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Comment: Proprietary project die, too (Score 4, Insightful) 109

by UnderCoverPenguin (#47937047) Attached to: An Open Source Pitfall? Mozilla Labs Closed, Quietly

In my professional career, several projects I have worked on have been canceled despite a good state - not behind schedule nor over budget, or even ahead of schedule and/or under budget. The reasons were usually variations from "marketing has decided to change direction" to "after management re-org, the new managers decided the risks were too high". The latter happened to one project despite us having 5 fully and correctly operating prototypes, and having invested 3 person-years of effort and over half a million US dollars in development tools and licensing of third party libraries. Another project was canceled because the primary stakeholder lost interest despite the first two phases being highly successful.

Comment: Internet enabled hot tub (Score 1) 114

by UnderCoverPenguin (#47878041) Attached to: Laid Off From Job, Man Builds Tweeting Toilet

Back in the 90s, I went to convention in Detroit. I met a fellow who had sensors in his hot tub connected to a webserver so he (and anyone else) could monitor the status of the tub. He also had sensors in a minifridge connected to his server. His website went offline several years ago.

Comment: Re:Probably not. (Score 1) 546

by UnderCoverPenguin (#47821049) Attached to: Does Learning To Code Outweigh a Degree In Computer Science?

Question should be rephrased: Does learning to code outweigh learning to code _better_?
It also ignores the other things you learn while getting your degree, and learning to cope with pressure which isn't present when you're learning to code whenever you feel like it.

I agree. Except for the first 2 classes (which I bypassed), the CS classes offered at the university I attended (and graduated from) simply expected that we could code. The graders barely looked at our code. If they could compile and run it, then if the results were correct, our programs were correct. There was no feedback, let alone instruction, on readability or maintainability. And the closest we got to software planning was that our term project design documents were 30% of our midterm grades (along with 30% from homework and 40% from test scores).

So yes, universities should add classes on software planning and improve classes on coding practices (while I did bypass the 2 "coding" classes, I did see other students' assignments and code, so I could see that the classes were more about applying coding to problems than coding practices).

Comment: Re:It's all bunk. (Score 1) 546

by UnderCoverPenguin (#47820823) Attached to: Does Learning To Code Outweigh a Degree In Computer Science?

Employers and HR departments are rarely focused on actual performance, except in the very smallest of companies. Most use a combination of bean-counting, related age-discrimination, and the supposedly valuable rubber stamp of a degree to winnow out programming job applicants.

Yeah. This, along with "buzz word compliance". This strongly rewards those who are good sales people over actually technical ability. software people seem to especially vulnerable to this. Some times this can be worked around by knowing who's getting ready to post positions so those managers can tailor the requirements to fit. However, more and more HR departments are moving to standardized requirements. Although technical managers actually realize this is happening, the message that gets to the executive suite is "we can't find qualified candidates".

they don't like your failure to integrate into "youth culture" as in no particular fascination with social media... or even your preference for a shirt and tie

Interesting. My company's execs complain that too many employees are fascinated with social media. And no, the execs are not senior citizens. Also, the older members of the engineering staff are the ones most likely to not wear a tie.

Comment: Re:Actual Link And Better Details (Score 2) 27

The takeaway is that PCR equipment sounds far more expensive than it needs to be.

A lot of equipment is more expensive than it could be. Doing more than a cosmetic redesign opens up a vendor to liability issues. Until either the lawyers are comfortable that the cost savings of a new design sufficiently outweigh the potential cost of law suits or they see competitor stealing too much of their business, they won't be willing to take the risk. Right now, these third world countries don't look like good enough markets to bother with.

Comment: Re:Automated test in is a minimum (Score 1) 152

by UnderCoverPenguin (#47817619) Attached to: Can ISO 29119 Software Testing "Standard" Really Be a Standard?

I'll just hire a QA guy to unit test all my code...

Actually, that's how the testing should be done. Give the requirements to both teams - testers and developers. Developers design/write the product code. Testers design/write the tests. Then let the testing begin. Problems entered into issue tracking. Both teams fix their respective problems. Retest. Repeat as needed.

Unfortunately, many companies fail to adequately fund testing so devs end up writing tests, which, in turn, catch fewer problems

Comment: Re:Standards (Score 1) 152

by UnderCoverPenguin (#47817309) Attached to: Can ISO 29119 Software Testing "Standard" Really Be a Standard?

