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Comment Re:dependent contractors (Score 1) 273

IRS regs specifically mention working for only one company as an indication that you should probably not be considered a 1099. The company I used to work for offered me the option of being 1099 but the IRS guidelines clearly stated that was not appropriate so I asked to be brought on as W2. Even if the IRS wouldn't check, I don't see the point in putting myself in a position where I give them a reason to screw with me...

Comment Re:Emacs and Vi (Score 1) 443

I pretty much use the same tools for Windows / Java / OS X/ iOS and started my career about the same time. Pick the best IDE for the target environment / source language rather than one to rule them all.

I started my professional career writing Windows apps in C++ and never saw the point of the 80 character per line limited text mode editors that were available on Windows / DOS at the time. After college it was a long number of years before I saw Unix again, and by then I was accustomed to GUI based editing. I will never forget fighting with folks in the early 90s who wanted to impose a 80 character line limit as part of our coding standards because that's all they could see in their text mode editors. Bogus!

I have to say though that the worst IDE I have used is Eclipse. I spent about 6 months in Eclipse 3 years ago before a more senior Java developer showed me IntelliJ and I never looked back. Major gripes:

When you start Eclipse, the UI is already in a bad state. The toolbar buttons are enabled as if you are debugging. If you click the "Stop the Debugger" button, you get a dialog telling you that the button you just pressed is not enabled. Uh, yeah it was otherwise how did I press it to get this dialog? If you can't even get the initial UI state right, it doesn't inspire confidence! I still saw this in the last version I tried. I'm assuming that the design of the code must be so bad that this must be very hard to fix so it stays broken in version after version. And no, I'm not going to pull down the code and try to fix it when the community version of IntelliJ is free of cost and works fine.

So many times Eclipse would show all these red underlines in my code but when I compiled the code from the command line there were no warnings or errors. Deal breaker! Absolutely unacceptable waste of my time! All of the files had been saved. If it has no errors from the command line compiler it shouldn't be showing errors in the IDE. It's like the IDE is senile or something...

When I was developing servlets, every month or so the integrated Tomcat would just stop working for no apparent reason. I never had a problem with IntelliJ and standalone Tomcat.

Having to reset your font and color settings for each workspace is tedious. Having the IDE forget some of your key mappings when you start it, even if you haven't changed workspace is downright annoying. Another waste of my time. The whole thing just feels so brittle.

Comment Re:Face-to-Face Communication Matters (Score 1) 133

That's interesting. In retrospect, did you figure out what aspect of the communication was a barrier in the remote case that wasn't a barrier in the in person case (e.g. whiteboards)? Did you have video, shared whiteboards, shared document editing in the remote case?

Comment Re:You Can't Fix It (Score 1) 133

Sure you can, but it's easier to catch it early and nip it in the bud.

Design reviews. Code reviews. Senior people mentoring junior people. Pair programming if you must. Refactoring. I've had to have juniors I was mentoring go back and rework something that was lame.

It's not like people have never heard of these things right?

Comment Re:Skype is for children. (Score 1) 133

Meh. I've been working remotely for 17 years. Video call is good enough versus coming into the office, particularly for one on one conversations. Chain of emails or in person are not the only options.

At this point we can communicate via multi person video, voice, shared document editing, shared whiteboards, chat, etc. The real challenge IMHO is getting people to embrace these new-ish tools rather than being stuck in, "the way we've always done things".

I've never understood why people seem to feel that connecting via Skype / Hangouts / whatever is more trouble than getting up and walking over to someone's office... It seems like more of a social hangup.

Comment Re:So they just reinvented Pogoplug? (Score 1) 94

I'm not saying you should. I have a Pogoplug that I bought for $20 on clearance and put Arch Linux on it. It works fine as a light web server for static pages and file sharing.

I'm just saying it's not exactly an original idea and the hardware is more expensive than other plug computers. The hardware only Pogoplug (i.e. before they added cloud storage) didn't seem to have great success and I'm not seeing anything in this product that is so different than the original Pogoplug concept that seems like it would be a game changer in the space.

From looking at their website for about 30 seconds, it looks like for the $50/year you also get "unlimited" cloud storage and some backup software. Might be worth it from that aspect but I haven't priced cloud storage / backup lately since all of the free offers out there cover my needs at the moment.

The reason computer chips are so small is computers don't eat much.