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Comment: Re:We 'must' compete (Score 1) 76

This reminds me of a joke that came out of the philosophy department in Oxford, about fifty years ago.

Student: Wouldn't you agree, Professor Strawson that everything is relative?
Professor Strawson: Absolutely!

In other news, please try not to put words into other people's mouths. It never ends really well.

Comment: We 'must' compete (Score 4, Insightful) 76

If the little people start cooperating, doing stuff, changing the world, that's really, really bad. So we must compete, win prizes given by the big people, follow their agenda. Hence, also, attempts to buy into or hijack open-source, communism and altruism on the hoof, cannot be allowed, everything must be monetised.

I'm currently doing voluntary work in schools in the UK and the 'push' coming from Google, Microsoft 'partners' etc. is extrordinary. One would be mad to believe that any of this is altruistic, it's just a big, stable, undemanding [I deal with crap computers and software during the volunteering gigs] market.

Sorry that this sounds so ranty, unusual for me, but I don't trust them, don't trust their motives.

Comment: All of the Above! (Score 2) 48

by hughbar (#49757155) Attached to: Favorite musical scale, by number of pitch classes?
I think all of them are interesting, pentatonic gives you the blues but also [approximations to, on the guitar] oriental tropes, all the jazz modes give you [surprise] jazz, mix and match gives you Butterfield's East-West: You have to love them all + the pure geekiness of chord construction with 'exotics'.

Music is almost as good as computers, not quite though.

Comment: Perl not dead! (Score 2) 263

by hughbar (#49748891) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Career Advice For an Aging Perl Developer?
I'm 64, a Perl guy and in London. I still get a fair amount of contract work, some of which I turn down. Recently that's included a couple of start-ups. Are you London area? I suspect this may also be a geographical and networking problem. I'm ex-investment bank and people know me.

Meanwhile some of the other advice is great, learn Python [I did], learn Java [I do some, hate it, it reminds me of COBOL], improve Javascript, especially the 'new' frameworks. But, I like to program and I like freelance, if you're programming 'for cash', then the advice about graduating to management is good. At this age, I can look at things and go NOOOOO, often saving others a lot of time, money and heartache, but I don't like meetings/suits etc. etc.

So if you're old, I'm moribund [although 2 hour half marathon suggests otherwise, keep healthy too!], don't despair, very best of of luck from me.

Comment: Re:Around the block (Score 1) 429

by hughbar (#49644983) Attached to: Why Companies Should Hire Older Developers
Sorry about that. I still work part-time at 64, but I've nearly always been a contractor so I don't get plugged into 'new' management 'paradigms'.

I have breakfast with a young friend [she's 50] nearly every Sunday, she a business analyst and tells me stories from her job. Nearly every time, I send her a link afterwards to Dilbert. I really think some of them use that as an operating manual.

For a more general view, see David Graeber's essay: we're pretty lucky as technologists, we actually 'do' in many but not all cases.

Comment: Re:There might be a bit more to it. (Score 1) 264

by hughbar (#49635839) Attached to: C Code On GitHub Has the Most "Ugly Hacks"
I'm a Perl person, so biased. That said, I agree with an associated idea, only realistic, humble and experienced people will mark 'ugly hacks' as such. Many others, less experienced, ignorant or simply 'bad' won't even recognise them.

I'd love to see standardisation across languages for FIXME and TODO too, then it would be easier to distinguish the two cases, where they ARE distinct.

Actually there are a lot of very big Perl codebases, well written and commented [and some atrocious ones, like every other language].

Comment: What do you call? (Score -1, Troll) 74

by hughbar (#49534405) Attached to: Apple Offers Expedited Apple Watch Order Lottery To Developers
Someone who has an iPhone, iPad, iPod? An iDiot. Unhappily Apple Watch doesn't fit into this rather feeble joke, but these are consumer fetish items.

It's working though, a charity that I volunteer for bought a load of iPads for an older-person project, display keypads are a lot harder to use than clunky mechanical ones for old fingers and they're really expensive. So, if any of the people in the trial wanted to 'progress' they'd have to lay out £500 pounds. I'm not a huge fan of Android either, but, at least the follow-up would have been more affordable and a little more open.

Comment: English is already fragmented (Score 1) 626

My ex is from Singapore, where they speak 'Singlish': The rhythm is different and the grammar is something like bits of Mandarin, loan words from Hokkien the most famous being kiasu: For example 'eat already?', 'don't want', it tends to sound a little harsh because it's very abbreviated.

I think this is probably the future of English, that is it will win and lose at the same time. However, for a while, most of these variations should be roughly comprehensible. It's also a reason to try and keep some kind of 'standard core' as a fallback. In Singapore, once they hear my Brit accent, they slow down and use fewer local words.

BTW Perl does suck, but the useful vacuum created is 'awesome', to quote the kids.

Comment: Re:Advanced is good enough (Score 1) 220

by hughbar (#49403703) Attached to: How would you rate your programming skills?
Me too. Around computers since COBOL/RPG2/Filetab in about 1977, I wouldn't regard myself as an expert. For one thing, I've changed languages with the industry quite a lot. I learnt on the job, then did an MSc in my mid-40s, so I learnt a little about 'computer science' only at that stage. Also, once you really rate yourself, you stop learning.

I feel very grateful and lucky [for one thing at 64, I'm still working, probably have more than I can handle actually] that I joined an industry that provides me both fun and cash. Many, many people work at jobs they don't like.

The degree of technical confidence is inversely proportional to the level of management.