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Comment: Re:Defense of the Article (Score 1) 137

by phantomfive (#49620383) Attached to: The Programming Talent Myth

But you just said there's no way to measure this ... how could he have collected data?

I didn't say it man, he said it. Reading comprehension!

Perhaps ... but that would imply that one does not transition over time from one hump to the next or if they do, it's like flipping a light switch

Interesting point. I can think of several ways that could happen. For example, I've noticed a difference between quality programmers and lousy programmers: quality programmers are always looking for ways to improve their skill.

So there could be two groups, those who look to improve their skill, who quickly distance themselves from the group that doesn't. Of course, there will still be wide variance in skill between the members of each group.

I'm sure you can think of other ways it could happen.

Comment: Re:Measurements (Score 3, Interesting) 137

by phantomfive (#49619849) Attached to: The Programming Talent Myth

It might - but that appears quite unlikely to me. Surely it has a normal distribution with the majority being somewhere in the middle

There is a reason for it to be bimodal.......those are the kinds of programmers companies demand.

Essentially there are two types of companies:
* Startups (etc) who want the best programmers and are willing to pay.
* Others who want to pay as little as possible to get the job done.

Those conflicting motivations could easily create a bimodal distribution (between programmers who are passionate, and those who are just doing a job). I don't know if that's happened because I haven't measured, but it seems plausible to me.

Comment: Defense of the Article (Score 1) 137

by eldavojohn (#49619837) Attached to: The Programming Talent Myth

This guy doesn't know how to measure programming ability, but somehow manages to spend 3000 words writing about it.

To be fair, you can spend a great deal of time talking about something and make progress on the issue without solving it.

For example the current metrics are abysmal so it's worth explaining why they're abysmal. I just was able to delete several thousand lines of JavaScript from one of my projects after a data model change (through code reuse and generalization) -- yet I increased functionality. My manager was confused and thought it was a bad thing to get rid of code like that ... it was absolute dopamine bliss to me while he felt like our production was being put in reverse. KLOC is a terrible metric. But yet we still need to waste a lot of breath explaining why it's a terrible metric.

Another reason to waste a lot of time talking about a problem without reaching an answer is to elaborate on what the known unknowns are and speculate about the unknown unknowns. Indeed, the point of this article seemed to be to advertise the existence of unknown unknowns to "recruiters, venture capitalists, and others who are actually determining who gets brought into the community."

So he doesn't know......programmer ability might actually be a bi-modal distribution.

Perhaps ... but that would imply that one does not transition over time from one hump to the next or if they do, it's like flipping a light switch. When I read this I assumed that he was talking only about people who know how to program and not "the average person mixed in with programmers."

If he had collected data to support his hypothesis, then that would have been an interesting article.

But you just said there's no way to measure this ... how could he have collected data? What data set could have satiated us? The answer is quite obvious and such collection would have been a larger fool's errand than the original article's content.

Comment: Re:Dunno about that, I still suck at programming. (Score 2) 137

by phantomfive (#49619783) Attached to: The Programming Talent Myth
Don't worry too much. Alan Kay said:

"I feel like my answers are quite trivial since nobody really knows how to design a good language, including me."

Similarly, no one really knows how to do programming really well. Some are better than others, but we're all feeling our way through the unknown early days of software programming. In 100 years, who knows what programming will look like?

Comment: No one wants this (Score 3, Insightful) 137

by phantomfive (#49619665) Attached to: The Programming Talent Myth

"In our industry, we recast the talent myth as "the myth of the brilliant asshole", says Jacob Kaplan-Moss. "This is the "10x programmer" who is so good at his job that people have to work with him even though his behavior is toxic.

This is swinging at a strawman. A person can be a 'brilliant' "10x programmer' without being an asshole. A person can also be a -10x programmer while being an asshole.

Also, if a programmer can't work well with other programmers, she's not a 10x programmer, she's just a fast typist. Any software that is unmaintainable by others isn't good code.

Comment: Measurements (Score 5, Insightful) 137

by phantomfive (#49619647) Attached to: The Programming Talent Myth

If you could measure programming ability somehow, its curve would look like the normal distribution.

This guy doesn't know how to measure programming ability, but somehow manages to spend 3000 words writing about it.

So he doesn't know......programmer ability might actually be a bi-modal distribution. If he had collected data to support his hypothesis, then that would have been an interesting article.

+ - Recent Paper Shows Fracking Chemicals in Drinking Water, Industry Attacks It->

Submitted by eldavojohn
eldavojohn writes: A recent paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences turned up 2-Butoxyethanol from samples collected from three households in Pennsylvania. The paper's level headed conclusion is that more conservative well construction techniques should be used to avoid this in the future and that flowback should be better controlled. Rob Jackson, another scientist who reviewed the paper, stressed that the findings were an exception to normal operations. Despite that, the results angered the PR gods of the Marcellus Shale Gas industry and awoke beltway insider mouthpieces to attack the research — after all, what are they paying them for?
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:I know a better headline I'd like to see ... (Score 1) 85

Seriously? Would you really want the government educational system doing weird experiments with schools? Most likely this experiment will fail, like most startups fail.

I think it's kind of a good thing for an education system to be conservative (conservative in the sense of not chasing every fad).

Comment: Re:Trickle Down? (Score 4, Interesting) 85

Different meaning of the word 'trickle down.' It's like a new technology......electric cars were primarily available to rich Tesla drivers, but the 'technology' is 'trickling down' as it becomes cheaper. Same thing happened with microwaves and plenty of other technologies.

You could have figured this out, but he's saying that if their school is successful, other schools will start using it.

Nobody's gonna believe that computers are intelligent until they start coming in late and lying about it.

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