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Comment Would You Rent Space on Someone Else's Hard Drive? (Score 1) 331

A primary goal of any sort of cloud storage is high availability: when your own system is unavailable, you want to be pretty certain that you can get the cloud copy.

How many copies of your file would you need to store on random people's hard drives to feel confident that in three years (when you spill beer on your computer) all of those hard drives are still functional, haven't erased your data, and are connected to a computer which is connected to the Internet?

With enough copies of your data floating around, you can probably recover it. But would the cost of renting that many people's disks be reasonable, compared to backing it up to two or three cloud providers?

Comment Practice. Listen. Think out loud. (Score 1) 218

Step 0: Have a friend do a mock interview with you.
Tell your friend to pick a question like the ones you've been getting.
Solve it on a whiteboard.
In addition to getting some scenario practice, your friend can point out if you're coming across in an awkward way.

Step 1: Listen
Listening is more important than talking in good communication.
I interview a lot of software engineers. Sometimes candidates get so excited about an idea they have that I can't get a word in edge ways to point out they missed a requirement or to suggest there's an easier solution. They may leave the interview saying "I cranked out some great sorting code," but in my notes is written "Implemented bubble sort."
Before diving in to code, verify that the interviewer wants you to implement something. If they say "How would you sort the data," you might not need to implement a sort algorithm.

Step 2: Think Out Loud
If a solution to a problem occurs to you, say it so the interviewer knows where you are.
If they ask questions about your thought, follow their line.
If they just acknowledge what you said, analyze it for a minute and see if it's a good solution, or if there are interesting caveats.

Comment All Mozart's Works are Open Source (Score 4, Insightful) 479

You can learn a lot from Mozart because you can read all the notes he published.
You can listen to many interpretations of his works by different people.
We don't have the chance to read through 25-year-old Mac symphonies^W programs.
We aren't even writing for the same instruments.

Comment A Professor of Integrity (Score 1) 156

[previous post was accidentally anonymous]

I started CU at the tail end of Evi's career when she was, as she put it, "on sabbatical buying a boat." In five years in the classroom, I only got to hear one guest lecture from her. Yet through the passing interactions and from the smiles of respect every student gave her, I could tell Evi was a great person.

I remember an open meeting about improving things in the CS department. At one point, we decided to have a students-only brainstorming session for a while. "All the professors leave and come back in fifteen minutes. Except Evi, she can stay." That's the sign of someone with a lot of social capital.

Here's hoping a decade of sailing has taught Evi enough to get out of this jam. She's certainly taught many of us how to keep afloat in the cyber seas.

Comment Re:How Absurd (Score 1) 545

When was the last time you ran a program where the WPM of the developer affected the quality of the code?

I type way fewer WPM on a smartphone or tablet than I do on a keyboard. I think if I tried to program on a phone, a general sense of oppression and hatred of my situation would express itself in an inferior software product that threw NullPointerExceptions at random.

What's important is not how fast you can type words, but how effectively you can connect the problem-solving part of your brain to your code input method.

"You need tender loving care once a week - so that I can slap you into shape." - Ellyn Mustard