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Comment Re:Isn't this what Agile promises? (Score 1) 258

There certainly are many naive managers who have no idea what Agile does and how well it works. In a lot of ways, Agile isn't always the best approach to every problem domain, but it is far more beneficial than your comment slams.

In essence, Agile concepts encourage less up front (and as such harder to change) design, and smaller more manageable tasks that can be realistically estimated. Obviously if you slice too fine grained or too broad, you're going to run into different problems. Fine grained slicing, you waste a ton of time setting up component bounds and too broad and you've got the same old monolithic blobs which are hard to estimate and hard to show completeness.

One example, we had a really competent guy take on a huge functional piece of work and spent 3 months bashing at it. We had faith in his brilliance, so he was almost entirely left to himself. Months later, we find that he wrote most of what he did well enough, but it didn't integrate well with the core system. Further, much of it was forced to be rewritten to actually integrate properly with the system. If we had properly managed him with Agile methods (we were using verrry loose agile), we would've divided the huge task into pieces, ran into the same problem earlier and ideally corrected the design decisions before it burned us badly later on.

In regards to your 'not entire systems knowledge' problem, this is a development style, not a learning and interaction style. You're dividing WORK to be delivered. The second you have 2+ developers on a project people stop knowing the entire body of work. Agile neither encourages nor hinders one's desire to learn about all the pieces of a system. True, you have one discrete functional area to work on, but if you're telling me in a pre-agile world you never worked on anything specifically, I'd say people are wasting a lot of time constantly learning and re-learning functional areas when they should be far more effective specializing in areas they're good at and having a general understanding of the surrounding areas in case they need to integrate / change roles.

I feel that you're not happy with your company in general and this is yet-another reason to bash them. Maybe they really are doing Agile badly and you should consider giving -constructive- feedback instead of bashing them on Slashdot. If the company is really making you so angry, you may want to consider a job change. Its better to jump than sit and fester in a job you hate. Trust me, I've been there too.

Comment Re:Gun-free zone? (Score 5, Insightful) 1148

Well, there are a lot of gun free / highly-regulated countries with far less gun crime than the US. Maybe you should dis-empower citizens from making bad decisions / accidents. Oh, well. Slashdot, the land of libertarians, out of my cold dead (more likely dead than most countries) hands. Just wait a few more years and school shootings will be as passe and hum drum as rockets being lobbed over the Gaza / Jerusalem border.

Comment Re:PC dominates the gaming world (Score 1) 250

Most office progarms are now or going offline into cloud. I really wanted to use Open/Libre office more, but frankly Google Docs is just better for my relatively simple office needs. This trend will continue. The only real question is what the 'office computer' of the future will look like. We currently have

Desktop PC's as we know and love them today:
Adv: Low cost over the life of the product, works with most software businesses need
Dis: Not portable for some use cases, so hybrid laptop usually necessary, higher management costs

Adv: Portable, works with most software businesses need
Dis: Higher cost than PC's / Don't last as long as desktops, higher management costs

Tablets w/Keyboard:
Adv: Cheap up front cost
Dis: Not compatible with a lot of software, don't last as long as desktops (comprable to Laptops? probably not), simple but inflexible management

Netbooks / Chromebooks:
Adv: Cheap up front cost
Dis: Not compatible with a lot of software, don't last as long as desktops (comprable to Laptops? probably not), simple but inflexible management

The real question isn't which tech will win. If desktops die in the enterprise, there's a huge market for desktops gone all together. Can our economies of scale hold out a loss of enterprise desktops? That's the one I'm really scared about. With Shoddy short-lived and underpowered tablets replacing home PC's and laptops, it makes it harder for PC's to compete, and eventually the market will deplete enough that I'll be paying a premium for my niche demands.

Comment Start tying nooses... (Score 1) 471

Someone's gonna be hanging.

If found guilty (which certainly looks to be the case) see a huge black eye to the industry, a huge fine (hopefully leveraged over years to avoid outright murdering the company but gutting profits), and ideally better testing a cheat prevention applicable to all other participants. Considering how few players are big in passenger vehicle diesel engines these days, it may just be the end of them as well.

Comment Re:This seems like a good idea (Score 1) 146

The idea ideally looks good on paper, but maybe not so well in reality.

Some people like me will naturally embrace the concept, because I'm generally always thinking of ways to improve my workflows anyways. Add someone else who could come up with completely different scenarios I miss or don't spend enough time on, and you have a good trajectory of improving productivity.

On the negative side of things, many people are really good at figuring out how to improve production workflows, and then there are those that are either terrible at it, or just have no interest in bothering. In these cases, you could actually damage effectiveness or simply have a do-nothing doing next to nothing. Its a tough line to say, well Bob, n months ago, all your ideas were crap, so we're going to skip you over this time around.

