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+ - The Programming Talent Myth

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com writes: Jake Edge writes at LWN.net that there is a myth that programming skill is somehow distributed on a U-shaped curve and that people either "suck at programming" or that they "rock at programming", without leaving any room for those in between. Everyone is either an amazing programmer or "a worthless use of a seat" which doesn't make much sense. If you could measure programming ability somehow, its curve would look like the normal distribution. According to Edge this belief that programming ability fits into a bi-modal distribution is both "dangerous and a myth". "This myth sets up a world where you can only program if you are a rock star or a ninja. It is actively harmful in that is keeping people from learning programming, driving people out of programming, and it is preventing most of the growth and the improvement we'd like to see." If the only options are to be amazing or terrible, it leads people to believe they must be passionate about their career, that they must think about programming every waking moment of their life. If they take their eye off the ball even for a minute, they will slide right from amazing to terrible again leading people to be working crazy hours at work, to be constantly studying programming topics on their own time, and so on.

The truth is that programming isn't a passion or a talent, says Edge, it is just a bunch of skills that can be learned. Programming isn't even one thing, though people talk about it as if it were; it requires all sorts of skills and coding is just a small part of that. Things like design, communication, writing, and debugging are needed. If we embrace this idea that "it's cool to be okay at these skills"—that being average is fine—it will make programming less intimidating for newcomers. If the bar for success is set "at okay, rather than exceptional", the bar seems a lot easier to clear for those new to the community. According to Edge the tech industry is rife with sexism, racism, homophobia, and discrimination and although it is a multi-faceted problem, the talent myth is part of the problem. "In our industry, we recast the talent myth as "the myth of the brilliant asshole", says Jacob Kaplan-Moss. "This is the "10x programmer" who is so good at his job that people have to work with him even though his behavior is toxic. In reality, given the normal distribution, it's likely that these people aren't actually exceptional, but even if you grant that they are, how many developers does a 10x programmer have to drive away before it is a wash?"

+ - JavaScript Tools for Breathing New Life Into Old Code

Submitted by snydeq
snydeq writes: From Lisp to Pascal, old code is new again, thanks to JavaScript cross-compilers, translators, and emulators. 'In the past, tending to an old code base was a lonely experience, not unlike living on a desert island. The job was to keep everything running with virtual duct tape and baling wire. ... That’s changed in recent years with the emergence of new cross-compilers and interpreters. Suddenly the old can be brought into the present, not with perfect harmony but with enough integration that curators don’t need to feel like they’re living and working alone. The right tools can follow Ezra Pound's dictum to "make it new again."'

Comment: Re:The 30 and 40-somethings wrote the code... (Score 1) 538

by UnknownSoldier (#49616791) Attached to: Recruiters Use 'Digital Native' As Code For 'No Old Folks'

Indeed. Low level knowledge was true mastery of the hardware. Pure arcane "magic" and bliss.

Back then there was a cool disk util 2M that extended the format of a 1.44 MB floppy from 18 sectors/track up to a non-standard 21 sectors/track for ~1804KB! (It still used 80 tracks.) Even Microsoft embraced it with DMF Distribution Media Format for a total of 1,720,320 bytes!

On the Apple ][ there were 18-sectors/track copy-protection games & programs written by the young and brilliant Roland Gustafsson that Broderbund used. It had the advantage of speeding up loading too in addition to stopping people from copying it!

Prince of Persia used it and took a while for pirates to figure out how to get their "kracked" 3-disk version back down to the original 2-disk version!

Comment: Re:The 30 and 40-somethings wrote the code... (Score 2) 538

by UnknownSoldier (#49616675) Attached to: Recruiters Use 'Digital Native' As Code For 'No Old Folks'

> "Digital Native" means you're obsessed with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Opentable, selfies, etc.

Nice summary!

FTFY, Digital Native, noun: A person who cares more about consuming content and other stupid vanity shit then actually learning how to _write_ apps in the first place.

> yet it's hard for me to get a job because I'm old, don't use FB, don't twit, don't insta, don't have a phone full of selfies, etc.

That's sad that companies value people who are more focused on _looking_ good, then actually _creating_ good. :-(

+ - Internet Customers Surpass Cable Subscribers at Comcast->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp writes: The Internet is taking over television.

That shift is occurring at Comcast, where the number of people who subscribe to the company’s Internet service surpassed its total video subscribers for the first time during the second quarter this year.

Announced in an earnings call on Monday, the development signals a major turning point in the technological evolution sweeping across the media business, as the Internet becomes the gateway for information and entertainment.

Comcast, the country’s largest cable operator, abandoned its $45 billion takeover of Time Warner Cable last month after the deal drew regulatory scrutiny regarding concerns that the combined company would have too much control over the Internet.

Comcast is already the country’s largest broadband provider, with more than 22 million high-speed Internet customers.

Brian L. Roberts, Comcast’s chief executive, said in the call that the company was disappointed about the collapse of the deal but had moved on. He said that Comcast’s top priorities now were to advance its existing business and improve its poorly rated customer service.

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:stop going to reddit (Score 1) 125

by UnknownSoldier (#49604179) Attached to: Should Developers Still Pay For Game Engines?

Get off your high horse. I've been on /. for 15 years, and Reddit for 7 years. I've been helping people there for years. While reddit tends to be (more) immature, you don't know what the hell you are talking about WRT to /r/gamedev.

Instead of complaining about the community what are _you_ doing to improve it?

Comment: Re:AT&T customer uses $24,298.93 in services (Score 1) 234

The problem is AT&T would rather bill the person then actually look into an anomaly. The average person spends what, max $100 / month on long distance? And $15K _didn't_ set off any alarms that _maybe_ something was wrong?!?! Nope, they just billed the person with the attitude "Not our problem"

It's called "Having respect for your customers",


"Let's fuck them over any chance we get -- not our problem until it is our problem"

+ - #GamerGate meet up in Washington DC subjected to bomb threat->

Submitted by Motor
Motor writes: The consumer revolt going by the title #GamerGate arranged a real life event last night in a bar in Washington DC. The event was attended by a wide variety of people from all walks of life — all tired of the corruption and extremist gender politics in games media.

Despite efforts by so-called Social Justice Warriors to get it stopped by emailing and tweeting the bar owners, the meet up went ahead as planned — and a fine time was had by all. Later in the evening the event was temporarily halted as a bomb threat was called into the police.

The police are looking into the matter and bomb threats made in the US capital are, shall we say, no joke. It's going to be interesting to see the outcome of the investigation. Especially given some of the poorly-judged tweets sent by anti-gamers in the run up to the event.

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:I must be old (Score 1) 87

I concur. Visually it is mildly interesting but it ignores the elephant in the room:

* Modern game design spends more time focusing on form then function

Grind-Grind-Grind! /glares at Warframe, Path of Exile, Diablo, etc.

When your refer to your customers as whales attempting to suck as much money out of them as possible, the industry of shovelware is fucked

If it wasn't for Newton, we wouldn't have to eat bruised apples.