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Comment: Re:About 1 in 20 ? (Score 1) 809

by merick (#49048933) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Portion of Developers Are Bad At What They Do?

I expected him to know quite a bit about the language itself, but the discussion did not get past the point where I asked about the number of operations needed to find an element in a sorted array of length N.

So he doesn't know about compilers and the C++ language because he didn't know about computational complexity or at least Big O notation? You should have asked about language features and syntax, inheritance or something if you wanted to determine if he really wrote a C++ compiler.

It's similar to you saying you built a piano and I ask you to play some Chopin or Bach for me. But you never claimed to know how play it, you just built in. If I wanted to know about your ability to build pianos I should ask questions about the construction and internal workings of it.

His skills may not be what you're looking for, and that's fine, but to consider him incompetent seems too far a stretch.

Comment: Asking the wrong questions, using the wrong metric (Score 5, Informative) 809

by merick (#49048779) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Portion of Developers Are Bad At What They Do?

I'm a web developer and I also haven an interest in understand public-private key crypto, PGP, steganography, physical security etc. The thing is, You don't need *any* of that to build good, secure websites. You should be asking about things from the OWASP Top 10 List if you want to gauge their ability to write secure code.

https://www.owasp.org/index.ph...

Otherwise you're judging them for not having the same "other" unrelated-to-your-job security interests as you.

They should understand that they aren't trained enough to build their own authentication encryption systems correctly. They should use generally accepted procedures like BCrypting passwords with a unique per-user SALT that also uses a site-specific key. And that other sensitive fields should be blocked from being recorded in logs, data should be encrypted at rest, etc. But if they have poor OWASP skills, the sensitive data is still readable because it is accessed through the application which is decrypting it for an attacker.

You're asking the wrong things and judging on unrelated skills.

Comment: Required to stay relevant (Score 5, Interesting) 98

by merick (#48329711) Attached to: Microsoft Makes Office Mobile Editing Free As in Freemium

I don't think this was so much of a desire to be innovative as it is to survive. With good-enough editors available on mobile devices, web services, and PCs, MS has to move down-market or risk entire new generations never using or needing their Office software.

As it is, my daughter in middle-school has had some Office required assignments which prompted angry parent responses. I spoke with several other tech-oriented parents with kids at the school and none of them have MS Office at home. They all use either LibreOffice, OpenOffice or Apple's iWorks.

Microsoft is battling obsolescence. This is a good attempt to reach a generation that doesn't know or care about them.

Comment: Agile + Scrum? (Score 4, Informative) 221

by merick (#44243911) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Development Requirements Change But Deadlines Do Not?

If you are using Agile with a combination of Scrum (like we do), then every task is roughly estimated for the size of work required. In each sprint, you can only accomplish so much work. Over time you determine your teams "velocity" (the estimated size of work you can do in a sprint).

Then, you have a person who plays the role of Scrum master. His or her job is to "protect the sprint". Meaning they help keep new issues from entering the queue during the sprint. When an actual emergency or rush item comes up, the Scrum master (or lead, whomever) asks, "what is OK to drop from the sprint if we can't get both done?". Some places take turns being the Scrum master, so it need not be a set role.

The Scrum master has to be willing to be that gentle jerk, and say things like, "not now, but we can work on that in the next sprint".

Comment: IDE plugins can help too (Score 1) 147

by merick (#41096699) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Single-Handed Keyboard Options For Coding?

Back when I was developing in C#, I used (and loved) CodeRush. (http://devexpress.com/Products/Visual_Studio_Add-in/Coding_Assistance/) This assumes you're using VisualStudio.

I wasn't doing one-hand development but found it extremely helpful and I think it could apply in you situation. It supports macros/templates and things like smart brackets where you don't even need to type brackets. You could just b+TAB or whatever you want. It would give you a bracket body with your cursor placed in the middle. It has been a few years since I've used it so you'd want to checkout how it currently works.

