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Comment: Re:This just in... (Score 1) 279 279

Knowing how to code is easy. Being a decent software engineer isn't. 90+% of web developers fall into the first category.

And 90 % of developers think they are a part of that 10%. And they disagree on who else is in that category.

This is because of the Dunning-Kruger Effect (, which has been studied.

The more you know.

Comment: Summer internship and other thoughts (Score 1) 537 537

If you want experience, then you want something like a summer internship. Lots of companies hire college students for 10-12 weeks over the summer. You'll get a little bit of experience, and you'll get better pay than working at Starbucks.

Or you can work part-time during the school year. I did a part-time job 20 hours a week at a local research institute affiliated with the college I went to as an undergrad. It was nice enough pay to get some spending money on top of paying for the basics, and I got a lot of useful experience.

There's also open source experience, but I know nothing about that personally.

If you wanted to focus on a language, I suppose you could look into various certifications, like Sun Java certifications. Those cost money. The type of hiring we do, we don't care about those (we're a research institute, we want to see advanced degrees) but some others might have an idea if they're actually worth anything in the programming field. I'm skeptical, but maybe it's useful for a new grad.

Comment: You can change your mind later, too (Score 1) 834 834

A Masters is not going to help you get a coding job. A Master is going to help you get a research job.

There are companies out there that do research in the field of computer science -- large companies that might have a dedicated research lab or two, or small and mid-size companies that can be fully dedicated to research.

So figure out what you're interested in:

1. Strictly coding? Go out there and grab job experience. Maybe look into some sort of applicable certification, by Sun or Microsoft or someone. Get OpenSource experience. Code recreationally.

2. Research? Look into a Masters or PhD. Wondering how to find companies that do research? Google around for institutions like NSA and DARPA that grant research contracts, and see what companies are winning them.

3. Academics? You'll want a PhD -- unless you're interested in teaching below the college level, in which case you'll need to get teaching certified.

4. Management? A Masters could help, but so could a MBA (try one with a specialty in IT). Or work you way up the food chain (you'll have to do that anyway) and look into some sort of program management certification. Google around for something like 'PMP certification' and you'll read about them.

The good thing is you don't have to decide now. The better thing is, you can change you mind. I thought I wanted to do academics, did a year of PhD program at Georgia Tech, decided it wasn't for me, then decided I wanted to do research, joined a small research organization, then 15 years later decided to go back and work on my Masters. Even better? Where I work is paying me to pick up my Masters part time. I might also work on picking up my PMP certification, since I seem to have most of the requirements anyway.

Just remember, you can change your mind later.


Tech Companies That Won't Survive 2009 385 385

buzzardsbay writes "Fresh off their annual market survey, eWEEK channel folks have compiled the list of tech vendors their readers think will fail, falter, or be sold off in 2009. It's important to note that these aren't the opinions of the magazine or its editors. The list comes from folks who work in IT, mostly technology resellers, who are out in the field selling, installing and maintaining this stuff. If there were ever canaries in the tech coal mine, they'd be these service and solution providers who live and die by the slightest shift in the markets. Some of the companies on this list, like Sun and AMD, are shocking because of their size. Others, like CA and Symantec, not so surprising." What other companies are headed for implosion, or should be if all were right with the universe?

Freelance Web Developer Best Practices? 438 438

SirLurksAlot writes "My last employer had to make a series of budget cuts, and I was laid off. I have been on the job hunt since then; however in the meantime I have begun freelancing as a Web developer. This is my first time in this role and so I would like the ask the Slashdot community: are there any best practices for freelance developers? What kind of process should I use when dealing with clients? Should I bill by the hour or provide a fixed quote on a per-project basis? What kind of assurances should I get from the client before I begin work? What is the best way to create accurate time estimates? I'm also wondering if there are any good open source tools for freelancers, such as for time-tracking and invoice creation (aside from simply using a spreadsheet). Any suggestions or insights would be welcome."

Battle Over Minimum Pricing Heating Up 272 272

The Wall Street Journal is covering developments in the gathering battle between manufacturers and retailers / discounters, especially online ones, over minimum prices. Earlier this year the Supreme Court upheld the right of manufacturers to enforce price floors for their products. Since then, manufacturers have increasingly been employing service companies like NetEnforcers to snitch on discounters who offer goods below "minimum advertised prices" (or MAPs), and to send DMCA takedown notices to the likes of eBay and Craigslist for below-minimum offers. Separately, the Journal reports that a coalition of discounters and retailers is using eBay as a stalking-horse in a campaign to get consumers, and then politicians, fired up enough to pass legislation outlawing MAPs.
Wireless Networking

FCC Considering Free Internet For USA 502 502

jbolden writes "According to the Wall Street Journal, the FCC is considering a plan to provide free wireless internet. The plan would involve some level of filtering, but might allow adults to opt out. CTIA has argued that this business model has traditionally failed (see Slate magazine's analysis as to why)."

