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Comment Re: And we care because...why? (Score 1) 171

I'm on a 40 hour week. By law they can not ask you to work longer without overtime in most states, and can not fire you if you refuse. This applies even to exempt workers. The 60 hour work week is self imposed although many companies will mislead workers on this account. If an exempt worker voluntarily works longer hours management will tend to fill in that extra time with more tasks, at which point trying to shrink back down again becomes a problem. The places that do tend to have the longer hours are startups, which are places to avoid if you want to have a life or sanity or a steady salary. It is true that this may make you look like the slacker, especially at a place the values quantity over quality, but blame your coworkers for setting false expectations.

The corporation is not the type of place for prospective fathers either! This is 2015, not 1950. Today fathers are parents also, they need to share in the child rearing. Ward Cleaver needs to take time off from the office before the Beaver becomes a delinquent. Besides, June Cleaver has a day job too because that's the only way to afford a house in California. After a new baby, dad needs paternity leave as well. I see no difference between male or female in this regard.

Comment Re: And we care because...why? (Score 1) 171

Right. If you are all about equality that is great. Explain then why the equality has dropped over the years. Women used to form a sizable fraction of computer workers, including support, design, and development. Today that fraction is noticeably less. Things were never equal in the sense of matching outside demographics, but things are clearly worse today and something must be causing it.

How can you care about equality and yet not care if the equality is declining? What I suspect is that you care more about maintaining the status quo than about equality. Don't rock the boat in other words.

No one's asking for a crusade, no one is going to be marching in to kick all the men off of their pedestals. It is worth it though to go and find out why these problems are happening, to try and market to women and encourage them to go into computing fields again. Or is the mere marketing to women some sort of anti-male crusade?

Comment Re: And we care because...why? (Score 1) 171

Men are in no danger of being so unfairly represented that they end up underpaid on average compared to women, or having to create fake names and icons for online technical boards lest someone find out they're really male, or being forced out of their profession. And yet there are some morons out there who seem scared of this. They are in an amazingly advantaged group and can not even see it, instead acting afraid that one day they might not be able to tell sex jokes at work as if that is the worst possible discrimination.

Comment Re: And we care because...why? (Score 1) 171

IT in most places is a vile scum filled pit. Seriously. The boys club mentality is repulsive. Start acting like professionals and treat your clients with respect. Maybe you'll get a clue about why everyone hates the IT department so much.

You like the boys club, and are afraid of a PC environment. Now take out your seldom used empathy module and flip it on. Imagine if things were reversed and you were the one always in the overly sensitive PC environment, except that the women are laughing you when you walk by, or giving you looks of disdain and telling you to your face that you should be home raising the kids. Would you quit IT and head off to somewhere else? Imagine how women feel when forced to work in an organization that would embarrass a frat house. If it's wrong to harrass and attempt to force you out of your desired profession, then it is also wrong to do the same thing to someone else.

You do not love women if you don't want them as colleagues. If you only tolerate them in certain contexts then that is the definition of discrimination and prejudice. You are a bigot. You are the reason the percentage of women is dropping over time in computing fields. At least you have enough shame left to post anonymously.

Comment Re: And we care because...why? (Score 1) 171

This isn't about forcing people to take jobs they don't want. However women are clearly capable of these jobs, and were clearly interested in them in the past. If there is some biological basis then it does not account why the percentage of female programmers has declined over time, so I seriously doubt it's some sort of innate bias. There's a clear problem, even if you fail to acknowledge it. Why has the percentage dropped? You clearly don't care, but some people do.

Comment Re:And we care because...why? (Score 1) 171

Why don't you care? Worried about competition? Basically, if everything is fair and above board, why only 5% female programmers instead of 50%? And don't blame it on something stupid like "women don't like computers" or "it's genetic". It's purely a social problem, because the percentage has been going down over time.

