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Comment: Please god no. (Score 3, Informative) 205

by aidian (#48177801) Attached to: The One App You Need On Your Resume If You Want a Job At Google

I've used Matlab academically for about half a year now, and that most anybody (but for scientists and mathematicians operating solely on huge numeric matrices, maybe) uses it is rather shocking to me. The only good thing I can really say about Matlab is that it's made me a better programmer in _other_ languages. Sometimes when you're forced to do something so horribly wrong, the right way of doing it leaps out at you. It's like being forced to ride a unicycle, and suddenly realizing why the motorcycle was invented. Not to say that it doesn't have some very advanced features; it's not a simple beast by any means and -can- do some amazing stuff, but it seems to do them so.. weirdly, and often ridiculously slowly, that it's got that crufty feeling of legacy software with stuff just stapled on all over it.

I'm hopeful about http://www.julialang.org/ the Julia language project and think it's worth at least keeping an eye on in the future.

Comment: anger? (Score 1) 962

by aidian (#47517817) Attached to: The Daily Harassment of Women In the Game Industry

There are an awful lot of comments here from guys sound pretty angry at a female having the audacity to not like rape and death threats for being online and visible, railing against "feminism" and the such. That's not really a community that I really care to be a part of.

Sex crimes are a real thing, and they're scary as hell. Yeah, people tend to talk big and spout crap that they'll never, ever go through with when cloaked behind anonymity of the net, but that doesn't make it any less scary to the recipient, to the point of downright horrifying when received over and over and over and over again. It's a completely legitimate complaint. I can't imagine, I don't -want- to imagine, being in that position myself. Nobody should have to put up with that, and asking the guys perpetuating this to tone it the fuck down is utterly reasonable.

Comment: I'm sorry, but (Score 1) 914

Did anybody else catch this little line near the bottom?

"Is it really OK to lock someone up for the best part of the only life they will ever have, or might it be more humane to tinker with their brains and set them free?"

"Tinkering" with the brain? Really? Citizen, please report to Attitude Adjustment Center for Rehabilitation. I'm more terrified of someone deciding to fundamentally alter the biological basis for who I am as a person, than I am of being locked up for the rest of my life. Sure, it's a great deterrent by fear, but that's not the kind of society I want to live in, myself.

Comment: Don't tell them a thing. (Score 1) 848

by aidian (#38522908) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Handing Over Personal Work Without Compensation?

I've seen this happen.

My supervisor wrote some software at my old workplace that seriously streamlined the things we did because we were doing so much bullshit on pen and paper it was ridiculous, and soon this piece of software became critical not just for the actual work but for a timeclock and a dozen other functions. He was not in a programming position; he used his personal experience to create the software far beyond his pay grade and position. The off-site executives had no idea about it for a long time; when the suits found out about the software they took it over. When he resisted the process, the political machine kicked in and he was fired/forced to resign. A nightmareish third-party development house took over the app in theory - and proceeded to not do a damn thing with it.

Worse for us who were left - code maintenance went into a limbo that left us using a piece of software unable to evolve with our workflow needs. It degraded over time until it was barely useable at all; none of the many bugs and features that had been on his "to-do" list were left unattended. But by that point we were tied to this software. We'd have had to go back in time and redesign our entire previous paper-based process from scratch, losing really tremendous time and productivity in an already tough contracted environment. It was a total nightmare. I eventually left the company and I have no idea what happened after that, except that I know my project has long since been essentially closed anyways.

So: work it out ahead of time with your bosses that you might be interested and do not, do NOT, DO NOT let them know that you've written a SINGLE line of code while under their employ. There's a good chance they'll try to simply take it from you. Even if it's not in your contract, they may still try to make a claim. Even if you think they're cool, even if your boss is your bro. Get any deals, compensation, or stipulations worked out on paper ahead of time if you don't want to simply hand them your work for a fraction of what it's worth. And consider the life cycle of your software, and how it will impact the company and people who use it as a whole.

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