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+ - What Makes a Great Software Developer?->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "What does it take to become a great—or even just a good—software developer? According to developer Michael O. Church’s posting on Quora (later posted on LifeHacker), it's a long list: great developers are unafraid to learn on the job, manage their careers aggressively, know the politics of software development (which he refers to as 'CS666'), avoid long days when feasible, and can tell fads from technologies that actually endure... and those are just a few of his points. Over at Salsita Software’s corporate blog, meanwhile, CEO and founder Matthew Gertner boils it all down to a single point: experienced programmers and developers know when to slow down. What do you think separates the great developers from the not-so-fantastic ones?"
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+ - The Highest-Paying States for Technology Professionals->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "The average technology professional made $89,450 in 2014, according to Dice's latest salary survey. When it comes to salaries, however, not all states and cities are created equal. Those tech pros living and working in Silicon Valley are the highest-paid in the country, with an average annual salary of $112,610—but that salary grew only 4 percent year-over-year, lagging behind cities such as Portland and Seattle. Dice has built an interactive map that shows where people are making the most (and least). As you click around, note how salary growth is particularly strong in parts of the West, the Northeast, and the South, while remaining stagnant (and even regressing) in some middle states. If anything, the map reinforces what many tech pros have known for years: that more cities and regions are becoming hubs of innovation. Expect that growth to likely continue through 2015."
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+ - What Will Google Glass 2.0 Need to Actually Succeed? ->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "As previously rumored, Google has discontinued selling Google Glass, its augmented-reality headset... but it could be coming out with something new and (supposedly) improved. The company has placed a relentlessly positive spin on its decision: “Glass was in its infancy, and you took those very first steps and taught us how to walk,” reads a posting on the Google+ page for Glass. “Well, we still have some work to do, but now we’re ready to put on our big kid shoes and learn how to run.” Formerly a project of the Google X research lab, Glass will now be overseen by Tony Fadell, the CEO of Google subsidiary (and Internet of Things darling) Nest; more than a few Glass users are unhappy with Google's decision. If Google’s move indeed represents a quiet period before a relaunch, rather than an outright killing of the product, what can it do to ensure that Glass’s second iteration proves more of a success? Besides costing less (the original Glass retailed for $1,500 from Google's online storefront), Google might want to focus on the GoPro audience, or simply explain to consumers why they actually need a pair of glasses with an embedded screen. What else could they do to make Glass 2.0 (whatever it looks like) succeed?"
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+ - Is D a Criminally Underrated Programming Language?->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "While some programming languages achieved early success only to fall by the wayside (e.g., Delphi), one language that has quietly gained popularity is D, which now ranks 25 in the most recent Tiobe Index. Inspired by C++, D is a general-purpose systems and applications language that’s similar to C and C++ in its syntax; it supports procedural, object-oriented, metaprogramming, concurrent and functional programming. D’s syntax is simpler and more readable than C++, mainly because D creator Walter Bright developed several C and C++ compilers and is familiar with the subtleties of both languages. D’s advocates argue that the language is well thought-out, avoiding many of the complexities encountered with modern C++ programming. So shouldn't it be more popular?"
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+ - What Can Tony Fadell Actually Do For Google Glass?->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "Google Glass is no longer a part of the Google X research lab that birthed the project, according to The Wall Street Journal; instead, it’s now part of a standalone unit overseen by Tony Fadell, the CEO of Google subsidiary Nest. Given Fadell’s rising profile in the technology world, it seems unlikely that he’d inherit the Glass project just to kill it, which would make him look bad; it seems more likely that he’ll try to revamp the technology, much in the same way that he overhauled smoke detectors into sleek, Web-connected devices with aesthetic appeal. But what can Fadell actually do to "save" Glass? He could slash the absurdly high price of $1,500 for starters, and perhaps give it a design revamp, but what other actions can he take beyond that?"
