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Programming

Submission + - Why Is "Design by Contract" Not More Popul

Coryoth writes: "Design by Contract, writing pre- and post-conditions on functions, seemed like straightforward common sense to me. Such conditions, in the form of executable code, not only provide more exacting API documentation, but also provide a test harness. Having easy to write unit tests that are automatically integrated into the inheritance hierarchy in OO languages "just made sense". However, despite being available (to varying degrees of completeness) for many languages other than Eiffel, including Java, C++, Perl, Python, Ruby, Ada, and even Haskell and Ocaml, the concept has never gained significant traction, particularly in comparison to unit testing frameworks (which DbC complements nicely), and hype like "Extreme Programming". So why did Design by Contract fail to take off?"
Businesses

Submission + - Where are the science shortages?

An anonymous reader writes: With Bill Gates talking about the shortages in people to fill positions in science and technology, I was wondering where the shortages really are in science? Are there really any science positions out there in high demand? It seems like a lot of the visa worker issues revolve around IT, but is there an impact in science or engineering?
Businesses

Submission + - Is 40 to old for IT or Software Development?

An anonymous reader writes: I have read some stuff on Dice.com's message boards where some people are claiming that after age 40 or so that jobs become very scarce in the IT profession. I was wondering how prevalent this really is, and in particular I was wondering how hard it would be to actually start a career in IT or Software Development at age 40 or even later.

I recently finished up a degree in physics, and I have done some very basic IT support as well as some programming as part of my job working in an environmental testing lab. How difficult would it be to start a computer career at age 40, and what industries and fields will have the most problem with my age and which will have the least problem with my age?
Businesses

Submission + - How hard is it to get a tech job in California?

An anonymous reader writes: I have recently moved from the UK to San Francisco and am trying to get a tech job here. My experience has been difficult. I've had some interviews, but I find that getting feedback just does not happen. One of the companies is a (well known company) that told me they would get back in a week. I heard nothing for a month. Emailing them has produced no response. I assume I did not get the job, but is this typical of how companies treat candidates?

I have also applied to lots positions and got no response at all. This has been direct through comany websites and through job sites.

I was wondering if others can provide some insight into what I am doing wrong?

To give a bit of background I've worked for 10yrs in IT in programming and application support/operations. I also have a degree in Comp Sci.
Windows

Submission + - Has XP Suddenly Slowed Down?

WhoaNotSoFast writes: For the last few weeks, I've noticed XP boxes slowing down dramatically. Typically the screen freezes for 10-30 seconds — e.g. the Start menu won't come up — and there's lots of disk activity. It's happening on unrelated PCs at different locations. I notice it most on quitting IE or Firefox, but it occurs at other times also. Most of the PCs have 256MB of RAM and adequate free disk space. Most are running Windows Firewall, AVG Anti-Virus and either Windows Defender or Counterspy Enterprise. They're not loading much else at startup. The XP event logs don't show anything unusual. I've run Rootkit Revealer on some of the machines, and found nothing. Task Manager doesn't show any excess CPU utilization. Unplugging the network connection doesn't seem to make a difference. Has anyone else noticed this behavior? Is there an infection I haven't found? Is there a paging problem? Has XP grown so large that it needs more physical memory? Or could it be a ploy by MS to nudge us toward Vista? Is XP developing early dementia? Or am I?
Programming

Submission + - Good Beginner's Book for Object Oriented Design?

An anonymous reader writes: What are the best books for someone new to object oriented programming and design? I have a decent amount of experience in structured programming. Is there a good language neutral book, and are there any good books specific to C++, C#, and/or Java? I want something that focuses on real world design issues, not just the particulars of a language.
The Courts

Submission + - Crazy non-compete contracts???

JL-b8 writes: "Dear Slashdot, I've just encountered a (from what I know) strange occurrence. A group of friends who work for a small web design firm are being forced to sign a non-compete agreement with a clause that prohibits the employee from working with a competing company for 12 months after the date of their leaving. Is this a common thing? And what has happened to people who have signed these things? The owners claim it's a standardly practiced clause but I don't see how the hell a web developer/designer is supposed to find work in a city for a year without moving to a completely different city. I'd like more input as to how this weighs in to the rest of the companies out there."
Programming

Submission + - What's it like for a developer to go into sales?

An anonymous reader writes: I've worked for a single, very large technology company since graduating from college in '89. My degree is in Computer Science, and I wrote everything from embedded machine code for big iron to applications with Smalltalk. I'm still in development, but since'99 my programming tasks have been replaced by project management, some customer-facing work (technical-ish presentations, demonstrations, training, etc), helping our marketing people position my team's work, and other things that programmers generally don't like to do.

