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Comment: Re: 35? (Score 1) 376 376

I'm north of 60 too. Very well paid. I still get in the hacking zone frequently. I work on cool new stuff all the time. Learning has been lifelong. Took a couple of turns as a manager and didn't like it. I keep getting asked to be a manager, I mostly say no. Age discrimination is very real, but in talking with friends it's clearly worse in management. I'm totally happy with having stuck with what I love.

Comment: Call me a heretic, but... (Score 1) 209 209

I've been involved in 5 of these ERP conversion efforts. The ones that failed used big expensive commercial products and giant teams of consultants. Hugely expensive. Kinda limping along. Both of the successes were outfits that decided to just build what they needed inhouse, skipping consultants and giant ERP packages.

Comment: Re:I'm 30 and I already want out. (Score 2) 360 360

I'm an inch away from 60. Happy as can be slinging code (mostly Java). I've had periods in my career where I've been up the management chain, but I never really felt alive. There's something about the magic of getting something really complex to run. Coding pays at least as well as management, especially if you're working somewhere that has Hard Problems (as opposed to just cranking out yet another form). The added bonus as you get older is that you need less sleep.

Comment: Why Doctors Die Differntly (Score 5, Interesting) 504 504

The last months of a persons life are overwhelmingly the most expensive, but the outcomes are predicable. There was a great article in the WSJ on this called Why Doctors Die Differently - http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203918304577243321242833962.html . The basic point is that doctors understand death, and when their condition makes death inevitable. They almost always opt for more life in their years than more years in their life. From a healthcare point of view, doctors have much less expensive end-of-life care.

Comment: Re:The most needed thing... (Score 1) 120 120

As a life-long programmer myself, I've always had great relationships with the tech writers I work with. For one, I may be excellent at coding, but I'm crap at prose, and the delicate task of writing prose that is both understandable and accurate is a truly hard skill. Programmers need to have a little humility towards, and understanding of, tech writers. The other big thing about tech writers in my career has been that if a tech writer comes to me and says "I don't know how to describe this" it occasionally means that the tech writer is an idiot, but more often it means that my code isn't as clean as needed, and almost certainly has a clumsy UI.

Comment: Learn to use the other hand (Score 5, Informative) 131 131

I had a similar issue. I never thought I could switch hands, but I was desperate. It was awkward for a long time, but it worked. The bonus is that a couple of years later, when my "art hand" had fully recovered, I found that I had two art hands, which has been wonderful

Comment: Try BlueJ (Score 1) 346 346

Learning Java is remarkably valuable. An easy way to start is with a cool tool called BlueJ from bluej.org. It's a "teaching IDE" that's used to teach people programming who have never programmed before. There's a textbook that comes with it. It's been used by literally millions of people all over the world.

Comment: ZFS sidesteps the whole RAID controller problem (Score 4, Insightful) 168 168

If you use ZFS with SSDs, it scales very nicely. There isn't a bottleneck at a raid controller. You can slam a pile of controllers into a chassis if you have bandwidth problems because you've bought 100 SSDs - by having the RAID management outside the controller, ZFS can unify the whole lot in one giant high performance array.

"Experience has proved that some people indeed know everything." -- Russell Baker

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