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Comment: Re:not quite (Score 1) 553

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: 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.

Comment: Listening, reading and writing (Score 1) 161

by hughbar (#46322255) Attached to: The Neuroscience of Computer Programming
I'm a fluent French bilingual, but I learnt as an adult in Paris where they are about as patient as New Yorkers.

There's a huge difference between listening, where you have no control over the speed of delivery/level of difficulty and reading where you can take your time, look up 'words' [or pieces of unfamiliar syntax] and writing, harder than reading but you can still pace yourself and work around difficulties.

Otherwise there's anecdotal evidence that 'extra' natural languages are easier after the first one. I feel that's also true of programming languages, the first one is alien, lots of alien concepts [variables, file handles, operations] and the next few, in imperative languages contain the same thing with different syntactic candy. It's to do with memory, usage and repitition then, less with conceptual grasp.

If a camel is a horse designed by a committee, then a consensus forecast is a camel's behind. -- Edgar R. Fiedler