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Comment: Re:The Fix: Buy good Chocolate! (Score 1) 323

by jemmyw (#48398305) Attached to: MARS, Inc: We Are Running Out of Chocolate

Where are you in Utah? I recently travelled across the USA, including Salt Lake City and Park City, and we tried to visit as many chocolate places ("Chocolatiers", although that's a blatant lie in most cases) as we could. Most were really bad. Quite a few were closed (either for the day, month, or just gone, or moved). Perhaps yours was one of those, I think we pulled up outside 2 places in SLC that were inexplicably closed the day we were there.

Comment: Re:Hobbyist programmers (Score 1) 299

by jemmyw (#48288411) Attached to: It's Time To Revive Hypercard

Yes indeed. I've interviewed many programmers, and I would say the majority I've interviewed can't actually write a small program effectively. Many of these are senior and have claimed to have held a team lead position. I can only assume they get by by programming only within a framework filling in the blanks, and with much copy and paste as you say.

I interviewed someone just last week for a junior position who had some experience. I gave the task of turning a recursive algorithm that parses a tree, into a non-recursive form. This chap could write executing code just fine, without reference, but he just could not figure out the problem. When I gave a prod I thought he might get it, but then, when stuck again, he proceeded to try solving it by moving lines from one place to another. I let him try for 45 minutes!

So yeah, if you can actually take a problem and write an algorithm to solve it in code then you're one step of ahead of many professional coders. Of course it's not the only important skill, and I've known at least one clever person hired because he was able to solve the tests very quickly, turn out to be not so great at actually producing code. Probably because a lot of programming in a job isn't interesting if it's that type of problem solving that really turns you on.

Comment: Re:This is an easy one ... (Score 2) 608

by jemmyw (#48239871) Attached to: Solving the Mystery of Declining Female CS Enrollment

I don't think this really gets to the problem though. The majority of IT folk aren't actually weighted towards Autism. Women I've known in and out of the industry have no more or less an ability to grasp the concepts than men.

Personally I think the problem is that the majority of people in CS are male. Why don't more women apply... because they see a subject dominated by men. And the reasons they don't get into it or get pushed towards it from a young age are the same. It's a feedback look that seems very hard to get out of.

Comment: oh no! (Score 1) 447

by jemmyw (#48135223) Attached to: Statisticians Uncover What Makes For a Stable Marriage

uh oh. I got married on the beach for $500 with 4 guests and didn't tell any relatives, so that my girlfriend could get on my visa. And we're atheists.

OTOH 2 of the guests were our children, we'd been together for 10 years and we earn more than 125k. And we did go on honeymoon, but we took the kids, so does that count? 39% + 51% + 41% x 12.5 x 2 = ?? Will we get divorced?

Comment: Re:Diversity vs monoculture (Score 1) 123

by jemmyw (#48108543) Attached to: US Remains Top Country For Global Workers

I've gone a different way around.

1. I left Britain for New Zealand... I love NZ, the weather is perfect for me, neither too hot nor too cold at any time, it rains but doesn't feel miserable like the UK does sometimes. Great coffee, good food everywhere, good people who mostly respect immigrants. But downside, very small tech sector, everyone knows one another which I found a little difficult at times.
2. Once I had my NZ passport went to San Francisco. Hate the weather, California is too sunny. Hate the tech scene, I think the startup thing going on in SF is actually a bit crappy to work near. USA is diverse and interesting, I've loved travelling around. I could settle in New England, Maine is lovely. Americans are lovely people, but deeper friendships take longer for some reason, maybe cultural differences.
3. About to move to Denmark. I doubt the language will be too much a problem, looking forward to the better social support system. Will definitely be commenting on it in the near future.
4. Australia maybe...
5. Back to NZ, build a house.

Comment: Re:Aren't all the airlines complaining about usage (Score 1) 819

by jemmyw (#47848923) Attached to: 3 Recent Flights Make Unscheduled Landings, After Disputes Over Knee Room

This is a well thought out comment.

Perhaps an all-seats-equal type business model might make a better travel experience.

I've wondered the same, I'd certainly pay a bit more for seat equality and this experiment at the premium economy level of comfort.

Ever tried a Bus over the holidays?

It'd work in some places, but not all. America is pretty big, I've been driving around the Western states for 2 months, but getting all the way across was too long and complicated with kids and cats (yeah) so we flew the rest from CO to MA. I'm moving overseas this month to Europe, and we're planning to use the trains instead of flying or driving for our holidays.

Comment: Re:A rather simplistic hardware-centric view (Score 3, Interesting) 145

by jemmyw (#47660825) Attached to: The Quiet Before the Next IT Revolution

Indeed, and virtualization is a rapidly evolving part of infrastructure right now. We may no longer be upgrading the hardware as rapidly (although I'm not certain about that either), but the virtual layer and tools are changing, and upgrading those requires just as much upheaval.

Comment: Re:Cry Me A River (Score 1) 608

by jemmyw (#47419205) Attached to: Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

I agree but it's a difficult situation. A lot of the interpreted languages (ruby, php, perl, python, node) offer a standalone packager of some kind. Then the linux distros offer *some* integration so that you can install those packages their way, or get access to precompiled versions of ones that require it. In my experience that integration has always been the pain point.

Comment: Re:Cry Me A River (Score 2) 608

by jemmyw (#47417099) Attached to: Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

I'm working with some web software at the moment. It's the kludgiest amalgomation of crap that I've seen in quite some time.

It sounds like some poor decisions have led to that situation for you. Ruby and Node both have fairly flexible package management solutions that let you pin dependencies and provide private repos for your specific dependency versions when for some reason you can't use official ones.

However, one thing that has always bothered me is when we say "well we're using ruby xx.xx (or node xx.xx or php xx.xx or whatever) on our development machines, so we must install that version on production" and then the hoops taken to do that. It should be "production can run ruby xx.xx so that's what you have to develop against".

Comment: Re:I've quit two jobs, due to overwork (Score 1) 710

by jemmyw (#47316205) Attached to: Workaholism In America Is Hurting the Economy

Working 5 days a week for 8 hours at a time doesn't make any sense anymore.

I agree. But it's good to have that structure when you first start out. It's also good to know when to break out of it, and I wish I had done so far earlier than I did. If you are a technology worker you should understand that some days you can work longer, some shorter. Sometimes you feel like you can't work on the major tasks so you do support for a few hours. And I often shift the time around. For some reason I feel way more productive between 11pm and 1am than 11am and 1pm.

Comment: Re:I've quit two jobs, due to overwork (Score 1) 710

by jemmyw (#47312833) Attached to: Workaholism In America Is Hurting the Economy

My wife often comments that I am not very easy to distract when working. And the day is still delineated with events: children wake us up, time for breakfast then work. Lunch time, walk out for coffee. Dinner time, 5:30, time to stop working. Sure if you had no family then that might break down.

I've seen plenty of people working long hours at the office.

"You need tender loving care once a week - so that I can slap you into shape." - Ellyn Mustard

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