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Comment: Israel airport security (Score 5, Insightful) 223

by cervo (#43507755) Attached to: TSA Accepting Public Comments On Whole Body Airport Screening
In any case I found this fascinating article http://www.internationalpolicydigest.org/2012/06/19/what-israeli-airport-security-teaches-the-world/ that Israel does not have x-ray machines, or taking off your shoes to go in the airport. They have behavioral based interviews. And in the end everyone wants to blow up Israel, and yet I cannot remember hearing of planes crashing into buildings, or even being hijacked. It's really quite amazing. I would cut the security theatre and go do what Israel is doing.... Which seems to be behavioral based interviews and paying attention to how people act.

Also they do a ton of screening on cars. In some US airports, the parking lot is right near the terminal. Drive in a car full of explosive material and you could do a lot of damage. Or even pull right up to the terminal unchecked for dropping bags. In some terminals you could even crash the car right through the glass doors and then go do something..... That's not security.

Comment: Re:Strange that the company should comp for educat (Score 1) 433

by cervo (#42426541) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: CS Degree While Working Full Time?
Having used tuition benefits, usually you don't just get them for free. Generally you have to work for the company x amount of time after payout or you pay the money back (they won't wait for you to mail a check, most of the time they'll take it right out of your final paycheck(s)). And since the payout tends to be at the end of the semester, they are pretty much keeping you for x amount of time after your training to benefit. At the two jobs I have had which had that benefit, the duration was 1 year. So basically they get the benefit of your "enhanced skill" for 1 year or their money back. Additionally some places have limits that you can only use the benefit after z amount of time employed with the company. So if you figure a 2 year Masters program the employer is probably going to have you stick around for 3-4 years which for some professions (like software developer) is well above the normal length of an employee staying.

Comment: One person's "good" code is not universal (Score 1) 292

by cervo (#42369551) Attached to: Real World Code Sucks
Different people create things that they think constitute "good" code, and to that person it makes perfect sense. But to another person that's an unmaintainable mess or unclear. Fortunately code reviews can help this situation. But sometimes a developer could have spent a lot of work re factoring (really re-designing) parts of a system, and by the time the code review comes, you can spend some time helping make it a little clear, but if the whole design is unclear often you are stuck with it and things go live.

The way much code ends up more readable is by introducing abstractions, but if those abstractions only make sense to one developer (or a group of developers who are all best buds) then they don't really help and can make things more complicated.

In reality some people say 500 line methods are unclear, and often they are. But if the object oriented alternative has really shoddy naming, and people were unreasonable so multiple class hierarchies are involved, each one throwing code in constructors, and multiple methods which often have side effects in multiple objects...that 500 line "bad code" starts looking pretty good to the alternatives. But to the developer who wrote the object oriented solution, his code is good and the 500 line method was a monstrosity.

Sometimes even the same developer changes his/her mind about code being good/bad. Six months ago, it was good, now it sucks....

And there also seems to be no universal agreement. At work they have coding standards, but they are constantly changing. Heck for a while design patterns were considered the stuff.....use them wherever you can. Then design patterns were too complicated....use them sparingly. The definition of good vs unmaintainable mess is constantly changing.

So due to this whole "good" vs "bad" being not universal and the definition of "good" changing over time...it is hard to justify taking the time to do something "right" when often you end up with the same unmaintainable mess. In fact over 4 jobs (about to start number 5) I have not met code that I think is a pleasure to work with or is GREAT. I definitely think some was better than other code, but even that wasn't great. And when I look back at code I did, often I am not thrilled and think I could do better. But the reality is that at the time of designing the system, there was no way to anticipate when things changed, and the deadlines were pretty arbitrary/tight. If someone says you have 1 day to get this web page done....I would start writing inline HTML/Database queries to crank something out probably in 1.5-2 days (and possibly try to convince someone to let me write it in Perl for a 1 day special).
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Journal by cervo

It seems I am in a bit of a tough spot. I just got my Masters degree, but no one is interested in hiring me to be a developer because I am too experienced... Though I have done some .NET development (mostly ASP.NET pages) alongside mostly database stuff (SQL Server stored procedures/etc.) I definitely never had experienced developers giving any feedback about design...so basically there is none. But at the same time I can't be hired for Junior/Entry level jobs because I h

Comment: Re:Unneeded tech? Photo taken of domestic passenge (Score 1) 114

by cervo (#36862280) Attached to: Heathrow To Install Facial Recognition Scanners
Actually that is an example of something that is actually helpful. It's not too ridiculously expensive or unsafe (like bodyscanners using x-rays) and does not really invade your privacy too much (by showing naked pictures or something). I would welcome this system in American airports because it is possible for someone to open a door in a secure area and let someone else in. Really this is just an example of common sense.

