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Comment Re:Smalltalk (Score 1) 427

While I agree that Smalltalk is an incredibly important language.. some/many of the things you mention came with Lisp first:

Closures
Duck typing
JIT compilation within the VM

Some truly innovative things Smalltalk brought us:

The GUI as is know today
The modern mouse
OO (Simula was incomplete)
Extremely simple/clean syntax
A truly interactive, dynamic, programmable, inspectable, live development environment
Platform independent UIs (several flavors: same on all platforms vs best for each platform)
Truly interactive debugging
Method based version control (see ENVY/Developer)
Sophisticated configuration management

Comment Re:Here's the list (Score 1) 119

We don't need engineering, we need mind-readers. If users had enough time to sit and be thoroughly interviewed about needs and preferences, they wouldn't need automation to begin with.

And further, how to make software maintainable in the longer run is highly disputed largely because it depends on "wetware" and unknowns, such as developer perception of code, and unknowable future domain changes.

It's more akin to writing technical documentation than to building a bridge: how do you write documentation that's clear to the audience, but flexible enough that it doesn't have to be largely reworked for every change.

There is no magic modularity formula: domain issues inherently intertwine (or can intertwine in the future even if not at original launch.) You can't hide intertwining, you have to find a way to manage it well.

To deal with this what we do is go quickly to the UI.. once you show them they can give you better feedback. There's also some research supporting this.

http://www.construx.com/Though...

Comment Peopleware (Score 1) 156

Open floor plans have nothing to do with improving innovation or creativity. That's just what they tell people.

The real reason is the realest of all reasons: cost savings.

In the 90s software companies offered everyone "their own office". It was a source of pride for them (I've never worked any other way).
There was also research that supported it. A famous book was Tom DeMarco's "Peopleware" that stated that companies with private offices had programmers that were 5-10x more productive. (This book also started the "rock star" idea that some programmers are 10x more productive.. but people have forgotten that the central conclusion was that PRIVATE OFFICES were a key piece of this equation)

Then these companies come along in the post-dotCom era and say that productivity will be better with smaller offices. They simply are making things up to make the MBAs happy.

Comment Re:I call shenanigans... (Score 3, Funny) 446

"Coding jobs can be easily outsourced to wherever the going rate for labor is cheapest. Google's "coder shortage" seems completely imaginary. They're an advertising company whose greatest trick was convincing the world they are a software company."

Wouldn't it be interesting if Google was really just a front for the NSA?

They did it in Argo.. why not make a company with irresistible tech that makes everyone give the company their secrets. Sounds easier to do then breaking cryptographic codes all day.

"Old age and treachery will beat youth and skill every time." -- a coffee cup

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