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Comment Re:Code monkey (Score 2) 177

Is that even really a thing anymore? The things university education used to be good at teaching to provide and advantage are now efficiently encoded into libraries. Leaving university students as people who spent four years training for something and shing up still not actually knowing knowing how to do it.

A self-taught (with a mentor) "code monkey" could learn enough in two years to build a self-healing self-scaling globally distributed fast web platform that can handle a million connections per second.

In the real world the difference between the guru and everybody else isn't deep theory or advanced maths. Almost every problem has been solved already. It's the ability to creatively look at a new problem and find a relationship between it and an efficiently solved problem you do know and adapt the solution. It's the ability to figure out how to get and find all the datapoints you don't already have. Classrooms teach none of that. Classrooms teach fairness, the real world is never fair. Classrooms require a teaching style where everything you need to solve the problem has been given to you. The real world does not, real employers do not. Classrooms teach material in a logical progression. The ability to recognize that progression and utilize the hints provided by it (the biggest of which is that what you just learned or what logically follows from it is part of the answer) almost guarantees academic success. The real world is chaos, where the problem of today may never have been encountered before, may not be perfectly solvable by anything you know or at all, and there may be no hints or all the hints might be wrong.

Comment Re:Stupid people getting a stupid certification (Score 2) 177

Correction. Anything you can learn about software engineering you can learn without going to school in the first place and the theory is best learned and reviewed and re-learned organically alongside practical experience.

Take two software engineers and set them side-by-side. One with a four year degree and one with four years of self-study/work experience. Ask them to devise, implement, deploy, and test a solution to a real problem you are having and don't yet know the answer to. That four year student will be lost. They've never learned that in the real world nobody else knows how to do their job, nobody provides you all the information or the tools necessary to solve the problem like in a lab or even knows what that would be. In the classroom your problems are presented in a progression that implies what you've studied recently is what will be required to answer them. In fact, in the classroom solving a problem without using what was just taught (and thereby demonstrating you've learned it) will often penalized. There are no such hints or clues in the real world. The self-study engineer will immediately set out figuring out what he's going to need and how to go about finding and getting it just like he has done with every challenge for the last four years.

That said I think going to a university AFTER 4-8 years of self-study and experience would be a very valuable experience. By that point you have a context and mental framework to put all that organized and spoon fed material into and you'd get a lot more out of it.

Comment That's the rub (Score 1) 177

Of course from a job hunter's perspective it is better to have a four year degree than not. How much better depends on experience. In a small number of cases it could hurt you.

There is no quality of school factor in a guy w/degree vs guy without degree comparison. In general I'd say four years of Ivy league employment experience trumps Ivy league school experience. A great deal of it depends on the employer and for higher level positions companies can and will make exceptions on degree requirements.

Does a degree help if you are concerned with actually being good at what you do once hired? No. Not in the slightest. You'd learn more in a one year guided self study apprenticeship 100% of the time if you have the raw talent to be any good.

In a world where every position now lists requirements dramatically in excess of what is needed to fill the role (mostly so they don't fill it and can justify hiring an H1-B worker) it's just one more useless thing that rules out perfectly qualified and possibly better candidates. But there is no shortage of qualified talent or increased demand. There is only a desire to increase the labor pool and drive down wages.

Comment Economic theory is sound, speculation isn't (Score 1) 285

There's a massive bulk of economic theory that explains the applied math of running a business. Can you figure out if $1000 now is more or less than $1100 five years from now given an inflation rate of 2%? The relations between price, quantity, marginal costs and profit are also quite sound. The thing is though, all this information is allegedly available and equal for all, so if everyone agreed to the same model there'd be no profit to be made. Sure, the future would be unknown but it would be like a lottery ticket being scratched, everybody knows at all times the exact value of all the possible outcomes so everybody prices in the same expected value of the future. If you can find a way to make arbitrage, you've found a flaw in the way the market works. For example if you discovered you could make money selling products in one currency and buying them in another, or transporting goods from one market to sell in another for more than the transport and insurance costs.

