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Comment: Tax Filings as a Non-Resident Alien (Score 1) 386

by dbl (#46761143) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?

Having to do both CRA (Canadian Revenue Agency) and IRS/Indiana DoR filings, I find that whole 'Paperwork Reduction Act' thing is quite ironic.

The first couple of years I had to do US tax filings (through an LLC), it took me a month or so to get the accounting the way I needed it, and to figure out through the massive maze of forms which ones I had to fill out and how I had to fill them out.

Now, with the exception of filing to get my withholding tax back, it takes about an hour after I've got my accounting all in order. I've got it down to a system of completing electronic PDF forms (6 forms for the IRS, and another 5 or 6 for Indiana), printing them out, and then signing two of them. So, now it's mostly stress more than anything. But good God man...why so many forms? And lengthy ones at that.

CRA's are mostly a couple of pages...the odd one might be three.

Comment: Aerospace bugs (Score 1) 664

by dbl (#46312555) Attached to: Stack Overflow Could Explain Toyota Vehicles' Unintended Acceleration

I would tend to agree with dcw3, based on my limited exposure to the industry. I worked in an aerospace company for a few years, and the code I worked on was some of the buggiest code I've ever encountered. The push was to get more features thrown into the software, rather than writing code properly and fixing the existing code. When I first started at the company, the software was crashing every 2 or 3 minutes and often every time the software tried to start up. By the time I left, we finally had it down to every 6 to 48 hours. However, for the environment this software was supposed to be deployed in, even every 48 hours was crashing too often. The code often reminded me of Chuck Forsberg's xmodem, ymodem, and zmodem code, but it actually makes his code look spectacular. Gotos were liberally sprinkled throughout the code, null pointers passed around like they were going out of style, and globals and statics were the cool thing to use in multithreaded code.

Comment: Communication 101 for Developers (Score 1) 361

by dbl (#45404427) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Communication Skills For Programmers?

The more you communicate to your superiors before the meetings, the less time spent in meetings, too.

One way to achieve this is to make sure every time you commit code that you check it in against a ticket. If there isn't a ticket to check it in against, create one, and then check it in against the newly created ticket. This gives you transparency and accountability. Both of which managers love. This can all be achieved with various ticketing systems, but the one I find that is integrated with a versioning system quite well is Trac. It integrates well with subversion, git, and mercurial.

Just keep in mind that not all communication is necessarily verbal.


Contributing To a Project With a Reclusive Maintainer? 162

Posted by Soulskill
from the pulling-a-davis dept.
zerointeger writes "I am still fairly new to programming in C, but I was asked to extend an open source authentication module by my employer. The project is complete, testing has been done and it works as designed. The extension/patch I have created is fairly robust, as it includes configuration options, help files, and several additional files. The problem is that I have been unable to make contact with the current maintainer about having this feature added. I think the only reason I'd like to see this included is to prevent any patching of later revisions. A few others I have spoken with agree that the patch would benefit administrators attempting to push Linux onto the desktop, as we have done at the University that employs me. Has anyone else submitted patches/extensions to what seems to be a black hole?"

"The algorithm to do that is extremely nasty. You might want to mug someone with it." -- M. Devine, Computer Science 340