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Comment Not always true (Score 1) 152

I dislike over generalizations, and while i agree with the theme of the article, this is my objection.

Take the flip side. If you have a programmer developing software in a business area that she or he has no prior training or formal education in or kniwledge of, would you consider that programmer to be useless and worthless?

I suspect the true answer lies somewhere in between, and is also subjective. In a given project team, the effectiveness of an individual (manager or otherwise) is dependant on how well that individual is able to use their skills to help the team achieve their project goals.

That does not mean that every single individual has to technical. It only means that the individual has to be highly effective in what they do, and their effectiveness should be aligned to benefit the team.

For example, if a team is developing an accounting software, a manager who is an accountant could be as effective as a purely technical manager. The accountant manager still needs to understand software and system limits/tradeoffs, but by that token, the engineers in her team aldo need to understand accounting. And if a bright engineer can pick up accounting basics on the fly, then a bright accountant can also pick up technology basics.

Assuming that the latter is not possible is just hubris and snobbery, IMHO.

Comment Re: Never (Score 1) 118

Apparently PMP doesn't include reading comprehension, because you're attacking straw-men. Go back and read what I wrote, and see if you can come up with a more coherent response.

I will try to reword my response so that you are capable of understanding my straight-forward point.

Most of your post is trying to explain why PMP is important. You do it by saying, "the person will have to learn X, the person will have to learn Y, the person will have to know Z." In other words, to show that the certification has value, you also show that a person can learn something by getting the cert.

A certification does not teach, it certifies.

CERTIFY (transitive verb)
- attest or confirm in a formal statement.
"the profits for the year had been certified by the auditors"
synonyms: verify, guarantee, attest, validate, confirm, substantiate, endorse, vouch for, testify to;

- officially recognize (someone or something) as possessing certain qualifications or meeting certain standards.

The irony is thick here. You accuse me of a lack of reading comprehension skills, while you do not understand the meaning of the word, "certification".

You're trying to come up with some roundabout logic that a certification implies learning, or forces you to learn, but that is incorrect. It is subjective and may hold true for some. But I will repeat, a certification is not meant to teach. Technical certification or otherwise.

Of course there are people who already have the skill.....should they get the certification? Usually those people already know if the cert is worth getting or not. They don't ask that question. Furthermore, for those people, a certification is not hard to get, spend a few hours taking the test, a few hundred dollars, no big deal, if they have to.

In some cases, certifications are mandatory. Civil aviation for example. In most countries, an aircraft engineer (the guy who inspects your aircraft before it takes off) needs to be certified by a central civil aviation governance body. They get certified and licensed for a specific model of aircraft and have to periodically renew their license to continue to do their job. Regardless of what skills they possess or how many years they have been doing it.

If a certification is not hard to get, and if it adds value to your resume (or so you think), then I am not sure why someone would not get it. It sounds like a no-brainer. And in some ways, it the same argument that someone would make to get a college degree. And many would advice you to get it, even though the cost and time commitment are non-trivial.

The entire argument in this thread hinges around a "bottom of the barrel" argument. If you are being interviewed for a job by incompetents, or work in an oganization that values certification over skill, that is a different matter. However, these two aspects (organizations valuing certifications, and organizations valuing skills) are not mutually exclusive. There are many organizations that value both, and people who do not hold this easy to get certification, are at a disadvantage. Just as someone from a good school does enjoy some advantages even in good engineering oriented or dynamic organizations.

And by your logic, no-one should be required to get a driver's license, especially for those people who feel really confident of their driving skills.

And jeez man, you don't have to get antagonistic. You triggered me off, and I realize it in hindsight. So I guess I am too.

Comment Re: Never (Score 1) 118

You are oversimplifying this. Project management is not one skill. It is a collection of skills, techniques, adherence to certain processes and best practices.

Most people acquire these skills on the job, either hands on, or by getting mentored by others or by watching others or even through past failures.

But that could still mean that a technically skilled project manager is still lacking awareness of some aspects that she or he should be considering. Even simple things like doing effort estimation correctly. By doing it anonymously and via consensus for example (wideband delphi or planning poker) instead of making unilateral judgment calls on estimates. I mention this because i see technically strong managers often run roughshod over their team, sneer at the estimates their team provides or shame them publicly, mico manage the technical design, etc.

You can also do the agile equivalent of PMP and become a certified scrum master, but in all these cases, the certification is meant to test your awareness of project mgmt fundamentals.

Yes, they will ask you to drink their koolade a bit. PMP will ask you to read the PMBOK for example. But the certification is not meant to train. It is meant to be a forcing function for you to educate yourself on all these aspects.

The point remains though.. how is it a completely bogus endeavor? I buy the point that focusing solely on certifications during hiring is stupid. And a pmp will not make a technically weak person a great manager.

But that is only misuse of the certification. It still has value if used correctly.

Comment Re: Never (Score 1) 118

You have it backwards. The name should give you a hint too. A certification is meant to certify a certain skill or capability that you should already possess. It also certifies that you are aware of the process and formal rigor you are supposed to follow when you handle certain responsibilities.

Such as project management. A PMP certification for example certifies that you know how to handle various aspects of project management. It also certifies that you make the right judgment calls in handling various ambiguous situations.