The reason it's a problem is that we want to treat all segments of the population equally. This is evidence that clearly we don't do this as a society, and that over time we are getting worse at it. If we claim as a society that we do not discriminate then it should be worth figuring out and fixing. Why defend the status quo when it is broken?

Comment Re:Interesting (Score 1) 573

Sadly, computer hardware engineers are just as sloppy much of the time. They can use ad-hoc designs, fudging or guessing on the numbers, utter lack of documenation, and just plain boneheaded errors that make it to the customer before being found. Even in some other areas considered a bastion of proper engineering things are breaking down. Consider the growing numbers of massive cost overruns with large civil engineering projects.

The goal of fully interchangeable and reusable parts that is the holy grail of software engineering doesn't really exist in the other engineering areas, or at least the scale is different (a resuable component is the 32 bit word, whereas the software engineers seem to want to reuse something equivalent to an entire bridge).

Software engineering isn't about software or engineering, it's completely about management.

Comment Re:Interesting (Score 1) 573

Most of the students would never need to write a sorting algorithm. However I think ALL of his students should know how to compare sorting algorithms and understand all of the theory behind it. If what the students really want is a list of library functions to call, they can go to any stupid trade school for this. However if they are paying for an education then they should be prepared to be educated.

Now there's nothing wrong with being the entry level programmer for life. If you look at an auto company, a few people design the autos while lots and lots of people stand on the assembly line and repeat the same action a thousand times a day. With engineering, some people are technicians and some people are engineers or scientists.

So it's up to the students. Do they want to set an upper limit for themselves that they will hit very quickly, or do they want to reach for the sky?

Comment Re:No, wrong (Score 1) 573

A problem that I see *often* is in not knowing how to do math on a computer. People have a working model that numbers have infinite range and floating point numbers have infinite precision. Thus you see a lot of "(giantnumber * giantnumber) / tinynumber" and the get an overflow; or worse, it works for their test cases and their customers are the ones to get overflows and bizarre results.

I knew someone who stored floating point numbers as text (a waste of space), because otherwise the results seemed to be inaccurate when stored as binary. But so many common decimal numbers can not be represented in binary floating point with a fixed number of bits, like "0.1". Occasionally there would still be problems and the person would come to me and ask why two numbers did not compare as equal even though they looked the same when printed out.

Comment Re:Take it from me (Score 1) 573

But it can be extremely difficult to understand some piece of mathematics if you skipped all your college level maths or paid your roommate to take your tests. At the very least get a working comprehension of calculus, a working comprehension of boolean logic, a working comprehension of high school algebra, etc. However it is ok if you forget it all a year later! The important thing is that you worked hard to learn this once, you exercised your brain and molded it into a shape that was capable of learning abstract concepts, and are able to use that information later in life when presented with new ideas.

Comment Re: Programming (Score 2) 573

Even if you never use the stuff you learned in a difficult class in college, it at least has taught you to think better. Steroids for the brain. Someone who skips past all this stuff, taking shortcuts, avoiding theory, taking the easy classes like "math for athletes and web programmers", is going to have a flabby brain. They never learned how to think abstractly, never learned how to handle a complicated problem beyond their capabilities, and never learned how to learn. They're just going to have a glazed look in their eyes at the staff meetings whenever some complex topic is being discussed.

Comment Re: Programming (Score 5, Insightful) 573

A lot of this just pushes all the buttons for me. My pet peeves with modern society are with the morons who revel in their own ignorance. There used to be a time when learning stuff was considered important. Even the president of companies would feel the need to learn what their company was about, how their product was made, how it worked, etc. Today ignorance is celebrated. Morons can go on the internet and say "I can code without knowing math", which sort of implies that people who do learn things are wasting their time. Cretins advocate that college can be skipped as a waste of time. Even those in college whine like kindergarteners that stuff is too hard or irrelevant to their future career behind a help desk.

Ignorance should never be treated as a virtue. And yet that is what is happening and this original post proves that this attitude is still alive.

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