entire summers on vacation. I hear "I have no time" and it immediately translates in my head to "I'd rather be doing something other than X."

Personally, I squandered many opportunities for personal projects in college. But it wasn't because I didn't have the time to do them, it was because I wanted to do something else more (sleeping, drinking, dating, playing Frisbee etc.). Most people aren't honest with themselves over the difference between "time" and "priorities"

more than 3 years ago

Why the New Guy Can't Code

zoomba Re:The Real Problem: Degrees Without Side-Work (948 comments)

*sigh* As I've pointed out in follow-up comments, it's not about working beyond 40 hours. It's a bare minimum mentality that is possibly hinted at by a college grad who did nothing beyond their coursework. It's the unwillingness to extend themselves beyond what is absolutely required. Getting through college with just a set of grades but no personal projects, no extracurriculars, no volunteer work, nothing beyond the paper is a potential red flag that the person might not be interested in going above and beyond.

The most effective, amazing developer I know gets his shit done in 40 hours a week. But sometimes when things go off the rails, he puts in the extra hours needed to get everything back on track. When the need arises, he puts in the extra work. My issue isn't with effective 40hr/wk developers, my issue is with any worker who hits 40 hours and won't go an inch beyond. Getting to 22/23/24 (or whenever you graduate) as a programmer then going out into the world to find work, and not having anything except classwork to talk about, does not show well.

more than 3 years ago

Why the New Guy Can't Code

zoomba Re:The Real Problem: Degrees Without Side-Work (948 comments)

If you're a new coder with limited experience, you do need to "show" more. You don't have the resume to impress people, so you need to come up with something else.

more than 3 years ago

Why the New Guy Can't Code

zoomba Re:The Real Problem: Degrees Without Side-Work (948 comments)

It's not about working insane hours. It's about the strict 9-5 mentality and what it shows. Yes, there are some devs who can turn out pure gold in 8hrs a day and go home exactly on time. But they're pretty rare from what I've seen.

The mentality is more the "I am going to do the minimum required of me" that causes problems.

And remember, we're talking about developers with little to know professional experience. This is different than the guy who's been a developer for 20 years and worked on dozens of products/projects.

Young, inexperienced devs need to show they're willing to go the extra mile sometimes. Just doing what's required isn't always a good thing.

more than 3 years ago

Why the New Guy Can't Code

zoomba Re:The Real Problem: Degrees Without Side-Work (948 comments)

It's not about success or failure of the app that's important really, it's the fact that it exists that tells people something.

Fact is, everyone fails. A lot. In fact, I am more leery of hiring someone who has never failed over someone who has. That first crash is the hardest, and the later it comes the more disastrous to the person it can be. You learn more from failing than from succeeding etc.

It's about saying "I did this!" It doesn't have to sell a single unit. The existence of the thing shows effort, initiative, and experience outside of the classroom.

more than 3 years ago

Why the New Guy Can't Code

zoomba The Real Problem: Degrees Without Side-Work (948 comments)

I think a lot of comments are lashing out at the "Don't Hire Inexperienced Developers" concept without really thinking about what's being said in the rest of the article.

What the author is really saying is "Don't hire developers fresh out of school who have nothing to show for themselves except coursework."

Why is this so important? It's important because it shows two things:
1) The developer only has theoretical, academic knowledge of programming
2) The developer isn't passionate about developing.

The first is a huge problem for any company hiring said developer. I don't know a single instance where what I have encountered in the working world matched closely at all to how my textbooks or professors told me things "should be". The mental shift required between school and work is large and can be very difficult to overcome for many.

The second point is a critical thing to consider especially if you're a small company or a startup. A-level developers and other IT folks are passionate about what they do. They have side projects. They have little tools and such that they create to help solve whatever task they're focusing on at the moment. Coming out of school with absolutely nothing beyond class assignments is a strong indicator that the developer is only interested in the bare-minimum requirements to get by. That's not to say they're not talented, just that they're looking for a 9-5 job where they're in at 9:00 and out at 5:00 and aren't interested in going the extra mile. These guys are terrific coders for large companies where there's a lot of maintenance type work to be done. They're productivity vampires though for small companies that need every member of the team to be highly efficient and high producing.

The article points out how easy it is to have side projects. To turn out a little app on a website or on a mobile platform that you can point back to and say "I did this."

To those who argue that there's just no time in a 4 year degree to do side projects like that... Where the hell did you go to school? Did you have a full-time 40hr/wk job totally outside of CS/IT during the same period that left you with only enough time outside of class to sleep? If MIT students can get through in 4 years and manage massively complex pranks, contribute to OSS projects and still graduate with high grades, what's everyone elses excuse?

more than 3 years ago

EC To Pursue Antitrust Despite Microsoft's IE Move

zoomba Let me see if I have this right... (484 comments)

Ok, Microsoft is found guilty of abusing its position of controlling the currently most popular PC OS on the market. Through bundling and anti-competitive practices they're nailed for being a monopoly.

The media player gets stripped out per an earlier EC case.

Now, in 2007, Opera complains about the browser bundling, saying that it gives Microsoft an unfair advantage in the browser wars. The EC says "Yeah, you're right! Ok MS, take out the bundled browser"

Microsoft complies, stripping out the IE user application from copies of Windows 7 to be distributed in Europe.

Opera and the EC, faced with getting exactly what they asked for, are now mad again because what they REALLY wanted Microsoft to do was to bundle a competing product with the base OS. They don't want a level playing field, they want to tip the scales in their favor (specifically to Opera).

I'm sorry, but there is a line being crossed here where we went from semi-valid to out-right ridiculous. Strip down the OS, fine. Let the OEMs decide what browser to install on a system. Let retailers sell $5 CDs containing Firefox, Opera, Safari etc with their copies of Windows 7. If you want the OS to be a neutral platform for applications, then it has to be just that. If you try to mandate what browser IS bundled, you're defeating the whole point and just creating a new monopoly for whoever the lucky guy is whose browser you choose (likely Opera).

Considering current browser usage statistics, I think the entire browser monopoly concept is antiquated. With IE currently holding around 41% of the total market, and Firefox with 47% ( it's pretty clear that a) it's not a monopoly anymore and b) bundling is not hurting other browsers.

What this really feels like is Opera is tired of being in last place (and probably especially pissed that up-start Chrome blew past them in just a month or two) and instead of capturing marketshare with a more compelling product, they're going to try and legislate themselves into a stronger market position.

more than 5 years ago

Online Nicknames Google better than Real?

zoomba It really depends on the company (308 comments)

I think it depends on how tech and web savvy the company that you're applying to is. If you're applying for a job with an insurance company, bank, or other massive mega corp (even if they're a tech shop) it would probably hurt more than help since you have no way of knowing if the HR drone reading it knows the difference between a Mac and a PC. When you go to list a handle on your resume, you're depending on the person reading to know a) what it is and b) what to do about it. It's a big risk.

Now, if you're applying to a smaller company, one that is extremely tech savvy, I think it could help a lot.

I landed my current job in large part to the name I've built for myself online over the last decade. Of course, the job is all about online and community presence, so that's a bit of a different story, but it would have helped me with this company no matter the specific job.

The best idea I saw in the discussion was to go around yourself, collect all your favorite "Me" links from Google and then put together an online portfolio of sorts on a personal website. That way you can provide the link on your resume, and then very directly control what information they see if they look you up that way. It's all about controlling your virtual image, and this may be the best way to do it.

more than 6 years ago


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