While everyone on this thread is loving to hate PMP, the flip side is that i have seen many bright engineers and leads become project managers, handle some core aspects brilliantly, but completely ignore other aspects. Such as communication. Or establishing a change management process. Or failing to get the buy in of all stakeholders. Or even identifying all stakeholders and keeping them adequate in the loop and communicating to them.

A PMP also requires you to prove that you have a few thousand hours of project mgmt under your belt. They also audit you quite frequently to verify your claim by checking the references you provide.

And most PMPs are not even in the software industry. It is far more sought after and considered important in construction, civil engg, etc. In industries where you cannot dick around and screw up a big project because you, the project manager, are not even aware of the various things you need to consider. Being bright unfortunately is not enough in these situations. Things like workload buildup and identifying critical paths and dependencies and having a formal risk mitigation plan.. this is not fluff. If your cement mixer arrives and your people are not ready, you are incurring losses.

I am not glamorizing PMP. Yes, it has become a magic wand in some cases. But most of the replies make grand ill informed claims about how trashy PMP is. I beg to differ. It is a certification by a well established neutral body that does its due diligence. The trainers might be shady but the certification is not.

You can flame me now.

Comment Re: More and more abstraction (Score 1) 289

Not sure why this post was downmodded. It really is true. A significant part of developing a piece of software or a service is in the plumbing, the mechanics, the boilerplate code, the rote incremental work that needs to be.. done.

And this becomes worse. A major cost and effort of any software is in its maintenance phase, not the design or even development phase. Now the job of maintaining the software; through L1, L2, and L3 support; becomes even more menial and labor intensive.

And this is exactly the same evolution path that the manufacturing industry went through, and is going through.

So the resentment at low cost IT workers is not that different from the resentment that Asimov portrays in his books, where people hate robots because they think the robots will replace them.

And yeah, they are all right. Only the adapts survive.

Comment Re: They also believe (Score 1) 129

Don't be silly. We went from cars to the moon because two of the richest and most powerful countries funneled a significant part of their money, talent, and resorces to make it happen. And had deep pockets to survive multiple failures and ability to spend zillions of dollars.

Compare this to a startup that seems to have equally grandiose ambition but a fraction of the ability and resources.

Nobody is pulling you down from trying any of these moonshot ideas. But if you want people to really believe that you have a good chance of succeeding, you need to do more than have fancy ambitions. Especially if you are asking people to i vest their money and their careers on your dreams.

Too many people are drinking the bay area koolade.

Comment Re: Obvious fail is obvious... (Score 1) 391

That is funny and actually true for many audiophiles. The burn in myth.

But i find it interesting that no one called out ars on their shoddy experiment. If you are going to bother going through a scientific ish experiment, at least do it in a better manner.

Someone who buys a "high performance part" would be doing it on a system with other components that are well built. DACs and preamps and power amps and sources with well built power supplies, components with matching impedances, high quality speakers or headphones that offer neutral and accurate audio reproduction. Such as Sennheiser 800s or even studio monitors.

And you use well mastered and well recorded audio that has enough instruments, enough detail, enough dynamic range, enough variety - that you are testing accurately and comprehensively.

If you are going to test a high end car part for example, no matter how hokum it sounds, you will still test it on a high performance car, on a track, and driven by pro or amateur racers. In other words, enthusiasts.

You will not likely put the replacement part in a corolla and ask someone to drive it on neighborhood lanes.

Apologies for the car analogy. But i find it disingenuous that no one has sarcasm and derision when people spend stupid money on cars, parts, components, etc. And there are ricers and there are serious performance enthusiasts, and there are people who will pay a million for a vintage.

But there is a special kind of sneering that happens only with high end audio equipment. I submit that there is a lot of snake oil, as it is in many other pursuits and hobbies as well. But getting accurate audio reproduction is extrely difficult and fiddly. The component setup is extremely fragile in terms of how small inocuous component changes do make audible differences. Good or bad. And that is what some take advantage of.

You can choose where you want to draw the line.. i.e. how much of an enthusiast you want to be. But as in other pursuits, for the true enthusiast, there is often no point of diminishing return. There is only the pursuit.

So be gentle, please!

Comment Re:Compustick (Score 1) 158

There are tons of super compact PCs available nowadays with Intel and AMD chips. They are larger than the ridiculously small Compute Stick but are still only as big as a few CD cases.

Like this AMD A6 based Zotac ZBOX for example. Fully built up with 4GB RAM, 64GB SSD, AMD HD8250 graphics - can be easily used as a dumb terminal (even as a decent standalone). Then use a remote desktop app to control your desktop. And get a wireless keyboard like Logitech K400 (or its big brother). You will still not be able to game (possibly) but you can pretty much do everything else.

Comment All the best (Score 1) 150

As somebody in the VLSI field, I am happy that somebody broke out of the monopoly/duopoly of the established players. WE are moving towards "single/double" vendor for everything from mobiles to laptop processors to desktop processors. Having little choice also harms progress.

The other thing which excites me is that you are going towards a completely new architecture. This is what innovation is about!

Hopefully, your success will inspire others also to take the plunge.

Comment I doubt its the cost (Score 1) 654

Most car owners can afford a train/bus ticket. Infact, for many, it may be cheaper.
The problem is time. If it requires me to change 2 buses to get my workplace, I wouldn't do it.

Also, there is the question of time. If car commute takes 25 minutes, but public transport takes 1 hour, people would take the car. I guess it would work if connections are frequent, and convenient.

What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.