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

by Flwyd (#46555329) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Re-Learning How To Interview As a Developer?

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

by Flwyd (#44431139) Attached to: Remember the Computer Science Past Or Be Condemned To Repeat It?

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

by Flwyd (#44140471) Attached to: Unix Guru Evi Nemeth Missing, Feared Lost At Sea

[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: Ideagrams (Score 1) 713

by Flwyd (#39991647) Attached to: Icons That Don't Make Sense Anymore

At a company where no one seemed to have any graphic design skills and our toolbars were a random collection of misappropriated icons from various open source projects, I suggested we just use Chinese characters for everything. Our users are gonna have to attend training to figure out what the button's for anyway

Comment: Re:How Absurd (Score 1) 545

by Flwyd (#34682256) Attached to: Does Typing Speed Really Matter For Programmers?

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.

Comment: Re:What did you expect ? (Score 1) 287

by Flwyd (#31971296) Attached to: Facebook Retroactively Makes More User Data Public

once something hits the internet its out there, no privacy promise by a huge corporation is going to protect it.

BS. People send millions upon millions of email messages a day and have a reasonable expectation that their email providers and any SMTP hops along the way are going to keep them private. If a webmail provider suddenly decided that everyone's email address and all the addresses of all their contacts were to be public (unless you opt out), that would rightly be perceived as bad behavior and a violation of users' sensible assumptions. The path of least resistance opt-in flow for Google Buzz had the end result of publicly listing the names of some of folks frequent contacts (who'd also opted in). It created a big uproar and Google quickly changed the wording to make it clearer what would be public and how to keep it private.

I access my banking records through the Internet on a regular basis. I use this convenient system instead of paper and phone calls precisely because I trust the privacy promise provided by my bank. A bank that suddenly decided to make everyone's financial information available to the world on the web by default would quickly lose a lot of customers and get a big fine from the regulators. I don't think we need a Federal Department of Regulating Facebook, but I do think we have a right to expect companies to stick to their privacy promises and suffer customer-based consequences if they fail to live up to them.

One thing The Cloud can do better is give users control of their data. Google's Data Liberation Front is a good model: If a user decides they don't want to use a cloud provider's services for whatever reason, it should be easy to get all their data out of that company's control and import it in to a different cloud provider (if desired). Take it a step further: As a user of service A, I should be able to select certain information to share privately with my friend who uses service B. Like telephone companies and the post office, the service providers should transmit and present that information, but they should have no option to change the parties who can see it.

Caveat: Court orders and other legal actions can force a provider to reveal private information without the approval of that information's owner. This is true of banks, cloud providers, and internal IT departments. So yes, if you're planning an elaborate murder scheme on the Internet, don't assume it will only be seen by your co-conspirators. But if you're closeted at work and out to your friends, you have a right to expect your social network won't suddenly decide to make "Orientation: Gay" the first thing people see when they Google your name.

Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them. -- Bill Vaughn