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Comment: There are few jobs for great programmers (Score 2) 460

by msobkow (#48677177) Attached to: Paul Graham: Let the Other 95% of Great Programmers In

There are few jobs for great programmers. Great programmers tend to work best on an independant task and can put out an ungodly amount of functional code in the same time as a whole team of "competent" programmers.

But that's not the kind of work most companies need done. What they need done are huge applications (primarily web based nowadays) that can only be accomplished through teamwork, because the sheer volume of work required is far beyond that of any one programmer by themselves.

So the vast majority of jobs only look for (and barely pay for) merely "competent" programmers. They're not looking for and not interested in hiring "top talent" if they can get 2-3 "bodies" for the same price.

I agree with most of the posters that if you want to attract top talent you need to pay top wages. But for every company that wants to hire a "Linus Torvalds", there are a thousand that want to hire "Joe Coder" instead.

Comment: It's marketing bullshit (Score 3, Insightful) 280

by msobkow (#48671803) Attached to: Did North Korea Really Attack Sony?

As far as I'm concerned, it's just marketing bullshit trying to put a good face on Sony's latest breach. If it were their first, I might think differently, but it's pretty clear Sony's "security" is a freakin' joke. Add in a movie that would have probably bombed without all the exposure, and you have all the excuses you need to paint a "North Korea" connection.

It doesn't hurt that the US has a hate-on for North Korea so they can try to score some political points off the story, too.

Shame on Obama for selling out to Sony so blatantly.

Comment: I never have understood (Score 3, Insightful) 263

by msobkow (#48662939) Attached to: Serious Economic Crisis Looms In Russia, China May Help

I never have understood the world's fetish with the US dollar. Every nation has a currency. The US economy is just as prone to stagnation, deficit, over, and under valuing as any other currency.

I'd like nothing better than to see the Rothschild's hold on international markets broken. If it takes China to do that, then all power to China in the endeavour.

Comment: Have times changed that much? (Score 1) 280

by msobkow (#48613071) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Should a Liberal Arts Major Get Into STEM?

It used to be that any degree would get your "foot in the door" with HR. Some of the best programmers I worked with over the years had degrees in English, Philosophy, and even a History major.

University teaches you how to learn new material, how to prioritize it, how to summarize, how to reach the meat in the middle of the chaff. It does not teach you how to program. While there are benefits to knowing computing theory, it's not theory that gets the job done -- experience does that.

I'm surprised you're having such a tough time finding work if you're actually good at programming. Perhaps it's the way you're presenting yourself in your resume, because, as I said, it doesn't really matter what your degree is in for getting your foot in the door.

Comment: And 1...2...3... (Score 0) 433

by msobkow (#48594803) Attached to: Vinyl Record Pressing Plants Struggle To Keep Up With Demand

And in 1...2...3...

Cue all the math junkies who claim that there is "proof" you can't hear the difference between 44.1/16 bit audio streams and higher quality rates like 192/24 or analogue. Because the math "prooves" that thousands upon thousands of people who claim to hear a difference are "delusional liars."

I am neither delusional nor a liar. I hear the difference. It's clear as night and day.

Comment: Re:Doubt it (Score 1) 299

by msobkow (#48594575) Attached to: Blade Runner 2 Script Done, Harrison Ford Says "the Best Ever"

I disagree completely. Good science fiction has never been about the technology, but about human and alien personalities and moral questions brought about by the technology. Good science fiction explores interpersonal relationships, character traits, philosophical stances, and other such subject matter.

The science fiction of the mid-late '80s made good movies because the directors and script writers were selecting stories with deep connotations, instead of viewing them with an eye towards turning them into CGI action flicks emphasizing trivia like "the technology" instead of the plot.

There is still a tremendous amount of good science fiction written over the years that would make terrific movies. But hollywood won't back those "risks" -- they're too busy investing in action movies pretending to be science fiction. There are exceptions to that, but for the most part you know it's true: hollywood doesn't want to discuss morality, philosophy, and personal interactions in a script. They want a nice "safe" piece of pablum that will make audiences go "ooh" and "aah" over the mindless special F/X, not cause them to think for themselves.

Comment: The problem has never changed (Score 2) 241

by msobkow (#48588417) Attached to: Is Enterprise IT More Difficult To Manage Now Than Ever?

The problem has been the same since the PC first came out: users can "do things" with a PC/laptop/smartphone/tablet and think that "doing things" makes them an expert on IT. So when they come up with a "great idea for a new application", they can not and will not fathom the fact that it can take months or years to implement, is going to cost hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars, and will be obsolete before it ever hits production due to changing business needs.

There is no cure for the "wisdom" of people who tell you how to do your job, or how their 14 year old nephew could write the application in a few weeks. They've made up their mind that you're just a lazy SOB trying to milk the company for money and a cushy job, and will never, ever, ever understand just how much effort goes into security, design, testing, porting, etc. To them, everything is "easy."

The real problem is that companies let such users and managers make business decisions based on "their gut instinct" instead of properly planned and projected schedules. Because heaven forbid you should ever tell the marketting manager that he can't have his shiny Sharepoint solution because it doesn't provide anything useful to the company that can't be accomplished with a properly organized set of folders on a shared drive/server somewhere.

No, they're the ones who sign for the budgets, and they're the ones who like the "shiny", so you're the one who gets stuck trying to make the shiny work with all the line of business systems that are actually important to the operation of the business.

And if you even hint that you can't do it, well, there's a company overseas that's promising to do it in a month as an offshore service, so you're fired.

Which, in a nutshell, is how the bean counters and their ilk get away with their bad business decisions: they constantly hold the threat of offshoring and termination over your head to beat Mr. IT into submission.

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