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Comment: given we're nerds who know this stuff... (Score 1) 309

by acroyear (#47204097) Attached to: Was Turing Test Legitimately Beaten, Or Just Cleverly Tricked?

...why didn't /. just wait for the skeptical posts calling the original news articles bullshit in the first place?

Seriously, weeding out the garbage posts, 3/4ths of the comments were calling bullshit when they saw it, and 1/4th were making pointless references to Skynet and HAL.

Comment: Garbage (Score 3, Insightful) 432

by acroyear (#47191355) Attached to: Turing Test Passed

All it showed, like any other Turing Test, is the gullibility of the subjects.

1) "Ukrainian" speaking English
2) 13 years old

Right there you have set up an expectation in the audience of subjects for a limited vocabulary, no need for grammatical perfection, little need for slang, and a lack of education. Now add in "star wars and matrix" and you have reduced the topics of discussion even more to the ones the programmers know best.

This thing would never have answered a question of 'Why', it also was under no pressure to being able to create a pun, both of which are easy things any older and educated human could do.

Garbage test, garbage results.

As usual.

Comment: Martin Fowler's Refactoring (Score 1) 352

by acroyear (#47004687) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Should Every Programmer Read?

No, in spite of what some jackasses say, it isn't just rewriting for its own sake. It is improving the structure in standardized ways so that you can add your new features much more safely. In interviews, I prefer people can name some standard refactorings before I ask them the typical questions about design patterns.

Comment: Re:Oh please... (Score 1) 226

by acroyear (#46768605) Attached to: How 'DevOps' Is Killing the Developer

Please fuck off. No, really. Just fuck off.

I was typing in a fucking hurry. Its a fucking comments page of a fucking blog (one i have been fucking typing on since 19-fucking-98), not the fucking New York Times. if you want fucking capitalization to be fucking correct you can fucking type it up your fucking self because I don't give a fuck.

I presume I have expressed my attitude adequately enough? And capitalized New York Times correctly as well?

Comment: Re:It's just like when agile went hip... (Score 1) 226

by acroyear (#46766001) Attached to: How 'DevOps' Is Killing the Developer

Well I would counter that a DevOps team is needed even for customer-deployed or self-run cloud apps (where you're running the cloud in a data center instead of using services like NetApp or AWS). The jobs they do are useful there, in fact more so as staging DBs and environments for QA is harder when you're running all aspects of the cloud layer (though with customer-managed old-school desktop applications, QA is more responsible for their deployments, since testing installation instructions becomes part of their job).

But otherwise, yeah, treating DevOps like a panacea that will solve everything (thus necessitating hiring a DevOps manager who is 'smarter' than your lead architect, at possibly outrageous wages or options) is asking for failure.

Comment: Oh please... (Score 3, Insightful) 226

by acroyear (#46763471) Attached to: How 'DevOps' Is Killing the Developer

You don't force your brightest people to take on additional roles - that is the whole point of a devops team in the first place. Making developers argue about deployments and sending builds to QA and managing your GIT server and development and QA databases and managing your bug tracker is exactly what your developers should *not* be doing, especially if those scripts necessarily have to be in a different language than your application. Sure, your lead developers and architects work with the devops team to support them so they can in turn support you, but that's as far as the relationship goes.

The way we used to do it, where every senior architect is also responsible for all of those other functions (and has to take the time from his team members below him to help build all that out), is exactly how you stop architecting your software: your leads spend so much time trying to automate the drudgery they aren't improving the app.

They aren't improving the app because all of their brainpower is no longer focused on the *customers'* problems, but rather their own and their teams. That isn't a good use of their time. Hiring smart people who need to understand the application and its environment, but are good at scripting these other languages of automation, frees up your team leads to doing what they did before and do best: focus on the application and getting the team to produce the code that serves the customers' needs.

Comment: Re:They should use Firefox while *mocking* Eich (Score 1) 1482

by acroyear (#46633281) Attached to: OKCupid Warns Off Mozilla Firefox Users Over Gay Rights

So when the executive (or the DoJ) mounts a 'weak' defense, thus ensuring that the courts will rule against the law?

There's plenty of ways around absolute declarations like you're suggesting.