Comment: Re:Brilliant (Score 1) 474

by merick (#37406400) Attached to: Windows 8 Roundup

I'm tired of being a slave. A slave to the dollar, a slave to the government, a slave to the company I need to work at to survive in this pitiful existence. I don't want some big corporation to take away my personal computing experience.

Honestly, I'm not trolling here. But I felt the same way. I used to be a full-time C#/Windows developer (12 years of windows development). I have since moved to Linux and love it. I develop for the web (er... cloud) using Open Source projects for my OS, language, community tools, frameworks, etc. I do pay $60 US for my development IDE.

I am no longer at the mercy of a corporation making development tools where I have to stay on the Microsoft treadmill and pick up every new thing they put out (good, bad or abysmal). If I don't, then I don't have the same amount of experience as others who do.

So I'm free from the tooling race, the $ for an OS, a big corporation telling me what I have to learn and run.

I'm still a slave to the government and needing to be employed. But I'm working on those too. :)

Comment: Syncany (Score 1) 482

by merick (#36467862) Attached to: Open Source Alternative To Dropbox?

Syncany (http://www.syncany.org/) aims to be exactly that (Dropbox replacement). It has a Linux and Windows client. It supports syncing to a number of services and encrypts *before* going over the wire.

It is a young project, but developing quickly. It's one I "have my eye on".

The Ubuntu UK Podcast interviewed the creator. Check it out. http://podcast.ubuntu-uk.org/2011/05/25/s04e07-powerslave/

You can use a variety of file stores. Some very unconventional:
* Local Folder: uses any local folder as storage. This could be any mounted device, network file systems (NFS), or any virtual file system based on FUSE.
* FTP: uses an FTP folder as remote repository.
* IMAP: uses an IMAP folder as remote storage. Stores file chunks as e-mail attachments.
* Google Storage: uses a bucket in the Google Storage service as repository.
* Amazon S3: uses a bucket in the Amazon Simple Storage Service as remote storage.
* Rackspace Cloud Files: uses a Cloud Files container as remote storage.
* WebDAV: uses one folder in a WebDAV as remote storage.
* Picasa Web Albums: encodes the file chunks in images, and uses a Picasa album as repository.
* Windows Share (NetBIOS/CIFS): uses a Windows share as data repository.
* Box.net: uses a Box.net folder as data storage.
* SFTP/SSH: uses an SFTP folder as data storage.
* more to come ...

A good option when wanting full control.

Comment: Re:Technically... (Score 1) 1277

by merick (#35432846) Attached to: Utah To Teach USA is a Republic, Not a Democracy

It is NOT because Democracy has "Democrat". As a Utah resident, that is just stupid.

I believe part of the intent is to teach that mob-rule (popular vote) is not how the country was Constitutionally organized.

Fun Quote:
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." (http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Democracy)

Comment: Very bad for OpenSource (Score 2) 145

by merick (#34990614) Attached to: Ex-NSA Analyst To Be Global Security Head At Apple

This appears to be very bad for OpenSource. Unless the tax is in % of cost, which I highly doubt, then it will make distributing free software cost prohibitive.

If I choose to produce a free library that ends up being widely used and is later found to having a security bug, I could be forced to pay thousands or tens of thousands of dollars. Why would I want to create that risk for myself? It could have a strong chilling effect with sharing.

The US Federal Government has no authority to levy that kind of tax. Any effort to enforce this should be fought.

Comment: Record her life's story in print (Score 1) 527

by merick (#33263562) Attached to: Preserving Memories of a Loved One?

My sister started a business where she sits down and interviews people about their life. The interview is transcribed, edited, and printed into physical books. I now have wonderful personal histories for members of my family. My wife helped in the editing of some of my sister's other clients. The books all come across as the subjects voice and a personal perspective. They have been loved by the receiving families. My wife feels like she knows the subjects of the books.

Something like that lasts beyond digital or analog medium. It is something you can pickup, read and put down. Like other posters, for your children, you may want to preserve those memories, thoughts and feelings in a timeless way.

This file will self-destruct in five minutes.

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