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Comment: Small Airports Have Advantages (Score 4, Interesting) 203

by psperl (#49653219) Attached to: Critics Say It's Time To Close La Guardia Airport
As a New Yorker, I much prefer LaGuardia, and strongly disagree with calls for its closing. As a small airport, it isn't burdened with its own size in terms of processing passengers. Everything at JFK takes longer than at LGA strictly because of magnitude.

JFK is literally too big to provide efficient service to individuals. Once the check-in & security hurdle is cleared, one still has to walk nearly a mile to get to their actual gate. Once boarded, the plane has to taxi for minutes just to arrive at the runway, where you will likely have to queue for an additional wait to takeoff. As others have mentioned, I easily save at least 30 minutes by flying from LGA, when adding up travel, check-in, security, walking to the gate, taxi-ing, and runway queuing.

I would love to see these large airports replaced with multiple smaller airports. A larger percentage of the population would have an airport nearby, and average travel times would be reduced significantly. It seems to me that planners are optimizing for everything except your personal experience when they design and advocate for mega-airports.

Comment: Re:So post the info here. (Score 2) 401

by psperl (#47396275) Attached to: No Shortage In Tech Workers, Advocacy Groups Say
I think you've missed the point. There is no glut of competent workers. There is no conspiracy by large tech firms to drive down wages by hiring incompetent foreigners or off-shoring. The "foreigners" or H1-B's that I've got employed are the elite of their respective countries, and are paid based on their skill. You could call it a tragedy that they are working for me and not helping their home country compete in the international market.

Not all businesses allow you to post jobs to Slashdot, although I suppose I could lobby to change that internally. I'm also fully aware I need to entice people away, but if they aren't looking I can't entice them. I'm a happy employee myself, I'm not periodically checking to see if anyone has any enticing offers for me.

You're statement about narrowing my search is also part of the problem with this industry. A good engineer can work on almost anything. Hiring by keyword does not make success.

Comment: Have you actually tried hiring these days? (Score 2) 401

by psperl (#47395985) Attached to: No Shortage In Tech Workers, Advocacy Groups Say
As far as I'm concerned there's a shortage. I've been trying to hire developers for multiple high-compensation positions in NYC. Truly smart/capable/motivated people are not looking for jobs. They are already employed.

Don't get me wrong, there are many people looking who think they're qualified. I just don't agree. I'm not even looking for particular skills or experience. Just people who are genuinely into technology.

Comment: Re:Contribution? (Score 5, Insightful) 229

This is not true, especially with software developers. I manage quite a few of them, and it doesn't take long to be able to determine their approximate individual worth, without metrics. Activities outside of writing code are hugely influential to an employee's value, such as educating other team members and communicating with customers or our business sponsors. Obviously I can't pinpoint an exact number, but its obvious as night and day who the real catalysts are within the group, and I can adjust accordingly.

Companies that don't link your wage to your individual abilities are trying to take advantage of you. Plain and simple. I say trying, because one day it'll backfire. The most profitable companies that depend on skilled labor (not Walmart or McDonalds) pay their employees well, and do not use a uniform pay scale.

Comment: Re:There is no app bubble (Score 1) 240

by psperl (#43381989) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Preparing For the 'App Bubble' To Pop?
I am praying this happens. I do not enjoy the many "Would you like to download our free forum app? Press cancel to continue to the web site" popups I get on my phone. Even if this does happen though, do you really think it means that the app market will not be a thriving place? The quality of apps would go up for sure, but isn't that exactly what we need?

Comment: There is no app bubble (Score 2) 240

by psperl (#43343485) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Preparing For the 'App Bubble' To Pop?
As people transition more and more of their time to Phones and Tablets, the market for iOS and Android apps will only grow. Was there ever a PC apps bubble? A career in software development isn't about "having diverse skills", its about learning whatever you need to know when you need to know it. Sell yourself as someone who is constantly learning and can pick up anything, and you will never go out of style.

Comment: Re:Tesla hates reviews (Score 1) 700

by psperl (#42877489) Attached to: Tesla Motors Battles the New York Times
Generally speaking, the Model S is one of the best reviewed new cars ever.

Motor Trend 2013 Car of the Year
Automobile 2013 Car of the Year

Just as importantly, Elon Musk is a truly great man who has not historically been caught spewing unfounded claims. Consider his eventual vindication about Tesla and SpaceX. People said his rockets were too good to be true (cost vs. capability) and wouldn't work. Now he just needs to scale up production, which he is doing, to corner the entire non-secret space launch market.

People said Tesla wasn't going to ever release a car. Then the Roadster was released. Then people said Tesla wasn't going to release the Model S before going bankrupt. Remember when Elon bet that journalist $1,000,000 that the Model S would be released on time? Yeah, he won that.

