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Comment Subscribe to Model Railroader & find a club (Score 2) 149

The subscription will quickly get you up to date on the various aspects of the hobby and you'll get a better idea of what you'd like to do. The magazine publisher, Kalmbach, also has a number of very good books geared for the newcomer. Visit your local hobby shop and take a look.

If you want to build a layout, start out small, 4x8 is very popular size so you'll find many track plans to choose from. Better to start out small and build it to completion. Many plan too big, never finish, and loose interest.

Most of all, find a club that has a good size layout with regular meetings and operating sessions. Operating sessions are where the club members get together and run a simulated railroad with time tables, train orders, waybills. Essentially the goal is to move freight around like a real railroad along with the typical challenges of building the train, avoiding blocking the main line so passenger trains aren't delayed, handling the puzzle of setting out freight on a spur that's facing the wrong way, etc. It gives model railroading purpose and is so much more fun than running a train around in a continuous loop. Joining a club will also give you the opportunity to run your rolling stock without having to build your own layout.

If you are into computer programming, you can put your skills into computer controlled dispatching. Traditionally operating sessions with paper, white boards, or perhaps a panel with a schematic of the layout and LEDs to indicate switches and occupied blocks. There is move to do this on a computer. And if you are into electronics, there is the whole aspect of interfacing this with the switches and signals.

Comment Re:I don't think K-12 CS is a good idea anyway (Score 2) 184

Like to read? Here's a bunch of dull books you are required to read and give a report on.

At least in California, it doesn't work that way. The kids are required to earn a certain number of reading "AR points" each week, but they can read pretty much any books they like. 95% of the books in the public library are in the system. My son likes to read science books. My daughter likes to read trashy novels with shirtless guys on the cover. The schools are fine with either.

Like math? Here's a billion problems to work on, and don't dare sneak a peak ahead in the book to find the easy way (or write a program on your computer to solve them).

No, it doesn't work like that at all, at least in California. Much of the math is taught on-line and self-paced. Solving problems with the computer is actually encouraged, and the programming classes are often integrated with the math curriculum.

Let me guess: You actually don't have kids, you have no idea what the public schools are teaching, or how they teach it, and everything you know about "Common Core", you learned from Donald Trump. Right?

I'm in California and IMHO the way they are teaching math in elementary school sucks. Working on a computer is a distraction and it actually makes it harder to learn when solving the problem takes a few steps. My son can solve things like mixed fraction operations much faster on paper than trying to do it on a computer as his teach was trying to have the class do. Also the schools aren't spending enough time on subjects and giving enough problems to master a topic. They keep jumping around; I think they call it spiraling. Both my boys were falling behind until I enrolled them in a private after school program that gives a respectable amout of math homework and they don't advance until they demonstrate competency. This program essentially teaches math the way I was taught decades ago.

Comment Is Google hiring programmers w only a HS diploma? (Score 1) 184

Last I checked you had better have at least a BS from one of the top universities to get an interview and you're not getting into one of those unless you have good grades across the board and high test scores in one of the standardized entrance exams. Furthermore, they are only looking for self-starters, the kind of geeks that are self-taught would find any high school CS course extremely boring.

Comment If I'm hiring the minimum you need to know... (Score 3, Informative) 293

If you want an entry level programming job and don't have any experience, you'd had better made something non-trivial on your own time that you can show in an interview and explain the code. If I'm skimming your code and I see you picked a certain data structure or implemented a algorithm when there is more than one way to do it, you should be able to explain your reasoning for coding it the way you did. Also make sure you learn at least the basics of one of the popular frameworks and use it in your demo.

So make a Javascript web app, or something on the server side with a free or low cost hosting account. Make it functional, make it as bug proof as you can, make the code clean and easy to read, and be prepared to show it to a skeptical audience. Think of your interview as an audition and your code as the music you're going to play.

If you can't make something to show, you don't know enough Javascript yet.

Comment Re:Only 8% HF Ops? (Score 1) 141

According to a US ham who was operating in Nepal a few years ago, the government wasn't issuing ham licenses for at least 10 years and ham equipment is very difficult for the locals to get. It's not like here where there is a local VE exam almost every week and a basic HF rig can be bought for $600 and delivered in a week.

Comment Here's what you tell your potential boss (Score 1) 394

I'm a hard worker and I don't waste my time at work on the Internet preening myself on FB so I can get a bunch of "likes". Off of work I like to spend my time going out and interacting with people in real life face-to-face.

And besides, if you want to see my online presence, you find me on any chan site in /wx/ and /gif/.

Comment Can you really hire a "rockstar" programmer? (Score 2) 145

I don't know how other people code, but I put in the most hours and do my best work on MY pet projects, not someone else's. For the mundane stuff you do at a typical job I'm just "good". The code works and is on time but that is what any competent programmer should be able to do.

So if someone is truly a "rockstar", I have to ask why are they working for work? Shouldn't they be writing their own software, running their own company, living off of the royalties? If I hire a "rockstar" to work on MY project, which might not be exciting, will the "rockstar" do his best ever work? Or will he do no more than someone who's good, a team player, but hasn't aspired to write books or go on a talk circuit to get that "rockstar" reputation? Or worse, will the "rockstar" break things, throw out existing code, piss off coworkers, because he knows he's right and everyone else is an idiot?