I find that I enjoy the broad, technical perspective that comes from working in the field, and I'm thinking about moving out of development and into technical sales. Moreover, I've interviewed several techies in my company who are now in sales and all tell them they love it. Several have reported that a techie can make more money in sales. But I have several reservations: I am an introvert and a full day of face-time can really sap my energy, many sales people I've worked with are "sharks" (which I simply cannot be), and I don't like the idea of putting part of my salary at-risk.

Are you a former developer who went into sales? If so, what were your experiences like from a professional and personal perspective? What advise would you give to a developer considering a new career in sales?
Privacy

Submission + - Getting out

An anonymous reader writes: The United States of America as well as several other countries claimed to be the "most free" of countries have recently been imposing draconian legislation- some would say Fascist or Orwellian. If the trend continues, some people will be looking to get out of the country to keep their privacy and freedom. That leaves a question- where should they go?
Programming

Submission + - How to get accurate specs?

spiffcow writes: "So here's my story... I'm the only programmer at a language interpretation company. I design internal software for users are largely computer-illiterate, and obtaining accurate specs for these programs has become a huge challenge. In the most recent instance, I asked for detailed specs on what an accounting program should do (i.e. accounting rules, calculation methods, etc.), and received a Word document mockup of an input screen, complete with stickers of cartoon monkeys. This seems to be the norm around here. When I asked my boss (the head Sales manager) for specs, he responded saying that it was my responsibility to determine what was needed. So my question is this: how do I convey to the users that, in order to develop the software they want, I need detailed, accurate specs. Oh, and as a side note, how do I explain to people that the title "Software developer" does not entail providing technical support for the copy machine?"
Music

Submission + - BMI madness

Dishwasha writes: I have several customers that have recently received a notice from the Broadcast Music Incorporated (BMI) that they were in violation of the music rights which BMI owns. They were sited that they had "Music on Hold; TVs in Public Waiting Rooms, in Therapy Sessions, In Fitness Centers, in Operating Rooms, and in Patient Rooms." Apparently none of these applied except for having a TV in waiting rooms and patient rooms. BMI is demanding my customers to sign an agreement for a "Health Care Multiple Use License". More recently one of my customers is a hospital in a town consisting of a population of less than 800 and they have been directly invoiced by the BMI for the use of TVs in public waiting areas.

Is there any legal advice, articles, or documentation the community can offer me that I can share with my customers? Does BMI hold any legal right to claim fees on publicly broadcasted material that is receiving royalties through advertisement that is not being charged by the accused to their customers nor directly generating any revenue or profit, but is simply accessed via a common device used to gain access to public services (i.e. Broadcasted Television) and not being duplicated in any illegal fashion?
Encryption

Submission + - Secure private key storage for UNIX?

An anonymous reader writes: Microsoft Windows, from 2000 forwards (except ME) offers secure certificate and private storage at the OS level in what is called a protected store. Offline, its encrypted by a combination of the user's password and a session key stored on the filesystem. When the OS is running, the private keys stored are available to the logged in user, optionally encrypted with another password. The keys are stored in protected memory, so no applications can access them without going through the Microsoft CAPI calls. This code also is FIPS 140-1 level 1 (the best one can get for software cryptography modules) compliant.

This functionality (especially certified FIPS 140-1 or FIPS 140-2) would be nice to see in UNIX variants. MacOS's keychain functionality is similar, but stores at the application level, and is not FIPS compliant. An implementation of the protected store functionality will allow applications like Firefox, Thunderbird and gpg to have one common place to obtain private keys and certificates rather than maintaining their own individual keystores. An additional application for this would be the ability to use hardware PKCS #11 tokens.

I am wondering why this functionality does not exist at the OS level in most OSes except Windows. A number of applications on many platforms have this functionality, but its at the app level, with their own keystores, and not a standard at the OS level.
Editorial

Submission + - How to find a job?

boxxa writes: "My graduation is approaching soon and I have begun the job search that many students go into. Since I wish to get out of the area where I am currently in school, the job hunt has gone online. My question is what type of jobs are posted online? My resume is on Monster.com and I carry quite a background with expierence in networking which is the career path I have chosen, but all the calls I seem to get are low level tech and PC jobs. Has anyone else experienced this? Is Monster.com and other sites like Yahoo! Jobs mostly recruiters and other low level postings for the lazy person to find while the larger companies in the US are waiting for people to find their postings in different places? Lastly, what other alternatives are there to finding jobs around the US?"

In a five year period we can get one superb programming language. Only we can't control when the five year period will begin.

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