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Comment Who is the project lead? (Score 1) 316

"I have been programming in Python for quite a while, but so far I have not used a version control system."

Don't mean to be a pain but if you have no experience with versioning, not sure why you seem to be the one making critical choices (like dictating the language the team uses or what version control makes sense...)

Short answer is just use git. Its dominate. Its got some weird alien brains but there's going to be plenty of help and good examples. I find smart people manage and also its sufficiently well designed that if someone really screws up you can usually fix stuff. Also your existing programmers will learn a skill they find valuable when they start applying for jobs somewhere else (usually the first thing people do when they are told to change languages)

Best of luck with the company decision to force all your existing programmers to flush their current skills in favor of some other language ;)

Comment Re:Why stay away from Perl (Score 1) 162

I don't think this is insightful, its just a repeat of the same criticisms I've heard for 15+ years. Sorry you had to work on a crappy project, but Perl can be written in a modern manner that addresses the issues you've brought up. That being said I am glad you are happy with Python. Can't you just let me be happy with Perl?

Comment Perl6 has nothing to do with Perl5 (Score 2) 162

"It might be a 30- or 40-year language. I think it's good enough."

No, actually Perl6 is not 30+ years old. Its not a replacement for Perl5, no matter how much Mr. Wall would like it to be. There's a lot of working Perl5 programmers that wish the community calling itself Perl6 (which is totally distinct from the Perl5 community for all practical purposes, despite some attempts be leaders to force coordination on us) would acknowledge the fact that Perl6 is Perl Not at all, and call this language something different.

I don't know if Mr Wall realizes how much harm he's done to working Perl5 programmers by continuing to insist on calling this thing he's worked on "Perl" at all.

Comment Re:Can the enemy actually shoot down the F35? (Score 1) 732

...With other nations closing the technology gap the US is increasingly vulnerable to the shear size of potential adversaries forces.

Because it would be just so easy for China or South Korea to ship millions of soldiers across the Pacific ocean (I assume we'd just sit there and watch it for weeks, doing nothing). And then we'd sit around while they established a beach head in California, landing all those millions of troops and getting them organized after all that time at sea (seasick, questionable food etc makes soldiers ill).

You know what, I bet we could even just do that. We probably could utterly ignore them until they got all good and solid setup in California, ready for the big march to the Atlantic, and still every soldier and American with a gun (a lot of us) would rush to the front and push them back into the ocean...

Don't be silly, those big number armies are nowhere capable of hurting mainland USA. The issue is more about flexing regional power on the Korean Peninsula, in Taiwan, and Japan. Right now the USA is the only nation capable of projecting power as we do in Asia, halfway around the world. Its going to take a huge effort by the Chinese to get even close (they've spent years and billions and still can't even really challenge the US in their own backyard...) and just forgot about North Korea. They will never project power beyond the edges of their border and maybe a bit into South Korean (however far those SCUDs missiles can fly really).

Comment I paid mine (Score 1) 1032

It did take 16 years though, and I did make some significant life choices based on that. LOL, now I have a mortgage, I think the last time I was totally free from debt was like 1992. It probably could be seen as a social control tool, but on the other hand my ability to buy things on credit against future earnings has helped me more than hindered. Although 10 years ago when I was paying the loan and living in a crappy tiny apartment I might have felt otherwise. Its one of those things that more life experience has given me an expanded perspective on.

If you default on these loans, I think you should make a philosophical choice to never try to benefit from credit in the future.

Comment Power? Control? (Score 1) 260

I just assumed it was about controlling even more of the stack, and helping to bring about the time when they control it all..

As an older programer sometimes I am cynical and assume they created a new language that no one knows so they can hire the cheapest, youngest labor (since only young people not currently working or paying a mortgage have time to master a language).

That being said, Go is not too bad (although I find I have a hard time with the dependency management tools). Swift feels like a language aimed at broadening the programmer base. Cognitively I feel reminded of Python when I play with it, which is a bit of a barrier since I never liked python much myself.

Comment I don't think there's confusion... (Score 1) 639

"The whole global warming debate is as confusing as ever."

I don' think this is correct. My understanding is there's no confusion, just debate over the rate of change. I guess taking the temperature of the planet is not as straightforward as taking the temperature of a person. The planet is big and data comes in from all over, and not everyone has exactly the same tools so there is some ambiguity in that. And the change delta is small to begin with, so any amount of noise or uncertainty is going to have an outweighed effect on our ability to read the numbers and use then as the basis for making predictions. But the only confusion is invented confusion by people that stand to benefit economically from maintaining the status quo.

Comment It's all in how you play it out (Score 1) 271

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) 328

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

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 As a K12 teacher, I have to say . . . (Score 5, Insightful) 352

The TFA is an excellent example of that fraction of the population who has no idea what a K12 teaching job actually entails, but somehow thinks they understand it completely. As one of the respondents in this thread (who did understand it) put it, real teaching jobs will be one of the last to go, as they entail interaction between human beings. It's in the interaction that the best teaching happens. That's why K12 classes need to be smaller, and not like my 200+ member Biology 1 lecture at university forty years ago.

The universe seems neither benign nor hostile, merely indifferent. -- Sagan