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Comment: Re:Welcome to engineering (Score 1) 315

by NormalVisual (#47519377) Attached to: 'Just Let Me Code!'
Your argument boils down to "Engineering is hard".

Not at all. The main point of my argument is that the idea that requirements are free to be changed, regardless of scope, is resulting in implementation being far more expensive than it needs to be, and IMO this isn't a good engineering practice. How many development shops take the customer aside after a project is finished, show him the dollar amounts for all the change orders, and point out that having had the requirements more in order beforehand might have ended up only costing him only half of what it actually did? "But you saw new stuff working every two weeks, even if it wasn't what you really needed!"

Requirements analysis is (or should be) just as much part of any engineering discipline as construction. Some degree of change is inevitable, but we shouldn't be in the situation where we build an airplane with four wings before determining two would have been sufficient.

Comment: Re:The price you pay (Score 2) 315

by NormalVisual (#47519073) Attached to: 'Just Let Me Code!'
OK, maybe that last one''s a stretch. Nobody bothers to document "simple" programs, since we all know the code IS the documentation and any good programmer can work out what is going on (are they still teaching that garbage?)

Not just teaching it, *practicing* it. My boss is a hardcore Agile fan, and his official stance is "out of date documentation is worse than no documentation, so don't spend any time documenting anything, and if you can't figure out why this 12-year-old code is doing something, find someone in the group that does". Nice, except none of the guys that actually wrote that cruft are still there, and reading code doesn't necessarily provide any insights as to the higher-level theory of operation when multiple modules work together. Then on top of that, he says "I don't want to see any research tasks in this sprint". So what, I'm supposed to know how this works by osmosis?

Comment: Re:Documentation (Score 1) 315

by NormalVisual (#47519011) Attached to: 'Just Let Me Code!'
For example, I am really excited about node.js, but on the page proper, their docs just dump some bits of info on standard functions. That ends up making learning something new, really fast, more difficult than it used to be because you have to go to 3rd party sources, they may be full of crap, way out of date or both.

It's especially discouraging if you've been around for a while and remember what documentation used to be like. I still have the 30 pounds or so of manuals that the old Borland C++ compiler came with. Microsoft's current electronic documentation is pretty good, but it can sometimes still be a bit tough to find exactly what you need.

Comment: Re:Thats why I stock MILLIONS of retro-components. (Score 1) 315

by NormalVisual (#47518981) Attached to: 'Just Let Me Code!'
Everything is specialized and we literally have no jack-of-all-trades coders anymore, pity...that's what we need IMHO.

I would consider myself one of those. I don't pretend to be the ultimate expert in anything I work with, but I've had enough exposure to enough different environments and situations to at least be competent in just about any problem domain, or say, "y'know, over on this other system, this is how we often do this and it might be a more appropriate solution to the problem at hand". It cracks me up anytime Mr. "I'm the best thing since buttered bread" can't figure out why his VM isn't working because he's got a network submask set wrong or something similar, or is completely lost when presented with a Linux command line because all he's ever worked with is Windows and the filesystem organization is totally foreign to him.

However, my experience has been that coders that specialize in one particular thing but can't do anything outside that domain are far more marketable than those with a wide breadth of general knowledge and honest about not being the do-all and end-all of any one skill.

Comment: Re:Who is stopping him? (Score 4, Interesting) 315

by NormalVisual (#47518753) Attached to: 'Just Let Me Code!'
You are why spec and finished product do not match.

I think the main reason why spec and finished product don't match is because "spec" is a moving target that never solidifies. Agile processes just make it worse by not even attempting to nail down requirements beforehand - "it's more important to be able to show progress than actually know what we're supposed to end up with, and don't you dare document anything because it's going to change anyway" along with the idea that it's okay to spend thousands of dollars completely rewriting stuff as the requirements continue to change. It's impossible to properly engineer a product when you don't even know what the product is in advance.

Comment: Re:Special email addresses ... (Score 1) 277

by NormalVisual (#47472535) Attached to: Sony Forgets To Pay For Domain, Hilarity Ensues
You're suggesting a tactical solution to a process issue. Better to have the responsible group track and update necessary renewals on a regular basis, instead of depending on notifications from external parties being received.

I only hold a couple of dozen domains, but this is exactly what I do. I get notifications from the registrar directly to a specific e-mail address I've set up for that purpose, but I also automatically generate an email to my personal account on the first of each month reminding me to check with the registrar to see if anything needs attention anyway.

Comment: Re:Of, For, and By the People (Score 2) 140

In January 2005, Texas revoked TA’s certificate of authority for failure to pay its annual franchise tax

Any state will do that - it's hardly an "execution". In my state it's a whopping $150 per year that goes to $400 if you fail to pay by the designated date. They don't do an administrative dissolution until much later.

Comment: Re:Only because they're stupid. (Score 1) 435

by NormalVisual (#47471701) Attached to: FBI Concerned About Criminals Using Driverless Cars
A protocol needs to be in place that allows the police to signal the vehicle to "pull over" and come to a stop.

Pulling in front of the car and slowing down, with another vehicle on the side if needed to prevent changing lanes, will do this quite effectively without the need for remote control. Since we're operating on the assumption that the car is inherently going to be obeying traffic laws to begin with, it's unlikely that any legitimate need to pull the car over would be something a single officer would be addressing anyway.

For God's sake, stop researching for a while and begin to think!

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