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Comment: Re:galactic hyper-hearse (Score 3, Informative) 238

That was my thought as well. The more appropriate quote, too, was not regarding the interior of the ship, which was merely black (and lots of it), but the exterior of the ship. Ford's line before the entered the ship - "It's so black - you can hardly even make out its shape. Light just falls into it." - seemed a much better fit for this story.

Comment: Not a difficult situation at all... (Score 1) 480

Keep copies of the contracts and statements of work to show what you were contracted to do. Contact the client (not the developer currently maintaining the code, but that developer's manager or whomever at the client signed the contract) and ask them for a letter to clarify that you did the original work for them, regardless of the copyright notices in the code now.

Be polite about it, and most clients will be happy to help.

Comment: Re:Degree and non-tech skills are critical (Score 1) 182

by hendersj (#42702899) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Job Search Or More Education?

It's not an either-or, companies want people with a degree and real world experience so if you got one, work on the other. It can be really tough to land a good first/early job no matter how good your degree is if they got other applications also with good degrees and a bit more experience and the less prestigious jobs will often see that you're looking to get a bit of experience and leave for greener pastures.

Yes, it is important as well not to spend a lot of time early in your career hopping between different jobs. Employers want people who are stable, and I've seen plenty of people who spent 6 months at a string of different jobs be turned down because they're perceived as "too opportunistic".

It costs money to hire and develop an employee, and those who jump between jobs are perceived as not worth the investment of time or money to hire.

Comment: Re:Degree and non-tech skills are critical (Score 1) 182

by hendersj (#42698185) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Job Search Or More Education?

For my own part, I've done the studying for the PMP and just need to get to the point that I'm ready for the exam (I'm pretty good with project management, but I learned mostly "by doing", so I had to study up on the official terminology and such - and I'm not a very good exam taker, sadly - and I worked in technical certification and testing for a number of years).

Personally, I've ended up moving into technical writing, documentation, and training materials development. My background in programming, IT, and technology really serves me well for that - and along the way, I served as a technical instructor and a program manager. That makes for an interesting career path, too - you go from having done on-call 24x7x365 (or less if you've got more IT people and are part of a larger organization) to being able to work 9-5 if you want (as an independent writer, certainly) except when a deadline is looming.

I've found this to be a great way to get deep exposure to a number of different technologies as well - and the weeks that there isn't any work, I can rest up for the next job. I've had more vacation time the past two years than at anytime in my career - just no resources to travel yet since I'm getting started in this line of work. The only downside (which most consultants and contractors will be very familiar with) is the uncertainty of the next gig.

I guess the point here is that having business skills, writing skills, people skills, and great technical skills is a good combination as well - but if you want to continue down an IT path or working for companies, a degree is a huge foot in the door. I've been burned a number of times in job interviews because I lack a degree - and at least in the US, that should be a serious consideration for any candidate who is looking to get into the job market.

Jim

Comment: Degree and non-tech skills are critical (Score 3, Informative) 182

by hendersj (#42696975) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Job Search Or More Education?

70% of IT professionals these days have some sort of degree.

Tech skills on their own won't get you far - back in the late 80's and early 90's when I got started in the field, it was sufficient. I dropped out of college to pursue an IT career and did very well for 15 years in the field before moving on to other stuff.

Then I got laid off, and the lack of degree has really hurt my ability to get a job in this economy. I currently do contract writing for software companies, and that pays well enough - when there's work to do.

My advice would be to pursue the degree while working full-time, either as an intern or other full-time position. The degree, sadly, will be more valuable than the experience.

In the IT field, things that help are the ability to solve business problems (IOW, don't focus strictly on technology) and to manage projects. PMP certification will get you farther than any technical certification (the tech certification market has been in decline for years). Companies don't want to hire someone with specific technical skills - they want people who can function independently and can manage IT projects. Being able to do that will really help you.

A CS degree in combination with project management skills, familiarity with Agile/SCRUMM development methodologies, and business skills will take you farther these days than tech skills alone.

Jim

Comment: Take a look at BetterLinux (Score 2) 210

by hendersj (#42137505) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best File System For Web Hosting?

I spent some time late last year and earlier this year working very closely with the developers of BetterLinux, and in the work I did, I did stress testing (on a limited scale) to see how the product performed. It has some OSS components and some closed-source components, but the I/O leveling they do is pretty amazing.

http://www.betterlinux.com/

Comment: PS3 version - so far, so good. (Score 2) 117

by hendersj (#41391421) Attached to: Game Review: <em>Borderlands 2</em>

The PC version multiplayer may not work well, but the PS3 version sure does. I started playing a solo game, and my stepson (who has his own copy and PS3) came online and joined my single-player game with no trouble at all. I wasn't even aware that it would do that. What is lacking is some player-to-player communication options when the bluetooth headset isn't available (had some trouble with pairing mine and ended up horking the PS3's bluetooth up until the next restart).

Having played the first game all the way through, I like the UI changes so far.

Patents

Patent Troll Sues X-Plane 214

Posted by Soulskill
from the uniloc-has-a-lot-of-x-planing-to-do dept.
symbolset writes "X-plane is a cross-platform flight simulator app, notably the only serious one that supports Mac OSX and Linux. It was the first to include NASA data in their terrain modelling. It's now under threat by an NPE (Non-Practicing Entity) called Uniloc. Uniloc is suing for things X-Plane has done for decades. X-plane cannot afford to defend this suit, so if somebody doesn't step up and defend them then we lose X-plane forever. Quoting: 'I have spoken to a lawyer about this, and I am told that it will cost me about $1,500,000 (one and a half million dollars) to defend this suit. He also told me that it should take about two to three years to defend. This is more money than I have made selling Android Apps in the first place.'"

Comment: How to secure your system (Score 1) 241

by hendersj (#41181795) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Where To Report Script Kiddies and Other System Attacks?

Use something like blockhosts to deny connections to addresses that have repeated unsuccessful attempts.

Use public key/private key pairs for authentication and disable password authentication completely.

Use a non-standard port for the ssh service.

Who to report them to? Unless you're actually compromised and suffer harm, there really isn't anyone who is going to look into it; seriously, reporting every potential attacker results in nothing more than a very large scale game of whack-a-mole.

Comment: Don't look for one person to fill two roles (Score 4, Informative) 211

by hendersj (#40253383) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Best To Teach Programming To Salespeople?

Pair someone with strong programming skills with someone with strong sales skills. Lots of tech companies supplement their sales staff with "sales engineers" who know the technology. It's not unusual, and many IT organizations are impressed to have someone with expertise sent along with the sales people.

If it's worth doing, it's worth doing for money.

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