At least where I work, most likely is that it will be more paper work to get done - never mind that we already have too much paper work to do. Like us in development, the testing people will make whatever they can conform to this new standard, then file waivers for the rest.

Comment: Re:And this is how we get to the more concrete har (Score 1) 528

by UnderCoverPenguin (#47766621) Attached to: Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio

But to knock "how science actually works" off the curriculum in order to make creationism slightly more viable as a meme, knocks a very important and practical tool out of childrens' toolbox for learning about the world.

I think that is the ultimate goal: To "teach" children what "they" think children should know instead of enabling children to actually learn.

Comment: Re:Society also does this.. (Score 1) 128

by UnderCoverPenguin (#47759429) Attached to: Why Do Humans Grow Up So Slowly? Blame the Brain

WE have some wierd fetish with letting kids be kids for as long as possible. Sorry but at 13 you are biologically an adult so you need to have adult responsibilities and adult expectations. these teenagers need to get off their asses and work, build, etc.. Instead we extend this out to age 20 before we expect them to get a job and start being responsible.

More like not allow them to get jobs or otherwise have the legal authority to function as adults. There are very few, if any, jobs anyone under 16 is legally allowed (not counting allowance for doing family chores). And not many that 16 and 17 year olds are legally allowed. At age 10, my daughter wanted a real, paying job. And she was actually capable of doing meaningful office work. She also wanted to stay in school. She thought she could handle 2 hours per day of office work along with her studies. She might have been right. We did look into things we did at that age, like a paper route, but such jobs are either no longer available (at least for those under 18) or no longer legal for those under 18. She did try being a model - by her choice. She hated that. Partly because of the people she worked for and partly because working on Sat mornings greatly negatively impacted her other weekend activities.

Comment: Re:Humankind and eusociality (Score 1) 128

by UnderCoverPenguin (#47759079) Attached to: Why Do Humans Grow Up So Slowly? Blame the Brain

and the public has become more accepting of a gay lifestyle

Being gay doesn't automatically exclude someone being a "breeder". It does introduce challenges, both biological and social. I have plenty of gay friends who are parents or are trying to become parents.

That said, at least in the US, the job market encourages workers to not be parents. Partly from this, and partly from other reasons, there are plenty of non-gay relationships that choose to not have children and have even obtained medical treatment to prevent accidental pregnancy. (Side note: The logic of the one state in the appeals court gay marriage ban case suggests that these marriages are invalid because accidental pregnancy is not possible.)

However, getting closer to the eusocial ideal will not be good.

Comment: Re:not so fast (Score 2) 128

by UnderCoverPenguin (#47758677) Attached to: Why Do Humans Grow Up So Slowly? Blame the Brain

It takes a long time to teach our kids because the system we have for teaching them is horribly inefficient and has been for thousands of years at this point.

Until around 1900, within the working class (which generally included lower middle class back then), education was reading, basic writing and arithmetic. A 12 year old - whether boy or girl - was expected to be a productive member of working class society and was often married (12 for girls and 14 or so for boys). Education beyond that was for the upper class (and upper middle class), especially university level education. Extending education through grade 12 (typically age 17 or 18) for (nominally) all young people happen since then.

When I was 18, I did not hear society complaining that 18 year olds were not ready to be adults. (Yeah, some parents had trouble accepting their kids were 18, but even they did not, in general, feel that 18 year olds were not ready to be adults)

Now, I hear a lot of complaints about 18 year olds not being ready to be adults (despite an increase in demand to try and sentence kids

So, what's different? Part of it is inefficiency in the education system. Part of it is that we need to learn more. And part of it is increasing societal demand for over protectiveness - whether by scaring parents or by telling parents "you can't" - or "must not" - let your kids do _____.

The biological reality is more complex. Teenagers (or more broadly, those from onset of puberty through full maturity) are neither adults nor children. And now, our society has shifted from forcing them to be adults to forcing them to be children. Yet, so many adults wonder why so many of today's 18 year olds are not ready to be adults.

"It's curtains for you, Mighty Mouse! This gun is so futuristic that even *I* don't know how it works!" -- from Ralph Bakshi's Mighty Mouse