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Comment: let him experience the good and the bad (Score 1) 189

by HappyDrgn (#44598833) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Experiences Working At a High-Profile Game Studio?

Can you share with me your experiences so I can give him real life examples to convince him to take this job?

No. It's better to learn what type of job you enjoy on your own. If he is talented he will be fine; maybe he will hate it and quit, maybe he will like it, who knows. If he likes it you'll just end up looking like an asshole. The important thing is he will probably learn and move on. There are good and bad jobs across industries in technology, I've had my share of both and I would never trade those personal experiences for someone else's opinion. They've given me more insight and experience about the industry than anyone could summarize for me. They have become part of how I interview and look for new jobs.

Comment: Re:forest and tree analogy (Score 2) 119

Actually, having a crystal clear picture of what the Great Swarm is doing provides an exquisitely crisp background against which one can pick out very fine details indeed when it comes to excursions from that background.

It's the excursions that they're looking for and keeping a close eye upon.

As the detail of the background becomes sharper and sharper, so too does detail of the excursions.

Comment: As a computer guy with a lot of older clients... (Score 2) 329

by DoraLives (#42649467) Attached to: When Was the Last Time You Used a Landline Phone?
...I find myself dealing with land lines a lot.

Furthermore, trying to set people up with Google Voice, and the dedicated phone number that goes with that, can be exceedingly pesty when attempting to verify your legitimacy using a cell phone. For some reason or other, Google doesn't like a surprising fraction of cell-phone numbers, and refuses to verify with them, but it's never failed yet with a good old fashioned land line. Does anybody know why this is?

Comment: Re:I can assure you... (Score 5, Insightful) 642

by DoraLives (#42105281) Attached to: Hello, I'm a Mac. And I'm a $248 Win8 PC.
I beg to differ.

I've been doing home computer repair for the general public for literal decades. I used to do it as a side job or for charity, but it's been my sole income for many years now. Bottom line: I've got a fair amount of experience working with equipment that's on the failing end of its life cycle, all of which has been entrusted to the tender mercies of your typical non-savvy user.

And I'm a pattern recognizer, too.

And nowadays the pattern is one of complete random events, for all classes of home computers.

I've got people with ten year old eMachines running XP who's hardware continues to run without the slightest issue, and I've got people with brand-new three-thousand dollar specialty machines who can't catch a break, with bad motherboards, PSU's dying and taking other components out with them when they go, hard drive failures of every stripe and color, and on and on and on.

I've decided that there's really no sensible difference in equipment anymore, so far as reliability goes.

It all comes out of the same factory in China somewhere, and none of us really know what the hell is going on over on that end of the production cycle.

It has become a crapshoot, plain and simple.

Used to be, more expensive, "quality" computers could be expected to last longer, but no more.

They're all using the same components from the same vendors, and if that's not enough, the batch-to-batch variabilities and imponderables are now completely impossible to keep effective or meaningful track of anymore.

And what once was a clear pattern of "quality" goods giving a nice return on investment, has now become random noise.

Nowadays any of it can fail for any reason at any time. May as well get the cheap stuff and try to cut your losses up front.

Comment: Re:How Much Would What Cost? (Score 2, Insightful) 383

by HappyDrgn (#41459145) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Explaining Version Control To Non-Technical People?

git doesn't need a central server.

Right... and by those standards neither does svn. Look man, I use git on my personal machine all the time, but it's a far cry from version control that a team can reliably utilize without a centralized component to it. Before you go on about git on a desktop machine please think about the implications. In general I think a central server should be baked into the costs for any revision control proposal, just because it can run on your desktop does not mean it should.

"What happened to my merge!?", "Oh sorry man, I rebooted"

Comment: Re:Simple: By Communicating It (Score 3, Insightful) 186

by HappyDrgn (#41344497) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Prove IT Knowledge Without Expensive Certificates?

"Are you seriously telling me that you are that unwilling to invest in a profession or trade that you intend to pursue for the rest of your life??"

I invest in my career daily, 15 years and counting now, I don't see certifications as any kind of meaningful investment. I've held top positions at small start ups on up to fortune 50 tech companies. I'm going to hire my engineers based on demonstrated real world experience. I agree with l0ungeb0y; get up there and show me something on a whiteboard or log into a vm and build something. If you have no experience put a cert on a resume, but they are no more than resume filler IMO. Certs are not even on the same playing field as real experience. Any monkey, with enough practice, can fill out the right bubbles on a sheet. Aside from entry level gigs, it takes real experience to ace a tech interview however.

My advice; Get a Linkedin account and setup a small website. Do a few gigs and get some positive reviews on your profile page. Go to your local chamber of commerce mixers and start networking. Do well and start building a reputation. Know what you can do, but more importantly know what you can't. You might need to start with small and cheap gigs to build a trust relationship before you'll start getting bigger ones. References and recommendations are golden.

Comment: Re:Well, they're a good indicator of intelligence (Score 1) 672

by HappyDrgn (#38617998) Attached to: Are Brain Teasers Good Hiring Criteria?

