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Comment: Re:First sentence (Score 2) 120

by hughbar (#47763451) Attached to: The Grumpy Programmer has Advice for Young Computer Workers (Video)
Yes, exactly. I am planning to start the 'tautology party' with policies like 'higher taxes mean that taxes are higher'. The party will make about as much sense as the current political parties.

Incidentally [and unrelatedly] I'm 63, a programmer and grumpy. I hate every 'latest' javascript framework, stupid hipster hats and THOSE KIDS ON MY LAWN.

Comment: Writing Manuals and Documentation (Score 3, Informative) 430

by hughbar (#47600489) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What To Do About the Sorry State of FOSS Documentation?
To blow my own tiny trumpet for a moment, I've written and updated a manual to go with: http://sourceforge.net/project... for each release.

However, it isn't terrific AND I worked as a technical author for a number of years, doing mainframe software manuals. This is my main point, good manuals [mine is not] are hard and probably require equivalent effort to the software itself. The other big obstacle is that in, for example, mainframe world there is formal review process, formalised customer feedback, errata etc. etc. Also, manuals are planned as a 'set' installation, operation, troubleshooting, API etc.

I don't know a lot of my customers and can only correct things that appear in the Google group. In my case, since it's a niche. there's not very much.

Actually there's an opportunity here as well, in that non-code people could also participate in their favourite projects by writing guides. Indeed sometimes they do, but not often enough and they're fragmentary.

Comment: Re:not quite (Score 1) 564

Absolutely. I'm 63 and as I and my boss used to joke 'it's the year 2000, where's my toga and my flying car?'. On a serious note, there's no reason why we shouldn't aim for utopia, but hyper-capitalism [and before anyone says anything, no, I'm not a communist] is bringing most people a gentle dystopia, poor diets, precarious work contracts for bad pay, pollution, overcrowding, intrusive state, intrusive advertising, small wars, 'war on terror', 'war on drugs', you name it. That's the first world and life is still bad in the third world too, in spite of our promises.

I do feel that life was better in many ways, in the early 1970s when I started work.

Comment: I'm 63, I still work (Score 4, Interesting) 370

by hughbar (#47292315) Attached to: Age Discrimination In the Tech Industry
This seems to come up a great deal here.

I'm from the UK which is probably [slightly] less dog-eat-dog than the USA also, I mainly work in a niche, [Perl] and I do contract work rather than permanent.

However I'm still working about as much as I want. I blew an interview recently, but I'm OK with that, since I performed pretty badly in it. I try and keep up and still enjoy computers and computing. So for my younger friends, and they are nearly all younger now:
  • - It helps to enjoy computing, not be in it 'just' for the [increasing illusory] big money
  • - Flexibility helps, the UK has a smaller square area than the US though
  • - Soft skills help, I'm a pretty medium programmer but an approachable person
  • - Niche skills often make a difference, everyone [except me] is an 'OK' Java person, for example
  • - It helps to look ahead to up-curve trends [as long as not hypeware], I learnt a lot of Javascript/Jquery quite 'early' for example
  • - The soft skills will help with the next job too, many of my 'new' contracts involve people I know somewhat, at least

That's my 2c of a euro, the html is badly formatted, but hey it's almost time for Sunday lunch.

Comment: Re:My Job (Score 3, Informative) 310

Yes. That's exactly what's wrong with most of agile, lots of project momentum and minimal thought about 'what is this for', 'who wants this', 'will this damage the architecture' etc. Result object-oriented spaghetti and lots of unreadable post-its on a board somewhere in the first circle of development hell.

Comment: Re:MF successes supporting data? (Score 1) 39

I'll declare interest, I work on an open source, mutual social credit system: https://sourceforge.net/projec... so I'm not neutral. But microfinance usually has high interest rates and is 'owned' by large aid organisations that have their private agendas.

Debt money is created by private institutions from thin air and 'ought' either to be based on existing deposits [full reserve banking which would 'slow' everything, not a bad thing] or money creation should be in the hands and governed by the 'users'. So I don't believe that microfinance is the 'answer' and can't find evidence either.

+ - Starting on intermediate maths?

Submitted by hughbar
hughbar (579555) writes "I haven't done any 'real' maths since university about 40 years ago. I wasn't useless, but not that great either, I had to do some elementary quantum mechanics and the kind of arithmetic that an empirical scientist always needs.

I'd like to start on a little more, but every entry in Wikipedia seems to lead to another entry. Can't find the end of this piece of string. Should I specialise? Is there a book or course that covers university entry and first year maths for non-mathematicians [for example, people switching major subject]? Any ideas on this welcome, I'm ready to start but just don't know where to start."

Comment: I'm 63 and learn new things (Score 1) 306

by hughbar (#46518357) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Can an Old Programmer Learn New Tricks?
The secret is probably that [like many anoraky people] I enjoy the new things, I'm a neophile. Also, I'm not afraid to be mediocre at some things, I enjoy, a luxury I have because I don't use everything I know 'professionally' nowadays. But, if you don't enjoy technical stuff and do it 'just for money', it's harder to learn.

A couple of open source projects, however small, probably help as well, to 'fix' knowledge. 18 years pfui, get off my lawn...but seriously, yes, you can.

Only through hard work and perseverance can one truly suffer.

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