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Comment: The source of the toxic rockstar myth (Score 1) 390

by Gestahl (#49622255) Attached to: The Programming Talent Myth

Rock-stars aren't toxic: they are disruptive.

What you do with the disruption they create is up to you: embrace it and elevate everyone else, or reject it, and continue with mediocrity (and maybe keep him as an ace-in-the-hole for skunkworks and one-off solutions where time is a key factor, and unleash the disruption when the time is right).

The companies that have a "stable" development pattern in which the feature development pace, bug rate, architecture, and organizational tools are "good enough" should not hire rock-star coders. They will be frustrated with everything you *aren't* doing, and all the other developers will wonder why he wants to push for more: after all, this has been good enough, right? Inertia will kill any ideas he has for improvement.

The companies that have highly-locked down roles and restricted responsibilities shouldn't hire rock-stars: you will underutilize them, and they will be frustrated with a lack of ability to "just get it done on my own".

Rock stars work well only when they are surrounded by true peers, and everyone is operating on their level, or they are in charge (at least technically) and can fill in a mentor role with not-quite-peers (and are given reduced responsibilities in other areas to compensate time-wise). This almost never happens: rock-stars are seen as too good to not be coding.

Comment: Re:Disincentivized (Score 1) 407

by Gestahl (#49356493) Attached to: Millennial Tech Workers Losing Ground In US

im always amused when I hear people say programming requires math skills. High school math skills. Not higher math skill, except for esoteric applications, which inevitably are just implementations of higher maths necessary for other fields.

This is simply false.

I have used, in my work:

1) Bayesian probability
2) Numerical integration
3) Linear algebra
4) Graph theory
5) Combinatorics

There are all beyond high school math.

Not higher math skill, except for esoteric applications, which inevitably are just implementations of higher maths necessary for other fields.

Dunning-Krueger strikes again.

Comment: Intellectual Sources (Score 3, Interesting) 90

by Gestahl (#49268679) Attached to: Interviews: Ask SMBC's Creator Zach Weiner a Question

With respect to your "philosophical thought experiment" comics, how many of your comics are based in topics/ideas you learned before the end of your formal education, how many are based on things you have encountered in your "continuing education" (whether based on life experience, or just what you are currently reading about), and how many are "novel" intuition pumps?

Comment: I don't think they've thought it out... (Score 1) 375

by Gestahl (#49165961) Attached to: Google Wants To Rank Websites Based On Facts Not Links

There seems to be an implicit assumption that people *want* the truth.

Seems to me that Google is going to have to decide whether they are first and foremost a social-engineering-through-better-technology company, or a company that sells ads. I think this would likely bring this contradiction to a head.

Comment: Re:*sips pabst* (Score 1) 351

by Gestahl (#48667173) Attached to: Ars: Final Hobbit Movie Is 'Soulless End' To 'Flawed' Trilogy

Sure there is an explanation, and it's even on screen.

Aragorn gives them the swords at Bree, probably prepared for the fact that hobbits probably wouldn't have swords.

The only real difference is that in the book, the fact that they were special, ancient blades allowed Merry to stab the Witchking and injure him. However, that really makes no sense, as Eowyn was able to kill him with plain old iron (and a little bit of destiny), no special Numenorean magic required.

Comment: Re:I don't even... (Score 1) 323

by Gestahl (#48654077) Attached to: Putting Time Out In Time Out: The Science of Discipline

*sigh* stripped tags make templated sentences suck.

Example:

"That hurts poor kitty. Why do you want to hurt kitty? Only mean people like [insert current bedtime story villian] would hurt an innocent little kitty. Are you a mean person like [insert current bedtime story villian]? No? If [insert current bedtime story protagonist] were here, what would they do instead?"

Comment: Re:I don't even... (Score 0) 323

by Gestahl (#48653845) Attached to: Putting Time Out In Time Out: The Science of Discipline

>>> I felt the exact same way. "Oh, okay, so no spanking, no time outs. What should I do?" And finally at the end of the article they say something about teachable moments.
>>> Ummmm...so what do I do when my 2 year old hits the cat?

Whenever people ask things like this, I think "Who are these people that can't outsmart and manipulate their 2-year-old?" The answer to "what do I do" is you manipulate the child into feeling bad when he does undesirable things, just like every other kind of punishment. The entire point of punishment is to instill empathy when it's lacking, and to do so, you must make them feel a kind of pain when they cause pain to others so they understand. If you aren't particularly clever, you manipulate via physical pain and humiliation (corporal punishment, no dinner). If you are more clever, you use *who they identify as and with* to manipulate them (BTW, this works on adults too... see identity politics).

Example:

"That hurts poor kitty. Why do you want to hurt kitty? Only mean people like would hurt an innocent little kitty. Are you a mean person like ? No? If were here, what would they do instead?"

How is this difficult?

Comment: Re:*facepalm* (Score 1) 208

by Gestahl (#48621283) Attached to: New AP Course, "Computer Science Principles," Aims To Make CS More Accessible

Forget reading other's text for comprehension, you can't even read what you wrote.

>> That's standard practice for introductory/taster courses. Give the students something they can achieve fairly quickly and easily to show that they can get interesting results and pique their interest in the subject. ***It doesn't have anything to do with gender.***

Right there, starred so you can't miss it. They straight up admit it has everything to do with gender, right in the headline. Twice.

Comment: Re:*facepalm* (Score 2) 208

by Gestahl (#48618255) Attached to: New AP Course, "Computer Science Principles," Aims To Make CS More Accessible

The course was specifically designed to "increase diversity". MS developed the course material to go along with it specifically for girls. Read for detail and comprehension next time.

The goal of this course is not to attract males with varied interests,and you know it.

Comment: Re:Hmmm ... (Score 1) 208

by Gestahl (#48618201) Attached to: New AP Course, "Computer Science Principles," Aims To Make CS More Accessible

>> In what way do we consider either Google or Microsoft to be qualified to be involved in education?

Seeing as the primary goal of education for most people is "find a good career" and the primary goal of education for most businesses is "teach the skills I need for a productive workforce"... whose *external* input would you rather have?

Look, academia, education for education's sake, and deep research will be pursued by those who desire it whether it's encouraged or not. It's the people getting degrees for bigger paychecks (and donations for bigger linemen on the football team) that allows the academia to continue existing as widespread as it is. Seems to me, if you want a thriving school, you'd better listen to what Google and Microsoft want.

Comment: *facepalm* (Score 5, Insightful) 208

by Gestahl (#48616963) Attached to: New AP Course, "Computer Science Principles," Aims To Make CS More Accessible

So... when you *specifically* want to create a class *for girls*, your though is "Hey, let's take out the hard parts, and make it more of a course about all the stuff *around* the actual hard part". You just basically told girls "don't worry yourself about the really hard parts. This is what *you* need to know." Are you sure you don't just want to make it a typing class instead?

Fuck that noise.

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