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+ - Exploring Some Lesser-Known Scripting Languages-> 1

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "Scripting languages are used in everything from games and Web pages to operating-system shells and general applications, as well as standalone scripts. While many of these scripting languages are common and open to modification, there are some interesting, open-source ones that are worth a look, even if they don't have the substantial audience of some of the popular ones. Wren, Candle, Fancy, Pikt, and PPL all show what a single developer can do if they set out with enough motivation to create open-source scripting languages. The results often prove surprisingly powerful."
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+ - Little-Known Programming Languages That Actually Pay->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "There is no shortage of programming languages, from the well-known ones (Java and C++) to the outright esoteric (intended just for research or even humor). While the vast majority of people learn to program the most-popular ones, the lesser-known programming languages can also secure you a good gig in a specific industry. Which languages? Client-server programming with Opa, Salesforce's APEX language, Mathematica and MATLAB, ASN.1, and even MIT's App Inventor 2 all belong on that list, according to developer Jeff Cogswell. On the other hand, none of these languages really have broad adoption; ASN.1 and SMI, for example, are primarily used in telecommunications and network management. So is it really worth taking the time to learn a new, little-used language for anything other than the thrills?"
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+ - Who's Responsible When Your Semi-Autonomous Shopping Bot Purchases Drugs Online?->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "Who’s responsible when a bot breaks the law? A collective of Swiss artists faced that very question when they coded the Random Darknet Shopper, an online shopping bot, to purchase random items from a marketplace located on the Deep Web, an area of the World Wide Web not indexed by search engines. While many of the 16,000 items for sale on this marketplace are legal, quite a few are not; and when the bot used its $100-per-week-in-Bitcoin to purchase a handful of illegal pills and a fake Hungarian passport, the artists found themselves in one of those conundrums unique to the 21st century: Is one liable when a bunch of semi-autonomous code goes off and does something bad? In a short piece in The Guardian, the artists seemed prepared to face the legal consequences of their software’s actions, but nothing had happened yet—even though the gallery displaying the items is reportedly next door to a police station. In addition to the drugs and passport, the bot ordered a box set of The Lord of the Rings, a Louis Vuitton handbag, a couple of cartons of Chesterfield Blue cigarettes, sneakers, knockoff jeans, and much more."
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+ - Hunting for a Tech Job in 2015-> 1

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "It’s a brand new year, and by at least some indications the economy’s doing pretty well, which means that a lot of people will begin looking for a new, possibly better job. If you're looking to trade up, Dice has some tips, some of which are pretty standard-issue ("Update resume," etc.), and others that could actually stand you in good stead, including using the Bureau of Labor Statistics to judge the median salary for a position before negotiating with HR. According to Glassdoor, Dice, and other sources, the average salary for many kinds of tech workers will only rise over the next year, so it really could be a good time to see what's out there. Good luck."
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+ - Is the Tablet Market In Outright Collapse? Data Suggests Yes->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "Is the tablet market rapidly collapsing? Mobile-analytics firm Flurry doesn't come to quite that stark a conclusion, but things aren't looking too good for touch-screens that don't qualify as "phablets." According to Flurry’s numbers, full-sized tablets accounted for only 11 percent of new devices in 2014, a decline from 2013, when that form-factor totaled 17 percent of the new-device market; small tablets experienced a smaller decline, falling from 12 percent to 11 percent of new devices between 2013 and 2014. (Meanwhile, phablets expanded from 4 percent of new devices in 2013 to 13 percent this year.) Boy Genius Report, for its part, looked at those numbers and decided that the tablet market is doomed: “Consumers happy with compact smartphones are not switching to larger iPhones for now, but former tablet buyers are.” That's not to say people will stop using tablets, but the onetime theory that they would one day cannibalize all PCs looks increasingly nebulous."
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+ - Tech Jobs That Will Win (and Lose) in 2015->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "If you’d like to change jobs or switch from freelance to full-time status, prepare to pounce: 2015 is shaping up to be a blockbuster year for the IT labor market, according to David Foote, CEO of research firm Foote Partners. “This year started out slow, just as we predicted,” Foote told Dice. “But U.S. employers added an average of 17,633 IT jobs during September, October and November, and we see that momentum continuing into 2015.” So what jobs will actually do well? According to Foote, data architects, experts in data analytics, cybersecurity specialists, business analysts, and anyone who can build an application (especially those who specialize in Agile and JavaFX) will find a growing need for their skills. On the other hand, SAP specialists, Web developers, and "cloud professionals" could find the market not quite as welcoming. Do you agree?"