Speculation is all about betting on these flaws, but sometimes the market has priced in risks you haven't imagined. Or there are forces that only become dominant at a certain size. In this particular case it was more like you create a theory of chemistry and when the market goes to an extreme you have nuclear fusion instead. That doesn't make chemistry wrong, but at certain times it's irrelevant and you can't rely on it to always produce correct answers. Oh and just to put a nail in that coffin, no scientific theory is proven to be universally valid since there's still the future and it hasn't happened yet. There's no absolute guarantee gravity will work the same five minutes from now, if it suddenly starts behaving different it just will. In that case reality will be right and the formula wrong, no matter how correct and comprehensive it might have looked.

Comment Re:FAIL FAIL FAIL (Score 1) 71

"a different culture that values online social presence and considers it a sign of abnormality if you don't have a presence"

Which is definitely not a good thing. As someone who does use social media the only actual benefit is one potential way to organize events and an occasional amusing cartoon.

This is a rather poor trade off for the mass volume of disclosed personal data and the wide open police state door it provides. A huge part of the platform is the completely false sense that you can limit what you share and who you share it with... but you can't. Illegally hacking your facebook profile via a third party contractor is standard hiring practice these days.

Comment Re:Finally! (Score 1) 174

Really, because I can open a shell and interact with them all the same way and compile much of the same code.

The kernel is the OS. Your app can sit directly on top of the kernel and interfaces with the system operated by it through it. If your app does not require an OS to provision it's resources and provide an interface to hardware it is, is part of, or includes, a kernel.

Shells, guis and the like are generally well over the kernel level. Hell, they are well over the init level.

Comment Re:Hipsters fight over limited supplies of juice (Score 1) 483

ITYM "10 minutes out of your week." vs. 10 minutes out of each day finding a spot with charging near where "you're stopped for another reason anyway," getting the cable out, plugging, unplugging and stowing the cable. If that's an advantage, it's one for gasoline powered vehicles.

Most people - though I can't make any guarantees about the people in the article - will choose a car with at least twice the range of their commute distance, so plugging it in at home will do. If you need to get a charge at work or some other charger every day, you're pushing the limits of good sense. My guess is that there's two kinds of people charging, those who just use it as free electricity instead of plugging in at home and those who could really use it because they have been/will be driving far and needs the charge. And they're a bit pissed when all the spaces are occupied by people just saving a few bucks or just top up every day because they come early. Just because it's "green" you still have well-pissers who don't care how their use of a common resource negatively affects others.

Comment Re:Very Probably Wrong (Score 1) 252

There is an exponential amount of scientific research, but there's a diminishing gain. Over the last 40 years we've expanded average life span here in Norway with less than a decade and the trend is slowing. Healthcare is exploding with new and advanced treatments that is extracting the last bits of life at an exponential complexity and cost. The Concorde is still the world's fastest passenger jet and it's not because people don't value time anymore. Every 10 mph you want to increase road speeds with puts increasing demands on roads, cars, drivers and resource efficiency. Building a ten story building is not twice as hard as a five story building, it's harder.

Computers have so far dodged most of the physical limitations, but we know the sky is not the limit. Process technology can't get arbitrarily small, it can't run arbitrarily fast, batteries can't get arbitrarily powerful and the faster you want to go the more power, frequency spectrum and other resources you'll need. In 30 years I've seen a ~6 order of magnitude improvement in RAM, from 64 kB to 64 GB. I really doubt that in 30 years we'll have 64 PB and even if we did, the number of things you can't do in 64 kB is much larger than the things you can't do in 64 GB. Most of the electronic revolution is behind us, not ahead of us. But of course, we can always come up with more new things. That we'll always find major advances and not just hit a wall of marginal improvements is optimistic though.

Comment Re:Scammers (Score 1) 267

And you think either will survive the hoarding and looting during the early collapse? Anywhere that lots of people know about is going to be hit with well armed and/or desperate masses. The only way a modern city survives is through massive imports of food from the countryside, cut the supplies and the electricity so there's no refridgerators or freezers and mass starvation starts in less than a week as food is eaten and spoiled and not being replaced by anything. Even if you can survive the worst of it by stashing away some supplies, it's still not a sustainable place to be. I'd probably go with a rural farm at the end of the road, prep for 19th century-style living off the land. Nothing big or fancy, just far enough off the radar that you won't get hordes from the city - who'll soon run out of gas and be stuck where they are and not worth the trouble for the few stragglers that come by. With maybe a bugout bunker up in the hills with supplies if you meet heavier resistance than you can handle, a roving band needs to keep roving to sustain itself so they'll be on their way soon.

You are in a maze of UUCP connections, all alike.