Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

Comment: It's all in how you play it out (Score 1) 269

by jjn1056 (#49747841) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Career Advice For an Aging Perl Developer?

I'm an 'aging' Perl developer but my situation is very different. I've been working mostly on newer applications (nothing more than a few years old) mostly at mid to mid/late stage startups and I don't think I am running out of Perl jobs (although it is ALWAYS wise to have more than one pan cooking so I've also tried to grab whatever Javascript I can since I enjoy that language tremendously).

Things I've done which I think helped me and might help you:

-- Volunteer on as many open source projects as you can. I've gotten a lot from open source and I wanted to give back and it turned out giving back (coding, blogging, and general advocacy) helped me even more. I think its helped me to keep my coding skills fresh (problem with a job is that the work can get you behind the technology curve if the company is a bit conservative and just likes to keep things working as they are). Also my work in that area has helped my personal branding since people in Perl tend to know me as the guy that works on such and such project.

-- Try not to take jobs with really old codebases that are limping along. The more time you spend hacking CGI like its 1999 you are not learning new stuff that is going to get you a job tomorrow.

-- Don't take crap from the just out of college programmers ;) Try to use your long term knowledge to your advantage, you know stuff that younger people can't possibly have run into yet (even though 80% of what I learned in IT over the years is now out of date that still 20% more than someone with less than a year experience ;)

Best of Luck.

Comment: Prepare for an adequate compromise no one loves :) (Score 1) 322

by jjn1056 (#49727327) Attached to: Battle To Regulate Ridesharing Moves Through States

So in the end what will happen is a bunch of regulations will be passed. Some of them will be sensible stuff to protect consumers and probably stuff to protect all these new contractors (the drivers), and other people on the road. Some will be blatant pandering to the established taxi companies, which will use whatever political power they have to keep their status quo. And some stuff will be some new taxes or personal axes that the legislators have to grind. So basically democracy at work :) Just be sure to make your voice heard so in the end the compromise is one that is acceptable to you.

Comment: There's an order of magnitude difference here... (Score 1) 121

by jjn1056 (#49720585) Attached to: Learning About Constitutional Law With Star Wars

No doubt humans are great at seeing and inventing patterns, its built in our brains at a deep level, for good and for ill. Certainly this ability plays a significant role in creativity. There's a missing bit here though, in that we build a pattern that is in some sense deeply meaningful. "Luke, I am your Uncle, " would have made as much sense and filled in pretty much all the similar spots, but doesn't have the same punch.

When the courts go to try and understand a new, real life situation against the background of the history of judicial judgement, there is a part of this that is just inspired. But there is a huge part that is research and questioning and trying to bring the pattern into a meaningful and consistent whole, something that is an expression of certain foundational opinions and reasoned principles. Although there is a connection here, the article seems to suggest that the pattern we devise is much more arbitrary than I think it really is. "Making up patterns where none exist" would imply that we can end up anywhere. I don't think that is the case.

Comment: Re:This is why they reinvent the wheel (Score 4, Interesting) 626

"Perl is just horrifically bad? Then let's invent Python "

Perl was first released in the late 80's and was stable is its version 5 form mostly by 1993-1994. Python was also started in the late 80s. So the languages are from the same time; Python was not built as a reaction to Perl or an attempt to make a better Perl. People tend to think that because Perl had an unnatural popularity surge in the early days of the internet since some of the basic tools for stuff like CGI programming and database interfacing hit Perl very early and everyone just used that. Python caught on in popularity later. So people just assume it came later.

Ruby you could sorta say that. Its from the mid 1990s and intentionally looked at Perl5 and decided to take a spin on it that was supposed to be more simple. Like they dropped the sigils and make everything an object (probably was looking at a mix of Perl and Smalltalk, which was also popular at the time for a certain group).


Comment: Re:More jobs, not less? (Score 1) 442

So okay, here's what I don't get.

With illegal immigration, the argument is the immigrants are taking jobs no one here wants to do. I can buy that - they're not claiming that illegal immigrants create jobs.

With H1-B visas, Zuckerburg and Ballmer are claiming that more visas will somehow create more jobs. The only way I can see this happening is if companies start paying job applicants to go away so they can apply for more visas.

Can ANYONE make sense of this idea that H1-Bs create jobs?

I don't buy it. For every job there is a price at which someone will do the work. Increasing the worker pool (and doing so with people that have no rights and are afraid of stepping out of line) will always result in lower wages.

AFAIC lets open the border to whoever wants to work, as long as I can hire an Indian lawyer to help me with my tax issues at half the price of what an American lawyer wants.

Comment: Re:Can't have it both ways (Score 1) 337

by jjn1056 (#49303739) Attached to: German Vice Chancellor: the US Threatened Us Over Snowden

Its not the thousands of lives that is the underlying reason here, its the billions and billions of dollars those terror attacks would cause to business interests.

If there was a way to prevent that cost to business but that way didn't solve the 'deaths' problem, the gov't would do that. Look at the gun lobby...

Comment: Why would they do anything else? (Score 1) 193

by jjn1056 (#49297563) Attached to: Microsoft Says Free Windows 10 Upgrades For Pirates Will Be Unsupported

And why are we surprised enough somehow this is new. People STEAL the software... They get no love from MS.

If you can't afford windows there's actually useful open source alternatives. Just use that. Why someone would steal software when you can go open source and be legit make snow sense to me....

