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Comment: Worry about more than your movies (Score 2) 307

by mdf356 (#42488241) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Keeping Your Media Library Safe From Kids?

I wouldn't worry too hard about keeping your kids from seeing your movies -- they're too long to be interesting, mostly. The real issue is once your kid figures out how to click around on youtube. You'll start them with Sesame Street or something and when you turn back they're watching a kid pretend Elmo is being butt-raped, with graphic commentary.

YouTube "related video" links are the real problem in this space.

Comment: Re:seriously? not this again (Score 1) 233

by mdf356 (#42031285) Attached to: Hounded By Recruiters, Coders Put Themselves Up For Auction

Why are people not offering higher salaries to encourage more skilled people from other parts of the country to move there?

I think we are. $150k/year is pretty good and that's the floor...but we've offered much higher. Add in great health insurance (medical, dental and vision), RSU grants, 20% yearly bonus, ESPP program, 401k with 125% match, $5k/yr educational benefit, $650/yr health benefit (gym, trainer, etc), $900/yr commuting benefits and you're looking at a package that's well over $200k.

For how many years experience, though? And anyways, one has to live in San Jose or wherever else in the valley to have this job. You'd need to offer me a lot more money than that to get me there.

Comment: Re:how many of the jobs didn't exist as well? (Score 1) 233

by mdf356 (#42031169) Attached to: Hounded By Recruiters, Coders Put Themselves Up For Auction

And isn't your "4 years at google and a *Standford* CS degree" just the same arbitrary requirement as a recruiter that thinks "rails" is a form of transportation?

He was just giving an example of someone who has an obviously solid pedigree.

It's not obviously solid. I was a TA at Cornell for a few years. Some of the people who graduated were smart. Some weren't. I assume the same is true of people working at Google; after 4 years some will be getting promotions and responsibility, and some will be looking for an exit since they aren't getting promoted.

I'd interview the above theoretical candidate exactly the same as I would someone with a degree from University of Utah and no company I'd ever heard of on their resume. Because both smart and dumb people can be found everywhere.

Comment: Re:Are you an engineer? (Score 1) 333

by mdf356 (#41947089) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Developer Or Software Engineer? Can It Influence Your Work?

Sorry; rereading what I said I realize what was confusing.

How do I, as a person who already has an MS in CSE, get to call myself a Software Engineer? I'm not going back to college for another, extremely similar degree. There wasn't a SE major when I was in college. So I assume there must be some other mechanism for people to be allowed to call themselves "Software Engineers" whenever the law that started limiting this was passed.

Comment: Re:Are you an engineer? (Score 2) 333

by mdf356 (#41946863) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Developer Or Software Engineer? Can It Influence Your Work?

Unless you have a degree in Software Engineering

Now I find this alone fascinating. When I was in college, "Software Engineering" was one class in the CS major. There was no Software Engineering degree available at my school, and I suspect at no college or university.

Comment: There's a difference? (Score 3, Interesting) 333

by mdf356 (#41946215) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Developer Or Software Engineer? Can It Influence Your Work?

Both places I've worked in my 11 years as a professional didn't really distinguish. I have a Computer Science and Engineering degree. I write and design software. I'm in the research and development arm (or the Engineering arm) of the company. It's several ways to say one thing.

Yes, some distinctions can be drawn, like whether you interface with customers, who does the architecture or design, etc., but in general the people I work with are all over the software life cycle, from beginning to end. We do development (of software) and the official job title has always had "Engineer" and sometimes "Development" or "Software" in it.

Comment: Re:Way to be a girl about it (Score 5, Insightful) 1127

by mdf356 (#40968363) Attached to: Is Sexual Harassment Part of Hacker Culture?

The very concept that women need to be treated a particular way is a large part of our society's gender issues..

Women need to be treated with respect for their boundaries. The same as men. There's not gender discrimination here; men can and have been sexually harassed, but in a place that is 90% male it's less likely. You seem to be confusing what's prevalent with what's possible.

Comment: Re:Ready... set... Troll! (Score 3, Informative) 362

by mdf356 (#40881727) Attached to: What If There Was a Microsoft Appreciation Day?

The post actually presents an interesting issue (via the time.com link): why do corporations feel they have to take sides on the gay marriage issue?

As I recall, Microsoft's reasoning was made explicit at least once. MSFT believes that, by supporting issues such as same-sex marriage, it can attract the most talented gay people in the software industry as employees, who may see the company's support of such an issue as a reason to work for MSFT rather than a competitor.

Comment: Re:No thesis/dissertation? (Score 1) 191

by mdf356 (#40351581) Attached to: The $100 Masters Degree From Udacity

True. I earned $14k per year stipend in graduate school, plus $6k per summer grading a summer-school course. I opted for that instead of a more lucrative summer internship.

So for the 2.5 years of graduate school I earned $20k per year instead of around $56k, so if it was $6k extra per year then I'm at break-even next year. If it was an extra $8k instead (since I am estimating) I was at break even a while ago.

Comment: Re:flawed idea (Score 1) 191

by mdf356 (#40344643) Attached to: The $100 Masters Degree From Udacity

Are you part of the interviewing process where you work? I am, and while I can't say what HR or our recruiter might do, I often don't even look at the part of the resume that lists where a candidate was educated, except for curiosity. I still need a candidate to prove to me that s/he can program and can think, and their educational source is only tangentially related in my experience.

Comment: Re:Nothing (really) new (Score 1) 191

by mdf356 (#40344621) Attached to: The $100 Masters Degree From Udacity

My colleagues have interviewed new college graduates in CS who don't know big-O notation. That's a pre-requisite for understanding P versus NP. Though to be fair, there's a broad swath of problems one can solve for an employer where the algorithms don't reach that combinatoric complexity, and the data sets aren't large enough to make O(n^2) with low constants worse too often compared to O(n lg n) with high constants.

Comment: Re:No thesis/dissertation? (Score 2) 191

by mdf356 (#40344587) Attached to: The $100 Masters Degree From Udacity

I personally see no value in this kind of master's degree if there is no need to write a thesis/dissertation.

The value for me of a course-based M.S. (dropout from a PhD program) was $6000 per year starting salary. That's a pretty decent bump that I likely kept with me my whole career, as raises tend to be percentage based. So after 11 years it may have been worth at least $66k.

Oh, and also I learned a bunch of stuff in those courses I hadn't yet learned as an undergrad. To my recollection, none of the specific things has been relevant to my job, but it is sometimes hard to tell.

Comment: Re:Key Word "Hope" (Score 4, Insightful) 191

by mdf356 (#40344577) Attached to: The $100 Masters Degree From Udacity

I fully suspect the degree they will offer is worth every penny, but not a penny more - and you won't "fool" anyone with this Masters degree

I, as a interviewer, won't be "fooled". But since I work with some brilliant software people who never got a college degree, it won't necessarily be a barrier to getting at least a phone interview. If the interviewee knows their stuff, it doesn't matter how they learned it.

I mean, with someone who has 20 years experience, do you care if they went to Harvard, Stanford, or the University of Kansas? Of course not, you care if they're smart and have some relevant skills. A lot of times as an interviewer I don't even care if they have the relevant skills (i.e. I work in the storage industry, but candidates don't need to know anything about storage or filesystems to get a job here -- I certainly didn't know that when I started).

As an interviewer I care about two things, essentially: can you think, and do you understand some CS theory? If you can do the first but don't know the second, you can still get a job, we just won't start you as a senior level engineer.

No hardware designer should be allowed to produce any piece of hardware until three software guys have signed off for it. -- Andy Tanenbaum

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