Comment Re:uh no (Score 1) 1291

The government is here to babysit you. Its pretty much its singular purpose besides maybe lobbing missiles at people you don't like. The problem is, you don't want to give money to people YOU don't like, and I don't blame you, but that's the social contract we live by in receiving what we do. Don't like it? Find / create through armed rebellion a country without government entitlement and have fun with it.

Comment Re:Ben Franklin (Score 1) 1291

Your solution is to remove productivity? That will certainly never happen in a progressive society. The more likely scenario is that people will work less while retaining existing levels of productivity. You'll never see 'enveolpe stuffers' or the such coming back ever just to fulfill your assumption that people need to work to be relevant to society.

Too many people not working? Reduce the subsidy till nature balances things. Too many people working long back breaking hours for not much gains, maybe increase the subsidy to either force companies to raise wages, or to reduce the number of hours the workers need to sustain their lifestyles. Generally, human nature will still drive people to compete with one another, so to assume the majority will just ride the free bottom rung of living scenario to survive seems unlikely.

Everyone born in your country is already given 'free money' in many real senses already. Your eduction was largely free (to the individual, not society obviously). Fire, hospitals (in many countries), police, millitary, rights, etc.. are all paid for by society so that you can hopefully live to produce more than you cost in the end. I'd be surprised if anyone wanted to remove that goal. The trick is (and has been for a long time) to balance the scales in the most effective measure while allowing individuals varying levels of happiness depending on their place. Communists and Libertarians alike all have their flavors of how to accomplish this goal.

Comment Re:Free money isn't free (Score 1) 1291

The problem with fewer people is that statistically, some of those unborn children would've grown up to improve society in a substantial way. By disincentivising reproduction, we're removing that potential for social improvement with it. To the most ridiculous degree, we outlaw reproduction and society ends (very quickly). Ideally, we could better harness the children that are born to enrich our society as a whole. If we had effective and enticement for truely gifted individuals on an international scale, just imagine what they could accomplish. Too many kids are born into poverty, poorly educated, and live menial lives due to their circumstances. Ideally, we could support everyone (to some marginal level) while allowing for a few truly brilliant people and an army of busy bodies to raise and continue driving society forward (as best as society at the time deems).

Comment Re:Don't we (the US) already have that... (Score 2, Insightful) 1291

"From the period 1936 to 1970" ... and then wages fell off the cliff. You could blame globalization but I wouldn't, fully anyways. Eventually humanity will stop finding ways to be more productive, and instead find ways of enriching their lives. This is a given. Until we're blazing around the Galaxy using FTL, we have very strict sets of conditions in which we can grow as a species. If we continually push through the phyosophical rhetoric that productivity will expand into infinitely, we'll have a large cultural upheaval when our ability to produce (and hence our rewards for such success) start to diminish.

You only need to look at Japan for a microcosim of such a phenominon. Their growth trajectory was off the charts, and then they hit the 80's when their industry largely caught up with 'western economies' and then the brakes started to grind and now they've been in a funk for decades recouperating from the slowing of their economic outputs (an aging boomer population didn't help either). They largely haven't accepted that in their world, a work-hard get rewarded social function is no longer a guaranteed ticket for happiness and success. Just wait till China hits the wall (if this latest round of economic slowing was a canary, it could be here already). That would certainly cause a huge skip in the world's economic heart beat.

The end point being, if we purely look at productivity and economic outputs as a goal as a species, we're in for some unhappy, hard roads ahead.

Comment Re:What kind of future.... (Score 1) 255

Code is just an expression of thought, and regardless of how that is expressed, you'll have people chaining together multiple facets of information and processes to make something coherent. There's hundreds if not thousands of DSL's which express coding constructs into something a little more akin to a basic human comprehension. Maybe we'll just be able to talk to computers to have the information 'figured out' based on my needs in a universal way, but we're a long way off from that point IMHO.

Comment Re:Common sense = none (Score 1) 283

Putting all that aside, learning on computers is just yet another thing to learn. Taking time away from learning core princples may actually be beneficial if those tertiary disciplines are rewarding to the individual in the long run, but may not improve the quality of 'core' curriculum.

1. Calculators make tests without calculators a lot harder but are essential to any disipline. In all but the earliest grades, calculators are all but required for modern schools' math programs. This wasn't always the case. I still remember being limited in what I could bring to tests (sci calc's earlier, prog. calc's later).
2. Computer research makes history and research a lot easier, but if you need to use rote memorization for a given test; it's effects would probably hurt their ability to memorize.

In the long run, we'll need to address how we can effectively introduce technology into core testing in ways that are effective and yet restricted enough to eliminate cheating. Mind you, depending on the subject, good 'cheating' (aka referencing) can actually be considered a skill to strive for, not one to be surpressed.

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