Comment: Re:Finances & Conflict (Score 1) 460 460

I haven't played WoW in well over a year, an only then for 5 or 6 months before my attention span dropped. But I seem to remember that at least back in the day, there were designated 'RP servers' and 'PVE servers' and 'PVP servers'.

I wonder what would happen if there were designated 'bot-allowed' servers. Would those who used bots still enjoy their bot-enhanced abilities if everyone was allowed to use them? Or would it let them level up or grind items or whatever just the same as they did illegally, so all would be happy?

Then again, since I haven't played in forever, maybe it's easier to move characters/items/gold between servers now (legally or otherwise) so this might mess up even non-bot servers, if bots were 'legalized' and there were suddenly ten times as many.

I personally thing it would be fun to see them all following the same farming scripts in the same areas, though. Mass chaos! Though as a programmer geek, working on bot AI modules is kind of appealing.

The Courts

Student, Denied Degree For MySpace Photo, Sues 823 823

gwoodrow writes "We've all heard the 'fired because of MySpace' stories, where a simple blog or picture gets someone canned. But now one of the targets is fighting back. (The offending picture in this case was a snap from Halloween 2005 of the student in a pirate outfit drinking from a cup.)" From the article: "Teacher in training Stacy Snyder was denied her education degree on the eve of graduation when Millersville University apparently found pictures on her MySpace page 'promoting underage drinking.' As a result, the 27-year-old mother of two had her teaching certificate withheld and was granted an English degree instead. In response, Snyder has filed a Federal lawsuit against the Pennsylvania university asking for her education diploma and certificate along with $75,000 in damages."
The Courts

Can You Be Sued for Quitting? 1057 1057

An anonymous reader asks: "I work at a large hosting company in Texas, and recently decided to go work for a smaller competitor. I had a great relationship with my employer and wanted to leave on good terms, and I hadn't signed any non-compete or employment agreements . I felt my old company had just gotten too large and I didn't like working there anymore, so I gave them two weeks notice in writing. They were really upset when I insisted on leaving and one week into my last two weeks the V.P. of Sales told me the company was suing me for leaving, and they were also suing my new employer for hiring me. I was shocked, and they then escorted me out of the building. Has anybody ever heard of this happening? Do they have any legal basis for suing me?" It shouldn't have to be said that seeking professional legal representation, in such a situation, is the first thing one should do.

A look at Thunderbird 2.0 Beta 254 254

lisah writes " has reviewed Mozilla's first beta release of the Thunderbird 2.0 email client and says that, while it 'won't knock your socks off,' there are plenty of reasons to try it out or upgrade from previous versions. The new Thunderbird does away with the limitations of labels and instead allows users to tag emails to their heart's content, in the same vein as Google's GMail. Developers also tossed in a bunch of other useful features like customizable pop-up notification of new email, better search capabilities, and a neat way to navigate through the history of recently read emails. Mozilla developers didn't get everything right, however, since the account setup continues to be something of a headache."

DARPA Funds Remote Control Sharks 137 137

An anonymous reader writes "From Undersea Spies: Turning Sharks into Robotic Sentries "It seems like science fiction, but the U.S. military would like to use sharks as underwater spies. The folks at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), who dream up the future of weapons and military systems, envision squads of sharks prowling the oceans with sensors that could transmit evidence of explosives or other threats.""
United States

FCC Drops Morse Code Requirement 231 231

leighklotz writes to mention a story discussing what some might consider a historic event. The FCC has dropped the Morse Testing requirement for amateur radio certifications. The public announcement was made on Friday. Ham radio operators will no longer have to study Morse, in a move patterned after other western nations. Says leighklotz: "The U.S. joins Canada and other countries in eliminating the morse code testing requirement, after being authorized to do so on July 5, 2003, when the World Radio Telecommunications Conference 2003 in Geneva adopted changes to the ITU Radio Regulations."

The 10 Most Dangerous Toys of All Time 404 404

Ant writes "An article at the Radar lists the ten most dangerous toys of all time, those treasured playthings that drew blood, chewed digits, took out eyes, and, in one case, actually irradiated. To keep things interesting, the editors excluded BB guns, slingshots, throwing stars, and anything else actually intended to inflict harm." My favorite: 'Feed Me!' begged the packaging for 1996's Cabbage Patch Snacktime Kid. And much like the carnivorous Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors, the adorable lineup of Cabbage Patch snack-dolls appeared at first to be harmless. They merely wanted a nibble--a carrot perhaps, or maybe some yummy pudding. They would stop chewing when snack time was done -- they promised. Then they chomped your child's finger off."

Adapt. Enjoy. Survive.