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Comment: It's not global censorship (Score 1, Interesting) 337 337

It's corporate censorship. Google can opt out of doing business in France. Or China. Or the U.S. Or it can comply. It will comply.

This is why we can't let corporations run the world. They're in it for money, not principle or human rights or whatever. They don't have ideals... they are like sociopaths that are in it for themselves. That's not to say that they're not useful, but they shouldn't be in charge of politics.

Hate to say it, but this problem isn't going to go away. The internet will have to become regulated, with various strictures applied according under a multitude of jurisdictions. It will be messy.

Comment: 57, and still an eclectic listener (Score 1) 361 361

Always listened to a broad range of music. Not a fan of atonal jazz/classical, rap, hip-hop, or trance. Pretty much open to anything outside of that.

My modus operandi on Spotify is to type in some word I see when stopped in traffic and peruse the results. The only problem I encounter is that there is much, much more mediocrity out there (in all musical styles) than there is truly innovative stuff. So I have to sift through a lot of sand to find the gems.

Comment: I've lived around the Puget Sound all my life... (Score 1) 678 678

A couple of points:
1) Seattle has less rainfall than NYC. Seattle "rain" is drizzle. Drizzles a lot. Not much water in it, though.
2) We have droughts. It's because the watersheds are in the mountains, and rely on snowpack. Some year there's lots of rain in the Cascades, but not enough snow.

Comment: Time for the mega screens (Score 1) 164 164

I'm waiting for whiteboard sized touch screens to make their appearance. I know Microsoft was working on this a couple of years back.

This would not only be useful for long-distance collaboration, but for team collaboration as well. Image working on a conference table-sized monitor, with a common workspace among 7-8 people. I think a team like that could potentially be more productive than the same number working independently. May require a different sort of programmer.

Comment: Re:Simple methodology (Score 1) 347 347

Got asked about Agile planning estimates (you know: the Fibonacci scale) by our CEO, and why we didn't use time estimates. My answer was the developers a better at estimating complexity than time to completion. And complexity estimation accounts for the fuzzier initial understanding of harder problems. When you start measuring velocity, it stabilizes remarkably well and can be predictive.

But complexity estimation is not a time estimate. If, for my team, a 1 is about 2 hours work, varying between .5 and 4 hours, then a 5 (5x as hard) is going to take between 2.5 and 20 hours. That's a big variance! But it more accurately reflects the uncertainty of the estimate.

Comment: Re:Hitting 36 years old (Score 1) 552 552

I think what makes many older programmers obsolete is that they stick with the familiar. If the familiar is Java and some newish framework, then you're probably set for life (if you're any good at it). If you've spent decades programming in C or RPG or Cobol, your career options will be more limited unless you're one of the best.

Went from 4GL to C to C++ to Java to Javascript. Longest term of unemployment was 2 months during the dot com bust, not long enough to burn through severance pay. I'm 54.

I'm not as good a Javascript programmer as I was in C++ or Java (I'm not bad, just don't query me on Javascript's baroque scoping rules), but my experience has taught me that proper implementation is more about architecture-in-the-small than it is about mastering language arcanery.

Currently tearing down a monolithic PHP application into something with proper separation of areas of concern. It will keep me busy for quite some time yet.

Comment: You're still wet behind the ears, kid (Score 2) 376 376

Just hit 57 and working on node/express + html5 + jquery + couchdb on top of legacy PHP/MySQL backend. Planning to start rewriting the backend in grails, hopefully soon.

What I've learned: solve the immediate problems at hand, deliver early and often, and don't worry about potential issues that may not manifest themselves or might be lower priority by the time you confront them.

The biggest problem I've seen is that projects kill themselves through overengineering by ambitious young folks with big dreams. The fact is, boring old analysis and dreaded working with the customer are the keys to success. Solving the day-to-day problems of a business is essential, not transformative solutions that take years to develop and are a crapshoot at best.

Also, there are a lot of small, established companies that have interesting problems to solve, and if you're good, you can help choose the technologies that will be used to tackle them. There's a lot of satisfaction in that.

Comment: Test frameworks (Score 1) 217 217

Strong typing was meant to curb errors, but the types of errors strong typing catches are a minority of bugs. Most bugs are logic bugs, followed by performance bugs. The rise in importance of a thorough test suite has made many software projects better.

I'm not talking test-driven development, but ANY test framework that can be easily written and maintained, either by developers themselves, or by a competent QA department.

The price one pays for pursuing any profession, or calling, is an intimate knowledge of its ugly side. -- James Baldwin