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Comment: Follow the Money (Score 1) 275

by clawhound (#47949743) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Avoid Becoming a Complacent Software Developer?
As said earlier, always learn. Never stop.

Learn to make a business case for best practices. "Best practices will save this company money/time/liability because ..." If you can make the case, support will follow. Avoid technical reasons in that explanation.

MOM: Why should we implement that?
YOU: We can get trainees up to speed quicker, which saves us money. We produce fewer bugs, which saves us money. Instead of wasting time squashing bugs, this lets us implement new features, which we can sell. That makes us money.

Comment: Yay LA (Score 2) 392

by clawhound (#47919705) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Any Place For Liberal Arts Degrees In Tech?
From my observation, you always want both. You want STEM folks because they think like STEM folks, and you want non-STEM folks because they don't. How many programmers remain programmers? How many become managers? Account herders? Sales drones? GUI experts? Customer support? STEM folks are no more qualified for many of those jobs than liberal arts people. The difference is that liberal arts people are more willing to learn and master whatever job they are at, while STEM folks want to do what they trained for.

Comment: Re:Wake up? (Score 1) 385

by clawhound (#44254405) Attached to: PC Sales See 'Longest Decline' In History
My daughter LOVES to sit at my computer. It has two screens. She can play flash games on it. She prints on a 10 year old color printer (USB 1) using 3rd party ink. Tablets just don't do that. As for niche market, business isn't going away any time soon. Ergonomic needs will always prevail. The need for multitasking will prevail. The need for vast real estait will prevail. I know of no business which plans on ditching the PC. (They might exist, but I don't know about them.)

Comment: Re:Correlation, Causation, blah blah (Score 5, Informative) 627

by clawhound (#42509793) Attached to: America's Real Criminal Element: Lead
Did you read the actual article? He address those topics precisely. He waited to publish this article until he had a stack of corroborating studies using different methodologies. One study is nothing. Many different studies of many different places, and each one maps well? That's a whole heaping mound of coincidence.

Comment: Buy Furniture (Score 1) 372

by clawhound (#41798677) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Ideas For a Geek Remodel?
Remodeling sucks down money. Focus instead on FURNITURE that matches the house. You will get far, far more return.

When throwing money into a project, ask yourself, "What tech will survive the next 10 years unscathed?" If a tech won't change much in that span, then it might be worth installing in the house. Otherwise, you are pissing money away. So that means that you invest in power outlets and upgraded power. Otherwise, invest in insulation and windows. Replace your fridge, especially if it's over 10 years old.

20k is chump change in the renovation game.

Comment: Re:Go read Dale Carnegie's book (Score 2) 823

by clawhound (#41766783) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Rectifying Nerd Arrogance?
Yeah. Oh, yeah.

A few things to add. I've met too many IT folks who berate people for their ignorance. Of course those people are ignorant, they are experts in a different area. If you spend a great deal of time building specializing in an area of knowlege, don't you honestly expect most folks to know less about that area? Strangely enough, the more that you know, the less that you appreciate your knowledge. You begin wondering why others don't know this simple stuff.

Once you allow people to be ignorant, then you can focus on treating them like people. And really, people out there know all kinds of cool stuff that you don't, and that's great fun. They aren't ignorant. They are specialists in areas where you are ignorant.

Comment: You are always retraining (Score 1) 418

by clawhound (#41562855) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Am I Too Old To Retrain?
If you are in technology, you are ALWAYS RETRAINING. My skill set turns over every few years. I'm 46 and learning care of an apache/mysql/php setup. One year ago, I started serious wrestling with Windows 7. Two years ago, I picked up Powershell and dived into following smartphones. Three years ago, I picked up some SQL, lots of radiology technology, and VBA scripting. I keep up on Linux and Mac. I read about 30 tech related RSS feed per day. Keeping up with your field is part of being a professional.

Comment: As An English Major... (Score 2) 532

by clawhound (#35964838) Attached to: University Proposes Tuition Based On Major
As an English major, let me talk about practical uses of cheaper degrees.

This country needs lots of professionals in lots of areas, and many of those areas don't pay big bucks, yet the degrees cost a bundle. Thus, you wind up with people avoiding such fields. One solution to such a conundrum is to charge less for lesser paying fields. If students don't come out of school with a crushing debt, they will be more tempted to be social workers, physical therapists, teachers, or any number of less-glamorous professions.

Comment: Been Going On For Years (Score 1) 292

by clawhound (#35910004) Attached to: Revolution of the Science Fiction Authors
I went to school for English literature. I read lots. Amazingly, in all that time, I never read the single most successful modern author, Arthur Conan Doyle. He wrote Sherlock Holmes. Somehow, the most singularly famous character ever written was not worth serious time in a literature class. A second story. The only reason that we read Washington Irving in my American Literature class was because the students kept demanding that the teacher teach it. That is a remarkable story. 200 years after he was a writer, not only were the students still clamoring to read him, he still had no respect from the establishment.

Comment: It's All About Power (Score 1) 618

by clawhound (#35173432) Attached to: Why Dumbphones Still Dominate, For Now
The #1 reason that I avoid smart phones is standby time. I rarely use my phone. I don't take care of it. It's there so that the wife can call me. The current crop of smartphones eat power. I simply will not take care of a phone that runs down in a few days. That does not suit my needs. A phone without power can't do it's one and only job - be a phone.

Comment: My Numbers (Score 1) 414

by clawhound (#30594936) Attached to: How Many Admins Per User/Computer Have You Seen?
I used to handle about 400 hundred people and 400 boxes as a sneaker admin. So two folks for PCs and one for servers is workable -IF- you have your act together.

My suspicion is that you all are a bit low. Reasons:
- People get sick.
- People take vacations.
- You need to cross-train each other.
- Special projects can and do come up.
- There are under-met needs in the company.

To get the person that you need, you really need to show the business case for it. Once you can do that, ratios don't matter.

Comment: Marriage Counselor (Score 1) 1146

by clawhound (#28955545) Attached to: Navigating a Geek Marriage?
Start by going to a few marriage councilors. I'm serious. Good marriage counseling is cheaper than a divorce by an order of magnitude and infinitely more helpful. Quite simply, it's a bargain. We went to two difference councilors. One taught us skills and the other ran us through a battery of tests, and then reviewed our weaknesses. Both were informative.

Comment: They must (Score 2, Interesting) 958

by clawhound (#27314025) Attached to: How Do You Deal With Pirated Programs At Work?
Above all, your first job is to show how this is THEIR problem. You need to show the management how this issue is THEIR issue, will bite them in the ass, and that their best course of action will be to pony up the money. Politely, of course. You don't need to be an ass. The second thing that you need is an ally. That's your boss. You need his help. You need him working the money/politics side for you. If not him, then you need someone who knows the money politics side. Don't point fingers. Your job is to come in, straighten things out, and bring the shop up to a PROFESSIONAL level. Keep that as your attitude, and make sure that everyone knows it.

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