Comment: I WANT code reviews (Score 1) 495

by cervo (#36696020) Attached to: Are You Too Good For Code Reviews?
I have always worked in places that do not work as a team and do not do code reviews. No one cares about software quality, they just want it done and to go home. Code reviews would be a great way to learn things from more experienced developers. IT would be a great opportunity to learn small tips for improving the overall code quality as well as pointing out flaws so I would know what to work on.....

Instead, I had it once and mostly the person just used it to complain about capitalization in SQL Code and a few other punctuation things. No tips for improving the maintenance, making things cleaner, etc. were given. On actual object oriented code I have never been reviewed. Which is sad really because there is much that could be learned about object oriented design. After all if no one is there to say this code is total crap, or fundamentally flawed....it ends up as production code....sorry.

Comment: Re:So uh (Score 1) 964

by cervo (#35639622) Attached to: Americans Favor Moratorium On New Nuclear Reactors
I don't know, nuclear has a pretty big downside. Part of the issue is that way too many lapses in safety are allowed. In the Japanese reactors they basically had no business storing that much spent fuel on site. American reactors do the same thing due to the plants being more secure and terrorist concerns. Until these private companies can stop cutting corners and doing things that exceed the design parameters of the reactors, we should not be building new ones. I'm skeptical that any private company has any business running something as dangerous as a reactor because their first concern is profit, not safety. There are reports about many safety lapses on US plants and a lack of enforcement on many regulations. Any one of these lapses could be a disaster and yet they keep coming....After a disaster is a little late to decide oh yeah they had safety violations we should have enforced them, shame on us. Also sometimes the latest reactor designs address previous lessons/concerns learned in nuclear power, but we continue to run outdated designs. In addition to building new plants, some of the existing plants need to be renovated to newer, safer designs. Hopefully they include more shielding for the spent fuel pool....

Overall I favor safe nuclear power, but all the time I would prefer not in my back yard...because if something like this happens I'm screwed. And I'm sure even Obama, every senator, etc. has the same feelings... (well of the guys who support nuclear power). No one wants one of these things in their back yard. if you do then I say let's build one there....I sure don't...

another issue is nuclear waste. The stuff currently lasts hundreds of years. Basically we need to start re-processing to use more of it to both have more fuel and to cut the half life way down. Jimmy Carter was a moron.

What happens when we run out of Uranium? Is Uranium the new Oil of the 22nd or 23rd century? And it's not just uranium, specific isotopes are required, not any old uranium.

Comment: Re:Parasitic class overtaking STEM (Score 1) 791

by cervo (#35567436) Attached to: CS Prof Decries America's 'Internal Brain Drain'
No offense, but finance math is not that easy. I'll take calculus any day over that. Also the financial industry really likes people with a STEM background as it makes them more analytical. Also from a computer science side, a lot of hedge funds are interested in Algorithmic trading and they are very interested in people with advanced degrees in Computer Science. Nevertheless, the financial industry also likes its H1-B's....

Comment: No fscking way (Score 1) 386

by cervo (#35373080) Attached to: DHS Eyes Covert Body Scans
And why aren't these people in jail? Really from what I have seen reading experiences, it is obvious that the TSA people definitely enjoy looking at certain people more than others and can even be caught joking about it. It's not really their fault, because many of them are young people, and in their shoes I'm sure I would enjoy scanning that really cute blond too. But this is more about the sex crazed government guys sitting on their poles. Many of them are whining about pornography, that homosexuality is a crime, how dare you cheat on your wife, when it comes out they are doing the same thing.... How about that "family values" governor who ran to Argentina for his mistress. Congresscritters in general seem super hung up on sex and anything to do with it. Just look at what an outrage Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction caused... Or the outrage over the video games.... I really can't believe that they are going along with letting the TSA take all these nude pictures of people. Really they are all a bunch of spineless cowards, just attach think of the children or terrorism and then wooops....

