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Comment: Acurate estimates aren't that hard (Score 0) 287

by Alomex (#49141893) Attached to: The Programmers Who Want To Get Rid of Software Estimates

I was a manager and never missed a deadline. It really isn't that hard. Most people fail because they do it the wrong way. First give no estimates until you have developed a good picture of the global architecture and have some bare bones functionality running. This takes about 1-3 months of your team, but well worth the effort. Then keep an eye from the very beginning on who's falling behind, and move resources around to support the people who ended up with more than their fair share. Assign a medium size portion of the project to your senior developer(s) so that they are available near the end to go and help in those areas that turned out to be gorier than predicted. You cannot bring people from outside since it takes them too long to ramp up as obseved by Fred Brooks. This is why you use your senior people: they know the whole system and can jump in in any part***. Stand firm in your refusal to add features and lastly, near the end, drop any minor feature which gets postponed to version X.1.

Most costumers are happier with a version in time with 95% of the features than a complete version three months late.

Also be realistic with what means to be in time. If you take three years to develop a system and you are five days late, you were off by 0.5%. Any one who tells you in this case that you were late is just mathematically innumerate. I was never more than a week late, but I'd dare say that even an error of 5% (which for a three year project is seven weeks) should not be considered late. Forecasting is an imprecise science afterall.

Oh and one last thing, there is one estimate you tell the team and there is another one in your head. So the goal is "we run as hard as we can to finish by May 10th, so that when sh*t happens (which always does) we make the real June 1st deadline (which you always keep secret so programmers don't budget for it.... you know, work expands to fill allotted time).

*** Stu Feldman, a Unix principal was used this way, according to Ritchie. Stu didn't fully own a single component of Unix but his code is everywhere, doing central things that had fallen behind and were passed on to him.

Comment: Re:why? (Score 1) 677

by Alomex (#49044487) Attached to: Empirical Study On How C Devs Use Goto In Practice Says "Not Harmful"

Most human beings proficient in both, want to use the same notations in both.

Which is why C's choice of assignment operator is so asinine and bug inducing, yet one that few of its descendants has been willing to break. In fact I can only think of Go as a modern language which eschewed it.

Comment: Re: Perl is more expressive (Score 1) 192

by Alomex (#48959633) Attached to: Perl 6 In Time For Next Christmas?

Go is timid update on C/Pascal. My response to it is meh. We can do a lot better than that.

Python has two big problems: (1) no strict type checking/variable declaration and (2) it's interpreted/compiled to byte code.

It also has a small problem: code indentation really doesn't work. Nice idea, but no, didn't work.

Comment: Re:It's much more complicated than this... (Score 2) 825

by Alomex (#48954069) Attached to: Obama Proposes One-Time Tax On $2 Trillion US Companies Hold Overseas

Private companies can be incredibly shortsighted too. Around here they built penny-wise pound foolish buildings in the 70s and 80s that are energy inefficient and terrible workspaces but were cheap to build back then. You cannot give that space away.

So again, while I generally agree with the virtues of the private sector, I haven't drank the kool-aid that they are always preferable.

Comment: Re:It's much more complicated than this... (Score 2) 825

by Alomex (#48953967) Attached to: Obama Proposes One-Time Tax On $2 Trillion US Companies Hold Overseas

Not so if there is only one privately owned highway coming out of your town.

Yes, generally speaking privately provided services are more efficient, but as I pointed out, there are well known exceptions. Usually they have to do with what are at heart either insurance schemes (defense, healthcare) or natural monopolies (roads, utilities).

Comment: Re:Double Irish? TAX ALL FOREIGNERS!!! (Score 1) 825

by Alomex (#48953477) Attached to: Obama Proposes One-Time Tax On $2 Trillion US Companies Hold Overseas

You are now changing the subject. since you cannot deny that government provided health-care is cheaper, so off you go about the economic crisis, the welfare state and other side issues.

Thanks for participating dude. So much for your (false) assumption that private healthcare is cheaper.

Comment: Re:Double Irish? TAX ALL FOREIGNERS!!! (Score 1) 825

by Alomex (#48953403) Attached to: Obama Proposes One-Time Tax On $2 Trillion US Companies Hold Overseas

Again, all of the western world provides government healthcare more efficiently than private health care in the US. This is an undisputed fact. By the way, of the public/private portions of healthcare in the US the government ones are the ones that provide the most bang for the buck. This has been confirmed in numerous studies, going all the way from medicare/medicaid/armed services insurance to Obamacare today.

I know you will refuse to believe it. It is clear you care more for ideology than reality.

Comment: Re:Double Irish? TAX ALL FOREIGNERS!!! (Score 1) 825

by Alomex (#48953127) Attached to: Obama Proposes One-Time Tax On $2 Trillion US Companies Hold Overseas

Funny you mention healthcare, where we have abundant data from all over the world that conclusively prove government provided healthcare is cheaper than privately provided one.

We have similar data for private energy, highways, and public transportation. For others the private sector is more efficient.

Those are the facts, the rest is foaming-at-the-mouth ideology.

Comment: Re:Double Irish? TAX ALL FOREIGNERS!!! (Score 1) 825

by Alomex (#48953007) Attached to: Obama Proposes One-Time Tax On $2 Trillion US Companies Hold Overseas

You go to a restaurant and you do not cover the entire dinner bill. I.e you underpaid and ran a deficit. The restaurant then allows you to run a tab and charges you interest over the balance as it is done by any and all financial institutions. Now you are trying to use this as an argument that you "overpaid" the restaurant bill?

Try that in front of the court together with all your "sophistication" and you can write to me from jail telling me what the judge thought about your reasons for not covering the entire restaurant bill because you "overpaid".

Comment: Re:Double Irish? TAX ALL FOREIGNERS!!! (Score 2) 825

by Alomex (#48952981) Attached to: Obama Proposes One-Time Tax On $2 Trillion US Companies Hold Overseas

You are getting services and you pay for it through taxes. This does not fit any sensible definition of stealing. I can see that you are one of those libertarians that operate under the pretense that we would be better off with highways built by private parties for which you would have to pay a fee just like a tax to the government but with the difference that you have no say where it is built.

Fine, you are welcome to believe that. It still does not make takes theft or slavery. They are democratically agreed to and you get something in return for them. Let me know when a robber gives you back something in return for the stolen goods. That is how false your analogy is.

It is not best to swap horses while crossing the river. -- Abraham Lincoln

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