Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?

+ - The Programming Talent Myth

Submitted by writes: Jake Edge writes at that there is a myth that programming skill is somehow distributed on a U-shaped curve and that people either "suck at programming" or that they "rock at programming", without leaving any room for those in between. Everyone is either an amazing programmer or "a worthless use of a seat" which doesn't make much sense. If you could measure programming ability somehow, its curve would look like the normal distribution. According to Edge this belief that programming ability fits into a bi-modal distribution is both "dangerous and a myth". "This myth sets up a world where you can only program if you are a rock star or a ninja. It is actively harmful in that is keeping people from learning programming, driving people out of programming, and it is preventing most of the growth and the improvement we'd like to see." If the only options are to be amazing or terrible, it leads people to believe they must be passionate about their career, that they must think about programming every waking moment of their life. If they take their eye off the ball even for a minute, they will slide right from amazing to terrible again leading people to be working crazy hours at work, to be constantly studying programming topics on their own time, and so on.

The truth is that programming isn't a passion or a talent, says Edge, it is just a bunch of skills that can be learned. Programming isn't even one thing, though people talk about it as if it were; it requires all sorts of skills and coding is just a small part of that. Things like design, communication, writing, and debugging are needed. If we embrace this idea that "it's cool to be okay at these skills"—that being average is fine—it will make programming less intimidating for newcomers. If the bar for success is set "at okay, rather than exceptional", the bar seems a lot easier to clear for those new to the community. According to Edge the tech industry is rife with sexism, racism, homophobia, and discrimination and although it is a multi-faceted problem, the talent myth is part of the problem. "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. In reality, given the normal distribution, it's likely that these people aren't actually exceptional, but even if you grant that they are, how many developers does a 10x programmer have to drive away before it is a wash?"

+ - Singapore's Prime Minister Shares His C++ Sudoku Solver Code->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett writes: Several weeks ago, during a speech at the Founders Forum Smart Nation Singapore Reception, Singapore’s prime minister Lee Hsien Loong said that he used to enjoy programming, and that the last program he wrote was a Sudoku solver in C++. To back that up, earlier today he announced (on Facebook and Twitter) that his code is available to download. He wrote on Facebook that he wrote the program 'several years ago' and that the code does 'a backtrack search, choosing the next cell to guess which minimises the fanout.'
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:I am a Republican voting Conservative. (Score 0) 342

I'd say the same thing about the left and global warming, but they have moved the goal posts so it is climate change and any out of the ordinary weather event is confirming evidence.

At least in your scenario the "Preachers of Hate" would be crushed by proof, There is absolutely nothing that will get a lefty to acknowledge they were wrong.

Comment: Seriously ? What a non story (Score 1, Insightful) 367

by Crashmarik (#49615985) Attached to: No, NASA Did Not Accidentally Invent Warp Drive

Really why not just sample facebook find a post that says something crazy and then extrapolate to a large group of people.
You might as well complain about the new cult that thinks mankind was created by spaghetti.

The drive may or may not work, pretty hard to mismeasure a newton + of thrust, we will see. There is no doubt it's positively insane to go all guilt by association.

Comment: Re:Just Like the "Liberal Media" (Score 0) 342

Don't go bringing facts into this.

Science is pure like the love of god, Scientists are people who leave ego behind and selflessly work for the betterment of humanity
Things like studying if cocaine makes quail engage in risky sexual behavior http://blogs.scientificamerica...

Are absolutely needed for your own good, and if you doubt that you are too stupid to understand science, it's settled shut the fuck up.

Comment: Re:I am a Republican voting Conservative. (Score 0) 342

Because we can't pander to stupid people who have internalized Republican nonsense. Should we back down every time someone has a stupid belief just because Republicans cherish stupid beliefs?

On a sane site this would be modded troll and flamebait.

+ - Proof of aliens coming in 20 years, says NASA scientist->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: A NASA scientist says we’re just a couple decades away from having conclusive proof of extraterrestrial life. On Tuesday, April 7, NASA chief scientist Ellen Stofan spoke on a panel about water in the universe. Water is an essential ingredient for life as we know it. So astrobiologists typically focus the search for extraterrestrial life on worlds where water is present.
Link to Original Source

This is now. Later is later.