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Comment: How could the project work? (Score 2) 64

by cowdung (#49157077) Attached to: Oracle Sues 5 Oregon Officials For 'Improper Influence'

According to this talk

By Steve McConnell who presumably has no skin in the game, Oregon's website was extremely poorly managed. Including using bad coding practices, staff that didn't have proper training and several other problems. McConnell just wonders how anybody could think that the project could work in the first place.

(the talk is very interesting by the way)

So if McConnell is correct in his appraisal of the situation, Oracle is just trying to get itself out of a lawsuit for a grand screw up caused by their own poor judgement.

Comment: Great qualities (Score 1) 214

by cowdung (#48921113) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Makes a Great Software Developer?

I don't know about great programmers.. but I've found some great qualities in coworkers who seemed great to me throughout the years:

1. Nice people: People who get along well with others and through their good qualities make everyone better. Not only can they write awesome code, but since everybody likes them they can get the knowledge they need to do it right. This is probably the quality I admired most in the GREAT programmers I've met.
2. Deceptively simple designs: I've met coworkers that can design things so simply yet so solidly that their designs last forever
3. Clean code: the write code that everyone understands.
4. Innovative: they are always finding ways to make the project better
5. Broad range: they always have a new trick in their bag. They always know about this tool or that that makes things better, or this library or framework.
6. Attention to detail: they are patient enough to write unit tests and go through the quality steps needed to guarantee good functioning of the code.

Comment: Re:This is an overreaction (Score 5, Insightful) 465

by cowdung (#48588883) Attached to: Peru Indignant After Greenpeace Damages Ancient Nazca Site

While I agree that this is an opportunity for politicians to discredit Greenpeace.. its not an issue of ENVIRONMENTAL damage.. its an issue of preserving National and World Heritage. The government of Peru is not worried about plants and animals in this case.. it is worried about keeping these ancient grounds for future generations.

What they did is the equivalent of pissing on the Mona Lisa.

Comment: Re:10x Productivity (Score 1) 215

by cowdung (#48408089) Attached to: Do Good Programmers Need Agents?

Majority of the companies are your "cheaskate" organizations.... Unfortunately, management will fight till the bitter end to keep the status quo and as a result the good software developers will remain a specie on the brink of extinction.

Sounds like you're working in the wrong industry. Go work for a Software company.. they appreciate a good engineer.

Comment: Re:Agreed (Score 1) 574

by cowdung (#48309357) Attached to: The Great IT Hiring He-Said / She-Said

This is a tricky issue.

Often times you would think that a person can solve a problem on his feet just because you could do so. But probably you've been thinking about that problem and in a certain way for a while.

I find in interviews that asking hard questions won't always give you good results. But that you are passing up the opportunity to hire someone smart.

Experienced developers bring a key thing to the table: EXPERIENCE

Experience tells you how to run a software project the best way, how to get out of a bind, how to write code that survives in the wild. They may be creative or may not be so. Maybe you're looking for a PhD?

I haven't found the Microsoft / Google interviewing technique very useful. I basically just look for people that CAN learn, have a proven track record of learning, and are willing to learn.

Expecting a candidate to tell you right then and there what you want to hear is not a very effective selection criteria (it can also scare away good people from your company).

Comment: Musk vs Jobs (Score 1) 181

by cowdung (#48128339) Attached to: The Cult of Elon Musk Shines With Steve Jobs' Aura

Jobs took on the pc industry and lost. But helped introduce a lot of great technologies in the PC industry. They also got it started.
Jobs took introduced the GUI that was largely ignored until Windows was popularized in the early 90s.
Jobs took on the music industry and unblocked the online music market.
Jobs took on the cellphone market and beat the incumbents.
He created the tablet market (even though MS created it first).

Musk revolutionized online Payments with PayPal.
Musk took on the Car industry and unblocked Electric Cars, something consumers want but Big Oil hates. Today everyone dreams of having an electric car.
Must took on the Energy market with SolarCity. Some success but nothing revolutionary.
Musk took on the entrenched, overpriced, bureaucratic, an dead US Space industry and brought it back to life. He's taken the lead in developing cheap alternatives to orbit.

Jobs ultimate success moment was the iPod / iTunes, the creation of a toy and fashion accessory. And its follow up toy/fashion accessory the iPhone and the iPad.
Musk may well be remembered as the guy that gave us electric cars and the guy that got us to Mars (TBD) and gave the little guy a key tool to start an online business (ie. the eBay killer app)

Comment: Stopping the race to the bottom (Score 2) 180

by cowdung (#47591165) Attached to: How Many Members of Congress Does It Take To Pass a $400MM CS Bill?

I applaud this effort.

I recently toured 14 campuses in the US and it is clear to me that Engineering and Science is a low priority for most american youth based on the comments I heard from students and tour guides. Also, movies and tv shows keep portraying scientists, engineers and computer people as weird and devoid of social life.

If the US is to continue to be a country of innovation it needs to inform its youth that the highest demand jobs are those that involve MATH and Science and Engineering. It needs to give these subjects a higher priority in the curriculum. Because it is through these subjects that people will be able to BUILD the future.

Its nice that so many people are in to art history, or sociology, or communications. But what the economy needs is innovators that can bring technological solutions to make the world a better place. The salary discrepancies clearly show this.

Teaching programming will help students model and understand the world and to solve its technological problems.

70% of the youth in Asia chose Science and Engineering jobs. In the Americas the trend is the opposite only about 30% chose these fields. No wonder so many work at Walmart and are wondering if higher education is worth the investment.

Byte your tongue.