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+ - Using Your Open-Source Contributions to Land a Full-Time Job->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "So you’ve worked on an open-source project, and you want to leverage that experience to move your career forward. In theory, there’s no reason an employer should shun your experience, just because you did the project from home on your own time. But how can you actually leverage that project contribution into a full-time gig (assuming you want one, of course)? Developer Jeff Cogswell offers some tips: First, make sure that any project you present on your resume is a good one; pointy-eared bosses have a nasty habit of attribute the less-than-stellar elements of a project to you, even if you weren’t responsible for them. Second, be prepped to talk about deadlines, bug reports and fixes just as if the project were something you'd done for a job instead of just the pleasure of contributing to something cool. Those are just a few of the ways to use open source to your advantage, but others abound."
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+ - How a 3D Printer Let a Dog Run for the First Time->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "Ever since 3-D printing began to enter the mainstream, people have discussed the technology’s potential for building prosthetic arms and legs for human beings. But what about doing the same for dogs? In one of those videos that ends up circulated endlessly on the Internet, a dog named Derby, born with a congenital deformity that deprived him of front paws, is outfitted with a pair of 3-D-printed prosthetics. With those "legs" in place, the dog can run for the first time, at a pretty good clip. Both the prosthetics and the video were produced by 3D Systems, which builds 3-D printers, and it seems likely that other 3-D-printing companies will explore the possibility of printing off parts for pets. And while the idea of a cyborg pooch is heartwarming, it will be interesting to see how 3D printers will continue to advance the realm of human prosthetics, which have become increasingly sophisticated over the past decade."
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+ - Is Google's Cardboard Project the Android of VR?->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "When Facebook dropped a cool $2 billion to purchase virtual-reality firm Oculus VR earlier this year, it was seen as a way for CEO Mark Zuckerberg to take an early position in what could become one of the dominant technologies of the next decade. But what if Oculus VR, even with all of Facebook’s money, didn’t end up as the competitor to beat? What if a piece of cardboard, supported by some APIs and an ecosystem of third-party developers, become synonymous with virtual reality? You can debate whether Google’s Cardboard project is expressly intended as a way to ding archrival Facebook, but it’s clear that the search-engine giant wants to play in the virtual-reality sandbox in the same way as it did with smartphones and tablets: open source a technology and encourage others to build with it. Will Cardboard prove the Android of VR, to Oculus Rift’s iPhone? At this nascent stage, that question can’t be answered, but one thing’s for certain: Google is intent on turning something that people initially treated like a joke into an actual platform."
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+ - What Will Microsoft's 'Embrace' of Open Source Actually Achieve?->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "Back in the day, Microsoft viewed open source and Linux as a threat and did its best to retaliate with FUD and patent threats. And then a funny thing happened: Whether in the name of pragmatism or simply marketing, Microsoft began a very public transition from a company of open-source haters (at least in top management) to one that’s embraced some aspects of open-source computing. Last month, the company blogged that .NET Core will become open-source, adding to its previously open-sourced ASP.NET MVC, Web API, and Web Pages (Razor). There’s no doubt that, at least in some respects, Microsoft wants to make a big show of being more open and supportive of interoperability. The company’s even gotten involved with the .NET Foundation, an independent organization designed to assist developers with the growing collection of open-source technologies for .NET. But there’s only so far Microsoft will go into the realm of open source—whereas once upon a time, the company tried to wreck the movement, now it faces the very real danger of its whole revenue model being undermined by free software. But what's Microsoft's end-goal with open source? What can the company possibly hope to accomplish, given a widespread perception that such a move on its part is the product of either fear, cynicism, or both?"
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Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd. - Voltaire

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