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Comment: Re:What BS. (Score 1) 387

by Greyfox (#48466565) Attached to: Researchers Say the Tech Worker Shortage Doesn't Really Exist
Because that's what they're paying you to do? Well, that and I hate getting called on the weekend. Last project I put that much effort into, we'd take the weekends in shifts and the programmer on duty was guaranteed to get a frantic call that the system was down again. So I went in, added some data structures, redesigned how the program was launched so that if a data file crashed it, that file would be moved out of the way so processing could continue, and fixed about 150 memory overflows. We went from several hundred crashes a month to maybe one or two on a bad month. And that one or two turned out to be a corrupt index in a SQL database. After about 4 months, we stopped talking about the on call rotation. For the next three years after that, until the project ended, none of us ever got a call on a weekend again.

Comment: Re:Sure (Score 1) 387

by Greyfox (#48466513) Attached to: Researchers Say the Tech Worker Shortage Doesn't Really Exist
I'd say that depends on where you live and what you bring to the company. Can you afford it if that developer leaves? If he tells you he's going, would you make a counter offer? What would that counter offer be? Personally I'm not inclined to accept counter offers because it shows me the company is only interested in paying me the least amount it can get away with to continue to retain my employment, and not my actual technical merit. If I'm made a counter offer, I'll ask why I wasn't given that to begin with before I walk out the door. I'm one of those technical people there's a shortage of, and I don't like to work for dicks. That's why there's a shortage of me at any particular company.

Comment: Beeecause... (Score 1) 336

by Greyfox (#48466403) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Is the Power Grid So Crummy In So Many Places?
We want things like roads and bridges and water and electricity, but we don't want to pay for them? The last major investment we made as a country was the Interstate Highway System, and we no longer understand the concept of investment or the idea of investing in infrastructure. The whole point of having a power network is that everyone doesn't need their own power generation capability, since that's expensive and a large electrical plant will be more efficient. But if you want a solid guarantee that your lights will be on at any given point, you're going to have to invest in your own generation capability. In the last three years I've had two outages that lasted more than 24 hours. The average outage where I live is between 1 and 3 hours.

While we're on the subject of investing in infrastructure, we've got a water crisis coming up very soon now. With undeniable climate change, a large part of the country is never going to have to enough water, while another large part of the country is always going to have way too much. I think we need an interstate highway system level project to move water around the country as needed. I think this will be vital for the well being of tens of millions of Americans over the next couple of decades, but no one is even thinking about such at thing right now.

Comment: Re:What BS. (Score 1) 387

by Greyfox (#48457491) Attached to: Researchers Say the Tech Worker Shortage Doesn't Really Exist
It's not just the last few years. I've found that about 10% of developers are in this because they like programming. I've never met someone who liked programming who wasn't also good at what he did. Of the remaining 90%, most of them got into this because they heard it was a decent salary. They stop being programmers at the end of the day and go home to their families. They're a mixed bag. Over the course of my career, I've seen dozens of them who do a pretty good job programming what you tell 'em to, though I've never seen one go out of their way to write or bring in a data structure library if it would help the quality of the project. I've also seen 4 or 5 who had no technical skills whatsoever and managed to bluff their way into the job. Of those, I recommended against hiring one of those and was overridden by the hiring manager who was impressed by a shiny degree. That one went right back out the door in the next round of layoffs.

The quality's been pretty consistent for the last 30 years, which is about how long I've been in the field. And pretty much how long the field's been around, now that I think about it. The main difference now is that a lot of candidates are gaming the system to try to get through HR, and HR is getting much more aggressive about screening potential candidates out. I haven't seen a good candidate in three or four years and couldn't hire one if I did. If the problem here is HR and asshats, it's not that hard to eliminate both from the picture. Just fire HR, ask your developers to recommend people they'd want to work with again and actively recruit developers with proven track records from open source projects.

Comment: Sure (Score 5, Interesting) 387

by Greyfox (#48457365) Attached to: Researchers Say the Tech Worker Shortage Doesn't Really Exist
If you want skilled tech workers, fire most of your HR department except for the one person who fields the sexual harassment claims about Gary in accounting, refuse to do business with any recruiter and start doing your own recruitment off github and recommendations from your good developers. If you want to retain those people, show them some respect, pay them a decent wage and offer them meaningful work. It would also help if you understood the market you're targeting and the problems you're trying to solve. If you don't understand what your developers are capable of and what they're doing, the only means you have to evaluate them is the market response to your product.

I think the "tech worker shortage" is really just a shortage of people who have no idea how to run a technical company.

Comment: Re:I'm surprised... (Score 1) 77

by Greyfox (#48448635) Attached to: Study: Space Rock Impacts Not Random
That's true, but the celestial spheres are an orderly place. The math to predict an orbit is fairly straightfroward. (Castor is a better link if you want more than a quick overview.) Watching it go around the body it's orbiting is like watching the hands on a clock. So I don't find it particularly strange that if there's a bunch of loose junk on an orbit that intersects us, that we'd run through it on a regular basis. I'd be more surprised if it was just random.

Comment: Re:How much does it pay? (Score 2) 33

by Greyfox (#48438983) Attached to: Startup Assembly Banks On Paid, Open-Source Style Development
And if you write useful open source code, you can always negotiate alternate licensing and support terms with any company that might want to use your work without having to release their code back to the community. So really, releasing your copyright to a company for an ambiguous promise of future payment is doubly silly.

Unix is the worst operating system; except for all others. -- Berry Kercheval