I'm not saying you're wrong in itself, just that there are far too many angles and ways around any sort of absolute position that the executive *must* do something.

In the case of California (or more recently, Virginia), when there is a major shift in the controlling party, it gets even more complicated. The referendum in VA was passed in 2006 under Republican leadership. The defense of the law became (in 2013) the responsibility of the new Democratic party Governor and the Democratic party Attorney General. What then is the responsibility of those officers to defend a law they never supported in the first place, particularly when they were elected on a platform encouraging equality?

The responsibility to defend (or not) a law may be the role of the executive, but at the same time, the executive, as a representative of the people, must act per the fact that they were, in fact, elected by the majority of the people. As such, their decisions not to enforce, or more accurately not to aggressively defend, a law they believe to be Unconstitutional is a reflection of the faith in their office given to them by the majority that elected them.

If they do a poor job of it, they can just as easily be kicked out 4-6 years later in the next election.

That said, it would certainly have been easier on everybody if such blatantly Unconstitutional referendums weren't so easily passed by the states in the first place. A constitution, even a state-level one, shouldn't be so easily amended by a simple majority of whomever decides to vote one particular day. The U.S. Constitution is a pain to amend *because* it is meant to be immune to fly-by-night sentiments (prohibition being the one oddball exception to its history).

Comment: Re:They should use Firefox while *mocking* Eich (Score 1) 1482

by acroyear (#46632889) Attached to: OKCupid Warns Off Mozilla Firefox Users Over Gay Rights

but if it sincerely is unconstitutional, what worth is a Governor's (or President's) oath to "Defend the Constitution"?

Refuse it and you are breaking a responsibility of your office. Defend it and you are breaking your oath of office itself?

The legislature, and certainly not "the people" (in the case of a referendum) shouldn't have so much power to put an executive in such a bind.

Comment: My personal "law" (Score 3, Insightful) 373

by acroyear (#46582623) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Do You Consider Elegant Code?

Code written to do one thing is inherently elegant.

No code ends up ever having to do one thing.

The job of requirements gathering is to determine what are the constants and what are the variables. In the case of, say, GPS, the constants should be the protocol of the satellites, the max and min # of sat's that can be found at any given time, the grid representation of the earth, and the system clocks.

Nice and easy, right?

Now change all of those to a variable: you have satellites speaking to you in different protocols based on their age. You end up with only one sat connection so no triangulation due to mountain or building blockage. The grid representation of the earth is inherently distorted at the north and south extremes (and whenever you're above 5,000 feet). Oh, and the you forgot to time-distort your own clock for the rotation of the earth, so a tiny offset is being caused by General Relativity.

Suddenly code that was nice and simple is now full of ifs and switch loops and complex adjustments and bits of guess work and comments that say "oh, well, we'll just have to ignore that last part...but we'll only be off by 30 feet or so".

The first bug in software happens when something that was presumed in the requirements to be a constant has to be changed into a variable. Every bug that follows is a result of trying to fix that first bug.

Because of that requirements problem, no working production code can ever be elegant.

Comment: as others have said: scratch an itch (Score 1) 306

by acroyear (#46515389) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Can an Old Programmer Learn New Tricks?

Just find a personal itch to scratch and scratch it.

Doesn't have to be something you'll release, but being able to show it in action is an interview booster (thus, if it is mobile, all the better). The fun part is that once it is scratched and you decide to move it somewhere else into the cloud for more permanent hosting, there's another itch to scratch.

Case in point, I put together a shopping list manager using node/express/mongo and jquery/jquery mobile/stativus. Then found that if I were to deploy it at my webhost, I don't have mongo so I then needed to learn an ORM system for node to mysql (using bookshelf js right now). Similarly if you build something in mongo, you can look to learning AWS or Google Cloud Development and get the app out there and there's another skill on the resume checklist.

In fact, doing the database port actually helped me develop and refine unit testing so my data-access layers had the same front API - knowing you're replacing a single piece actually encourages writing the pieces to be more modular and independent.

All javascript, plenty of html5 modern architecture skills learned or refined, and this from someone who spent most of the mid-late 2000s as a J2EE w/ Oracle guru.

So really, the short answer is: just do it.

I put up my thumb... and it blotted out the planet Earth. -- Neil Armstrong