Are you seriously tell me that you are an automaton - you just want to clock in your 8 hrs at work so you get your paycheck and aspire absolutely nothing else from your career??

In the 15 years I've been doing this I have realized that there are far too many people whom deep down inside the answer is yes. Maybe they are too beat down, or jaded, or just don't care. I know plenty of guys who started in the industry with me or shortly after that are still in the same job role, not for lack of skill or opportunity to advance, but pure desire and motivation.

Going through these posts so far I'm a little shocked and taken back by the common themes... look guys, no one is going to hand you promotions and raises, you need to go out and get them. The first step in doing this is to reflect on your career and skill set, then honestly answer these questions, at least to yourself. IF the answer truly is "for a paycheck" then fine, but don't also expect large raises and promotions; these generally go to people who are aggressive with their career and in it more for just a paycheck.

It's easy as engineers to sometimes feel entitled; how many of us have saved companies from a major disaster? saved millions of dollars? saved people their jobs? You might be asking "where is my cut?" The short answer is tough luck, you did your job and you don't get one; that's not to say you don't deserve one. Feel good about what you did, and use it to propel your career, but don't get caught up in what you did not get in return. With pay and promotions sometimes you need to fight for it and sometimes give up and switch jobs, cities, states or countries to move up, acquire new skills and receive higher pay checks. The major advances in my career and pay all came from job transitions between companies, with some minor victories in there while on the job.

In some imaginary utopian world a manager would pro-actively promote you and shower you with praise, fame and fortune. Your CEO would be driving the honda and you the bently. When you came to work a carpet would be laid out and fresh warm hot pockets would be already made for you. People would line the cubicle walls and cheer for you as you walked by, that balding manager would shake your hand and thank you for recovering his email. Sysadmin day would be more than just a joke on slashdot... That's not the world we live in. Companies more often than not suck, some less than others. Your *real job* is to find the least sucky job, get the most money you can for yourself and advance your skill set quickly because there aint no one out there who's going to hand it to you -- no matter how much to deserve it.

Comment: Re:LOL (Score 1) 42

by DoraLives (#35409036) Attached to: SurfSens Brings Surfing Into the Computer Age
> I wasn't aware surfers were such violent degenerates,
> in addition to being the airheads they're traditionally portrayed as.

It's worse than you imagine, by far.

Surfers are dangerous thugs, and they will issue beatdowns at the slightest provocation, or even no provocation at all.

They roam in packs, speak in a near-incomprehensible dialect, and evade all duties to god, country, family, and work in a crazed hedonistic pursuit of some delusional "perfect wave."

The most cursory of examinations of surfing culture as exposed by media fact-finders will inform you that surfing damages its practitioners in some way that reduces their mental capacities to that of a troglodyte.

If you govern, you should always view surfers as an especially insidious fifth column. If you employ, never ever hire a surfer, as they are inveterate shirkers. If you're thinking of entering into a relationship with a surfer, do not, because they are completely unreliable and cannot be counted on to adhere to even the most basic of familial obligations. If you see them in the water, do not approach them, but instead calmly leave the area prior to notifying the authorities.

Despite its malevolent foundation, surfing culture has infected the minds of young people around the world, and seems to still be spreading.

To combat this pernicious infection, it is recommended that you boycott all things associated with surfing and surfers.

Do not buy surfing-related apparel. Do not watch videos of tanned bodies in the peak of youthful health flying as if on magic carpets though crystal blue dreamscapes of water. Do not fall prey to the seductions of charismatic groups of surfers, living lives that you can neither imagine nor approve of, as you perform your tasks as a good conscientious member of society.

Stamp out this virulent infection now, before it is too late!

Comment: Re:One thing I loved about NDS (Score 1) 219

by HappyDrgn (#35085722) Attached to: How Do You Protect Servers From a Rogue Admin?

We use OpenLDAP this same way, but on top of it have many other layers that protect the systems and mitigate risk. Systems authenticate though LDAP, which we enforce on the linux systems using the standard config files, which in turn are version controlled and monitored by a config repository. If for instance someone does create a local account, it's discovered by the linux config manager and it's overwritten. If a server stops responding to the config manager a little alert goes off. These become the keys which you tightly guard. Access at that point becomes less of an issue, as it's easily monitored, controlled, and removed if necessary.

On top mitigate risk is important. No one server can be a single point of failure, and no single system can't be wiped and imaged clean in under 15 minutes. Backups become critical, use a trusted offsite service like IronMountain. Don't just stick them on a local disk, put them in a trusted space and give access on the account solely to people who have a deep vested interested in maintaining the company. If your systems can be rebuilt, and your backups are safe, you're looking at a worst case of being down for a day. Most companies should be doing this anyway, it's not just rouge admins you have to worry about, it's rouge data centers, rouge customers, rouge carriers, rouge asteroids, fires, earthquakes, bombs...

The IBM purchase of ROLM gives new meaning to the term "twisted pair". -- Howard Anderson, "Yankee Group"