Really my issue is the health. I'm not even a fan of the dentists. I put up with the normal x-rays, but when my dentist got the machine that goes around your head taking picture after picture, I changed dentists. I'm not about to start getting x-rayed all the time. Even if the power is low, if you start adding hundreds of scans per year, you end up being over exposed. And if they do it without you knowing, how do you know how much you are getting? Without data on how much people are being exposed how can you tell if the scans are causing cancer or not? This is my main issue, we know x-rays cause cancer or else the technician would not leave the room when taking them. If they are so safe, they should make a law that every time a TSA agent takes an x-ray of someone, they should have to x-ray themselves.... Then even if they keep using the devices, the TSA goons will start dying off...

Comment: Re:The Real question is... (Score 1) 785

by cervo (#34923774) Attached to: Should Younger Developers Be Paid More?
I agree that it should not be about age. However a programmer with the company x years probably knows much more about the company's industry and business problems than a fresh grad. Also, a fresh grad will typically not be that experienced in writing code and will make more mistakes and not be ready to go designing large systems (there are exceptions). I graduated college 10 years ago and just finished my Masters and I can say for sure that most senior developers can out program me, because they just have 40+ hours per week of practice in pounding away at code and object oriented analysis/design. I might be able to compute the big O or big theta of an algorithm that they cannot, but they'll turn out tons more maintainable code than me.

I would think the guy experienced in what the company does would be much more productive and write much cleaner code than the guy out of college who maybe had one or two classes on the subject (although there are exceptions....). The college graduate will have to be trained in the company business, the project, how to write maintainable code (honestly most colleges emphasize start up type code, e.g. get the project done NOW, don't worry about maintainability).

Comment: Re:This isn't an obviously easy question (Score 1) 785

by cervo (#34923750) Attached to: Should Younger Developers Be Paid More?
On point one I agree with you 100%. For some reason companies/recruiters don't believe that you know something unless you have experience with it. In a start up this is not as true. But larger companies want someone with 5 years experience in some obscure library that you might use a single call from. And recruiters will often ignore any skills you put on your resume that are not from a previous job. For example, I know linux, I used to build my own Kernel, I would switch back and forth between linux/windows as I would get annoyed with each operating system. But since recruiters do not see linux experience in a previous job, they assume I don't know it. What's more, most jobs asking for Linux experience just want you to be able to move around the shell and execute gcc/javac/whatever and know how to do a few "cd"'s, "ls"'s, etc....

The other thing is that if somehow the company can be convinced that the developer knows the technology, more often than not there will be no additional compensation. So where is the incentive?

Comment: Re:As college student studying computer science (Score 1) 785

by cervo (#34923712) Attached to: Should Younger Developers Be Paid More?
I don't use calculus or probability. But I do use combinatorics to assess the run time of algorithms. I also use set theory frequently in databases (union, intersection). Not to mention topological sorting for job scheduling. As a system administrator I would think you might use topological sorting as well in order to compute the schedule for a set of jobs when taking into account their dependencies.

Nevertheless the majority of CS (at least for me) was all math (linear algebra, differential equations, calculus, probability, discrete math, etc.) and I'm not really using super advanced math. But there are some jobs that use it (computer graphics, scientific computing, etc...), I just can't seem to get them :( Hell even data mining (which is becoming more popular in the corporate world) uses some advanced math (a lot of it uses advanced linear Algebra). For example Principle Component Analysis (PCA) which is used to extract a set of features from a dataset is an application of eigenvectors/eigenvalues.

Comment: Re:Keep up or shut up (Score 1) 785

by cervo (#34923662) Attached to: Should Younger Developers Be Paid More?
Well ask yourself this. Is the boss going to say "We're working on a new project and I want you to learn how to program for the iPhone, I'll make it worth your while with a 30% pay increase if you succeed.". Hell no, he's going to say learn how to program the iPhone and get this done.... It will fall under the scope of your job duties. If you learn it and do it, to reap the benefit you are going to have switch jobs probably.

Financially I would think for the company it would make sense in some cases to set aside an hour a day or even a day a week for the developer to learn the technology on his own, but often they'd rather just get a plug and play solution.

Stellar rays prove fibbing never pays. Embezzlement is another matter.

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