Comment: A Reminder to grab and enjoy what you can... (Score 2) 299

by jjn1056 (#49242301) Attached to: Sir Terry Pratchett Succumbs To "the Embuggerance," Aged 66

It was only 9 years ago that I rad my first Prachett novel. His books came to me at a good time in my life, when things were tough and I needed a smile and to spent time with characters I loved. I am sorry to hear this, although it was announced a number of years ago so I knew it was coming. I hope he knew how much happiness he brought to the world with his stories.


Comment: Find a related Opensource project and contribute (Score 0) 205

by jjn1056 (#49236075) Attached to: Ask Slashdot - Breaking Into Penetration Testing At 30

As an 'older' programmer I've personally found that doing lots of open source contribution has helped keep my skills fresh. The trouble with a job is that you tend to get pigeon holed a bit and that tends to make you lose track of what is new and happening in the world outside your company. Contributing to open source will help mix that up and expose you to new ideas.

I would imagine that there's a bunch going on that you could get involved in.

best of luck, LLAP

Comment: Re:We've redefined success! (Score 1) 498

by jjn1056 (#49225103) Attached to: Mental Health Experts Seek To Block the Paths To Suicide

"Instead we should be focussing on making the world a better place and their lives happier and worth living. "

We should make the world better, but I think even in a perfect world some young people are going to feel overwhelmed for simple biochemical reasons which make the problems they face seem insurmountable. So we should do the bit that we can do to make it less easy for those people to find a fast way to act on impulse.

Comment: Re:We've redefined success! (Score 1) 498

by jjn1056 (#49225061) Attached to: Mental Health Experts Seek To Block the Paths To Suicide

So it is forbidden to make a decision about your life. WTF?

I am allowed to marry the wrong person and ruin my life at the drop of a hat. I am allowed to have kids where I may not be qualified to provide a decent life. I am allowed to sign a mortgage that I know I can't pay. I am allowed to try to climb the K7 if I am 70 years old, wich is very close to suicide.

But I am not allowed to take my own life.


There is no law (in the USA) that forbids you from making important life choices.

We've chosen as a society to allow people to marry at will and have children without being subject to a means test because we've decided the evil that comes from a state empowered to do that is greater than the evil of people being parents that are not fully ready to do so. Its a rational choice.

We let banks and lenders decide who is capable of paying a mortgage because we've decided again that the free market is a better control for this than what the state may provide. Again, its a choice we've made, and we've tried to balance it out with rules that lenders must follow (and we've recently tweaked those rules when we found them lacking). But ultimately we've chosen to say its less evil to restrict gov't power over this than the evil that comes from people being foreclosed on if they can't pay.

We let people who are rational take risks, like climbing mountains, because we know that there is a part of human existence that needs to test itself, even at the peril of life. This is a strong part of human existence and we don't want to restrict it unduly.

On the other hand we have decided that we want to stop people from killing themselves for reasons that are going to seem silly to them 10 years down the road. Lots of kids or young adults face tremendous stress as they try to fit into the world and shape it to their desire and that stress happens at a time when their hormones are out of control and their brain is expanding in new ways. This is a simple, biochemical fact. And this fact puts some people under a type of stress they can't endure. People who are not rational and who would not be doing this five or ten years later when they've managed to settle into a life with a job and possible a family. We say as a society that its not cool to kill yourself because you are young, your biochemistry is out of whack, your brain is growing it complex ways we don't yet fully understand. We think that is a terrible waste. And there is a difference between that waste, and between choices we've made to restrict the power of gov't, to promote individual choice and to allow humans to test ourselves in sometimes dangerous ways. If you don't see that difference I think you need to get away from the computer more :)

Comment: Re:Maybe in a different country (Score 3, Insightful) 498

by jjn1056 (#49224897) Attached to: Mental Health Experts Seek To Block the Paths To Suicide

Because we know that many people that kill themselves do so because they are in the grips of simple biochemical processes related to a certain age, such as a teenager when their growth hormones are at full speed. This is something people don't have control over and its worse for some people than it is for others. These people have no rational reason to want to be dead other than they can't control their emotions. Typically the problems they have are not anything out of the ordinary, and certainly not a problem that one might rationally choose death to avoid.

For example many young people just kill themselves because they don't feel they fit into the world, or because they fall in love with someone that doesn't reciprocate. These problems are common ones. These a solvable problems that no rational person would think are so terrible that death is truly a more desirable choice. They simple need help and support to get through that difficult time of life after which the vast majority go on to be happy and live meaninful lives and are glad that they didn't die at a younger age.

On the other hand some people when faced with the certainty of a lingering, painful and undignified death (such as when someone is diagnosed with a fatal illness) might choose to rationally seek a death that they have control over, and that meets the criteria of suffering (or lack of it) that they desire. Personally I think that I'd rather die when I still have most of my wits about me and when I still have some type of control over what I am doing than to die strapped to some hospital machine, barely aware of what is going on. I don't think that people should feel forced to make that choice, but I do think I can understand the rationality behind it. On the other hand as someone that was very depressed and unhappy as a young adult, I a glad it was not easy for me to kill myself (my parents did not own a gun and I lived in a location with strict gun control laws, NYC) because now as a middle aged person I am very happy with my life and I feel I am making a contribution to society in the open source work that I do and in other ways.

I don't think life is cheap, and I am sorry you feel that way :( I hope you also find happiness in some point of life

Kiss your keyboard goodbye!