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Comment: Where liberal arts can come into play (Score 1) 327

by plopez (#47919329) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Any Place For Liberal Arts Degrees In Tech?

1) UI design and usability - programmers are truly horrible at this.
2) Internationalization - It's hard to find people in the US with foreign language skills. Canadian doesn't count.
3) Project coordination with overseas clients or teams - see above and add in foreign cultures.
4) Requirements gathering and/or review - Which requires talking to people and, gasp, reading documents.
5) Business analysis - overlaps Requirements gathering and review
6) UI testing - much of which CANNOT be automated.
7) Project management - which requires communications and people-people skills. Most BAs/MBAs I have met are also truly terrible at this.

Example, a friend of mine has an MA in English. He is currently working for a tech company as QA lead which requires test planning, staff training, requirements review, user documentation development, and business analysis. All of which his degree is helping with.

Comment: Re:SCI-FI used to be inspiring (Score 1) 172

by plopez (#47917231) Attached to: Sci-Fi Authors and Scientists Predict an Optimistic Future

I think the 90% crap rule is always in the effect. 90% of Sci-fi in the 90's was crap, 90% in the 80's was crap, 90% in the 70's (Space 1999 anyone?), 90% in the 60's (Lost in Space for instance), the 50's with a plethora of bugged eyed monster which were no more than veiled stand ins for commies etc. The difference these days is that the special effects and marketing budgets are larger meaning better looking and better advertised crap. E.g. Star Trek rebooted.

But that's just my opinion.

Comment: Why not? (Score 1) 380

by plopez (#47864015) Attached to: Unpopular Programming Languages That Are Still Lucrative

1) Good for the resume. You never know where your next job might come from. Or your manager pops his/her head into your cube saying "We need to support client X and they only use language Y".
2) Most of the popular languages are imperative, I am not sure why. Perhaps because that is all that is taught or that Joe Average Programmer cannot wrap their heads around functional languages. Get proficient at at least one functional language. It will challenge how you think.
3) It's fun.

Comment: Re:COBOL (Score 1) 380

by plopez (#47863819) Attached to: Unpopular Programming Languages That Are Still Lucrative

TO expand on johnlcallaway's post, it takes longer to learn the problem domain for COBOL than it does to learn the language. My experience with COBOL was a few months for the language, a few more months for the IDMS database system and mainframe OS, and a year or more for the problem domain. This was sue to the code having years of business information embedded in it. You essentially have to understand all the nuances of the business to understand what the code does and why.

Comment: Let me sum up the issues (Score 1) 191

by plopez (#47861643) Attached to: US Rust Belt Manufacturing Rebounds Via Fracking Boom

Problem: fossil fuels are required for a fossil fuel based economy. Yes that includes tech which requires plastics, electricity, and fuel to extract the mierals needed to build the products, make the products, and ship them.

Problem: reliance on foreign fossil fuels can cause wars.

One solution: extract fuel from places where the fuel was unreachable or very difficult to extract.

Problem: can cause environmental damage.

Benefit: energy independence

Benefit: jobs

Problem: does nothing to reduce carbon emissions.

Solution: non-fossil fuel energy sources with lower environmental impact.

Problem: bridge fuels are needed.

That's about it.

If it smells it's chemistry, if it crawls it's biology, if it doesn't work it's physics.