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Comment: Re:No. (Score 0) 204

by mcrbids (#49621961) Attached to: Is It Worth Learning a Little-Known Programming Language?

But... you'd be surprised how often it happens that I've learned a new tool, technique, or technology, only to be presented with an opportunity to use that new technology shortly thereafter.

You miss many opportunities simply because you don't see them as such because you lack the context, understanding, or tools to recognize them as such. Broadening your horizons helps you see the solutions and opportunities for what they are.

Comment: Re:The Curve on Academic Courses (Score 4, Interesting) 353

by pla (#49620279) Attached to: The Programming Talent Myth
I can appreciate the difference between "I don't like this code because it looks different than how I would have written it", and "I don't like this code because the author clearly has no clue how to accomplish the required task and only barely managed to cobble together enough crap to get the desired outputs on a handful of test cases".

The former, I can work with (and sometimes learn from). The latter, I know that I will eventually need to waste more time "helping" the author repair it when it breaks, than I would have just doing it correctly the first time myself.

The real problem here comes not from professional programmers, for the most part (though yes, truly awful "professionals" do exist). The problem comes from having most of the people "programming" in a modern office environment not actually programmers. You have accountants writing god-awful VBA, you have help deskers writing crappy web forms to automate part of their work, you have business analysts who know juuust enough SQL to get an answer, albeit a completely wrong answer, from the data.

This has nothing to do with style, and everything to do with "programming" as an increasingly required bullet point on the average office worker's resume. Yeah, you know some VBA, good for you - Now learn when you can accomplish the same thing with normal Excel formulas, and quit turning every spreadsheet you touch into a smouldering heap of unmaintainable side effects.

Comment: Re:Real reason (Score 3, Interesting) 535

by MillionthMonkey (#49616339) Attached to: Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina Announces Bid For White House

Carly spouted off on Saturday about net neutrality, and claimed that it was forced down our throats by lobbyists from Verizon and Comcast.

And she says this as a former CEO of HP. I hope her campaign fails soon because her voice gives me faceslapping injuries.

Comment: Previous ISP: a decade (Score 1) 93

by tverbeek (#49616093) Attached to: I've had my current ISP (disregarding mergers) for ...

I was with my previous ISP (Speakeasy) for about a decade. They were a wonderful find when my DSL provider went under without warning, forcing me to shop for an alternative from the "comfort" of a coffee place. But as the independent DSL business consolidated (read "collapsed"), they eventually got bought out, customer service predictably declined, and (worst of all) I was still paying the same amount for the same speed I'd signed up for circa 2000 .... I finally jumped ship to (sigh) Comcast.

Comment: Re:Not just ineffective (EEO bullshit) (Score 1) 516

by pla (#49615133) Attached to: Recruiters Use 'Digital Native' As Code For 'No Old Folks'
Ah, so "right" and "wrong" can be determined by popular vote now?

Not so much "popular" as "fiscally responsible".

Society has a compelling interest in keeping people employed as long as possible - Ideally until they drop dead on the job, but as long as possible in any case. The longer someone can't work, the longer society will bear the financial burden to keep them alive. A decade of SSI, we can readily bear when offset by a 40 year career of paying in to that system. 30+ years of welfare because companies "don't want" to hire competent experienced professionals, however? The numbers just don't work out when we allow that to happen on any large scale.

So yes, we as a society have determined, for our own good, that companies (you remember "companies", right? Legal fictions allowed to exist as a boon society grants them in exchange for the small possibility they will benefit us overall?) cannot turn away otherwise-qualified people because of a few protected categories.
It doesn't matter if you don't want to work with blacks - Too fucking bad.
It doesn't matter if you don't want to work with women - Too fucking bad.
It doesn't matter if you don't want to work with fogeys - Too fucking bad.
It doesn't matter if you don't want to work with Jews - Too fucking bad.

If someone can do the job and you don't "want" to work with them, rejecting them for only that reason breaks the law. They have a "right" to consideration for employment regardless of the age, gender, race, or religion; you don't have a "right" to run a company however you want, simple as that.

Comment: CF: Comcast & Verizon wanted net neutrality (Score 1) 535

by MillionthMonkey (#49614765) Attached to: Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina Announces Bid For White House
This is what Carly Fiorina said about net neutrality two days ago:

The dirty little secret of that regulation, which is the same dirty little secret of Obamacare or Dodd-Frank or all of these other huge complicated pieces of regulation or legislation, is that they don't get written on their own, they get written in part by lobbyists for big companies who want to understand that the rules are going to work for them.... Who was in the middle of arguing for net neutrality? Verizon, Comcast, Google, I mean, all these companies were playing. They weren't saying "we don't need this," they were saying "we need it."

I think my grandmother could have done a better job running HP.

Comment: Re:hiring 15 year olds (Score 1) 516

by pla (#49614419) Attached to: Recruiters Use 'Digital Native' As Code For 'No Old Folks'
McDonald's in town has a help wanted sign out front saying "hiring 15 year olds". Discriminatory?

Possibly by the letter of the law, but probably not under any reasonable interpretation - 15 year olds fit into a special "pain in the ass" category as far as labor laws go, so McD's intends that sign to mean they will hire 15YOs, not that they'll only hire 15YOs.

Comment: Re:Pay, not talent (Score 1) 516

by tverbeek (#49614055) Attached to: Recruiters Use 'Digital Native' As Code For 'No Old Folks'

But if an experienced landscaper is willing to do it for $20 – because he's been "laid off" from his landscaping job (unofficially for not being in his 20s anymore), but he would still like to continue eating – why shouldn't you hire him? Hiring decisions should be based on the actual job requirement (willingness to work for the pay), not assumptions about the applicants based on someone functionally irrelevant (age).

"Just think, with VLSI we can have 100 ENIACS on a chip!" -- Alan Perlis