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Comment Re:I'm not a coder, but... (Score 1) 163

He hated documentation, had worked there for 12 years, and had everything in his head.

Auuugh! I hate that!

Seriously people, document as you go.

Let me tell you why: Accidents happen.

Do you know what happens to all that lovely detail data that you keep in your head after a concussion? Yeah, it's has gaping holes, or is completely gone.

I hate to think of how many projects and departments get derailed by auto wrecks ands major illnesses.

I'm still cleaning up stuff left half completed by a guy who went on medical leave a year ago.

Comment Re:Hire better workers (Score 1) 163

Computer hobbies? Did all their education provide access to different computer topics?

IOTW, discriminate against people who taught themselves on crappy equipment, only hire people with fancy degrees who know nothing except how entitled they are.

Don't hire the applicant who did not have access to new and expensive computers over the years.

Translation: Discriminate against poor people and people with cheap parents.

Seriously, when I was in high school, the AppleII had just come out. I asked for a computer for Christmas. I got some half-baked mechanical boolean logic "game". I was teaching myself to program on the TTY at school because there wasn't room in the programming class. It was real obvious that I wasn't going to get anywhere with computers at that point. I kept it as a hobby that I would try to do, but didn't try to work with computers again until the 90s, after the PC came out and was affordable.

Comment Re:At Google, Yahoo, Facebook, etc.? NO. (Score 1) 163


Stack ranking automatically penalizes people who aren't present to be "seen" and play politics. If you mentor others but don't self promote and kiss ass, the people you help will keep their jobs and you won't.

Stack ranking is evil, and destructive to real collaboration and teamwork, regardless of how densely you pack them in and how much you micromanage sprints.

Comment Re:When a few team members usually work at home (Score 1) 163

No, Yahoo ended remote work because their managers were not capable of managing remote workers, and were getting scammed. So they punished the whole company because a few managers couldn't tell that their people weren't really working.

Seriously, one remote guy left because of it, and those of us who took over his job wondered what the fuck he did all day, because stuff was so fucked up and incomplete that it was obvious he was not producing any real results and only doing part-time work for his full-time pay. This was purely his manager's fault for not establishing goals and results, and not keeping track. (In the manager's defense, he had a double-sized team, mostly in office.)

But many of Yahoo's middle managers spent more time kissing ass and playing politics than actually managing.

Comment Re:Nope (Score 1) 163

First off, that whole 15 minutes thing is absolute bullshit. Maybe its a worst case if you were in truly deep thought over one of the hardest problems of the year. But most of the time you aren't, and it will be a few minutes Like around 1.

Obviously you don't think deeply about much of anything. It's often at least 15 minutes.

Secondly- your productivity doesn't matter. The team's does. Those interruptions- it means a team member needs help. They're blocked. Their productivity is at or near 0 until unblocked. If interrupting you costs 15 minutes from you but saves an hour for him, that interruption is worth it for the team. There are almost 0 of those interruptions that aren't a net gain. Now if you have a problem with particular people being too disruptive, that's a management/personnel issue you should bring up to your manager.

Guess again. Your review is based on YOUR productivity, not your team. Therefore it is what matters. I have been in jobs where I mentored juniors (answering questions takes waaaay more than 15 minutes), then got crucified on my review for spending too much time on "other stuff", and not doing my tasks. I got no "credit" for helping, "unblocking", mentoring or being an information source. None.

Also, your coworker who is so "blocked"? Has a question that they should either a) figure out for themselves without you holding their hand all damn day, b) do some searching on Google and or your internal wiki, or c) write on the group Slack so it is well formulated and able to be answered by anyone who is available.

Thirdly- not everyone works well in remote situations. Especially not long term (working remote for a day while you wait for a package/your maid/etc is a different matter). Very few people actually end up working as well as they do in an office- there are MORE distractions at home. And communications do not work as well- video conferences do not work as well as talking to someone in person. Even if you're one of those who do work well from home, you won't be as efficient as you would sitting near the rest of the team.

True. Some people can't manage themselves well at home. They have to have the conversations that make them feel important. They have to have their managers watch over them to keep them on task, and not bugging everyone else. They need to smell the farts of their coworkers, and get every illness so that they really feel like they are part of something. I for one find those people to be the biggest impediment to productivity.

Face to face conversations are waaay overrated, and for people who never learned to communicate via the written word. These are the same types of chumps who refuse to comment their code.

I am far, far more efficient working from home, or alone in an office after hours, than I am with everyone and their siblings, cousins and significant others interrupting me all goddamn day with stupid questions that can be answer by reading the goddamn wiki or doing a Google search and applying their fucking brain!

Submission + - Microsoft Research's DeepCoder AI may put programmers out of a job

jmcbain writes: Are you a software programmer who voted in a recent Slashdot poll that a robot/AI would never take your job? Unfortunately, you're wrong. Microsoft, in collaboration with the University of Cambridge, is developing such an AI. This software "can turn your descriptions into working code in seconds. Called DeepCoder, the software can take requirements by the developer, search through a massive database of code snippets and deliver working code in seconds, a significant advance in the state of the art in program synthesis." Another article describes program synthesis as "creating new programs by piecing together lines of code taken from existing software — just like a programmer might. Given a list of inputs and outputs for each code fragment, DeepCoder learned which pieces of code were needed to achieve the desired result overall." The original research paper can be read online.

Comment Re: Your milage may vary (Score 1) 163

... People who think they're really good communicators are often the ones who wander around the office or shout over cubicle walls, disturbing everyone within earshot.


I hate noisy offices. I can't hear myself think, and answering stupid questions that can be looked up on google demolishes my productivity for the day.

The worst is open plan noise pits and "benching". It reminds me of the photos we see coming out of third world sweatshops, with monitors and keyboards instead of piecework on the tables.

I often communicate better over IRC/Jabber/Slack because I can actually type stuff out, and don't have to struggle to understand 50 different accents.

Give me a door or let me work from home

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