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Comment: Re:Brightest ? (Score 3, Informative) 139

by dskoll (#49137673) Attached to: 12-Billion-Solar-Mass Black Hole Discovered

Light cannot escape the black hole's event horizon. But as matter falls into the black hole, it's heated up tremendously and emits huge amounts of heat, light, and other electromagnetic radiation including X-rays. So it's the matter in the acretion disk being eaten up that emits so much energy.

Comment: Re:Perl is more expressive (Score 2) 192

by dskoll (#48954785) Attached to: Perl 6 In Time For Next Christmas?

I think it's the contract jobs that produce bad code. My company produces commercial software mostly written in Perl. It's been under development for 15 years and the code base is quite readable and easy to understand. That's because the programmers are not contract programmers and they have sufficiently good taste and motivation to avoid the worst of Perl's cuteness. You can write readable, maintainable Perl. It just takes a lot of work.

Of course, that applies to any other programming language as well.

Comment: My opinion (Score 4, Insightful) 214

by dskoll (#48920019) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Makes a Great Software Developer?

I started a software company back in 1999; we're still around and up to 10 employees, so I have had some moderate success in the software business.

I think the LifeHacker link makes a lot of good points. I especially agree with limiting overtime. I *never* ask my developers to work overtime. Just never. Because I don't set release dates. When someone asks when the next release will be, I say "when it's ready" and I mean it. It's far more important to get it right than to get it out "on time", whatever that is.

I would add that to be a great software developer, you need a lot of discipline. You need to write your unit and regression tests even if you don't feel like it and even if you'd rather be moving on to the next cool feature. You need to write your documentation clearly and comprehensively. You need to have your code reviewed; even the best programmer can benefit from suggestions that improve code clarity.

You need to listen to your customers. You can write the greatest software in the world, but if it doesn't do what your clients want, that's not much use. But you also need to have enough judgement to know when your customers are asking for something ridiculous and you need to have the communication skills necessary to explain to them why what they think they want isn't what they really want.

You also have to be passionate. If you went into computer science because you thought you'd get a secure job, but never particularly liked computers and didn't do programming on your own time, forget it... you won't be a great software developer.

Comment: Re:Freedom of expression (Score 2) 1350

by dskoll (#48756981) Attached to: Gunmen Kill 12, Wound 7 At French Magazine HQ

Most Muslims are very nice people. You didn't read what I wrote. Islam is intrinsically evil. Most Muslims are not evil because their intrinsic human nature leads them to reject the evil aspects of Islam. Unfortunately, it's dangerous to verbalize this because apostasy in Islam is punishable by death. So most Muslims quietly reject the worst aspects of Islam without actually admitting to doing that.

You say you find my generalization offensive? How offensive do you find the cold-blooded murder of 12 people just because they dared to exercise their democratic right to free expression?

"I'm not afraid of dying, I just don't want to be there when it happens." -- Woody Allen