I'm suprised people haven't stopped criticizing this guy and got on board. If Elon Musk didn't exist, we wouldn't have PayPal, Tesla, or SpaceX. This is just one guy we are talking about! He revolutionized three separate industries by the time he was 40!

Comment: Not in my experience (Score 4, Insightful) 630

by psperl (#41308623) Attached to: Is a Computer Science Degree Worth Getting Anymore?
I manage software developers for a large tech firm and have done significant hiring.

My experience is in direct conflict to the ideas presented here. I have found the best results with pure CS graduates. The vast majority of self-taught developers I've worked with have huge gaps in their fundamental CS knowledge, while CS graduate rarely make poor algorithmic choices that we come to regret when our projects scale. Their code is often of higher quality so code reviews are less cumbersome and require less rework. CS graduates are usually nerds from an early age, and to a large degree self-taught before they reached college. These people are generally "serious" about computers, general nerdiness, and their work.

Some self-taught people may be brilliant developers with less student loan debt than CS graduates, but they are not a reliable source of talent. If you are a professional bulding a team, stick with CS graduates, or you take a big risk. That well-spoken self-taught programmer might seem like a great candidate, but wait until you come across real CS problems.

PS - There are a few engineering degrees which I think are just as good as CS

Comment: From an Android OpenGL Developer (Score 5, Insightful) 649

by psperl (#39315567) Attached to: <em>Battleheart</em> Developer Drops Android As 'Unsustainable'
I am the author of projectM, a much more complex graphical application that the game in question here. Android fragmentation is an issue for me, but ONLY because of live wallpapers. The "standalone" version of my app is amazingly consistent across the different Android GPUs. I suspect their developers are not very experienced with OpenGL and shaders. The entire point of OpenGL is to abstract the GPU away from the developer. It works. projectM is profitable. What I take from this article is that an iOS port could bring me to Apple levels of profitability!

Comment: It can be done (Score 2) 435

by psperl (#38560356) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Re-Entering the Job Market As a Software Engineer?
I do not think rerentering the programming workforce is impossible. I spend a lot of time trying to hire good, smart, logically thinking people who are willing to learn. I don't find many. I would gladly hire someone who hasn't programmed in ten years if they show all the traits I just mentioned.

The difficulty will be in getting an interview. The HR departments at large companies (like mine) filter the hundreds of applications they receive before I ever get to see them. They primarily look for keyworks (ugh) and education because they don't know what else to measure by. One way to avoid this is to get a reputable recruiting firm to back you up. We often interview people who we wouldn't normally because the recruiting firm stressed that the candidate's resume doesn't adequately describe their capabilities.

Once you are in the interview, your experience and past won't matter as much. If you can BS about being a nerd with some engineers for an hour, without sounding fake, you have a shot. Thinking clearly and logically is very important. Demo your Android apps; it is very useful to be able to show somethign you have developed in person. Don't sell youself as a one technology guy. I never hire those people. A real engineer or computer scientiest can learn new tools overnight. I have no need for people who self-idenitfy with only one skill. Good luck.

Comment: Re:What some people don't get (Score -1) 760

by psperl (#37981706) Attached to: World Emissions of Carbon Dioxide Outpace Worst-Case Scenario
We can't even predict the weather tomorrow accurately, and yet some are trying to claim we have reached scientific concensus that humans are the cause of long-term climate change?

We very well could be the cause of this change, but the truth is that nobody knows.

This reminds me of how margarine was going to save everyone from heart attacks. Just because most scientists agree, doesn't mean it is true. Proof is replicable and undeniable once found. Margarine didn't stop heart attacks and our best models can't tell you what the weather will be like tomorrow. We are just guessing. When our fundamental understanding of the Earth's processes improve the truth will be found and the arguing will stop. We are not even close right now. This science is still in its infancy.

Fearmongering about children is counterproductive.

Comment: Server Side Processing could make DRM effective (Score 1) 1027

by psperl (#31297946) Attached to: The Awful Anti-Pirate System That Will Probably Work
There is no doubt in my mind that competent hackers will be able to bypass the internet checks and redirect the DRM save/load requests to a local server. This is routine stuff.

The thing that could make this difficult is if Ubisoft transforms or processes the data on their servers before returning it to the client. In this situation, if Ubisoft was sufficiently devious, a real crack might never appear (without a leak from Ubisoft), as the hackers would need to reverse engineer this processing, which might be unfeasible.

Comment: Re:You're looking at it wrong. (Score 1) 750

by psperl (#31286588) Attached to: Should I Take Toyota's Software Update?
The submitter's point is that the original firmware underwent extensive long term bug testing before it was released. This is embedded software, where testing is much more involved than with desktop software.

Most importantly, this is not a bug fix. Being able to press the gas and brake at the same time is not a mistake, and is essential for some kinds of performance driving. Imagine if every time you gently tapped the brake your car would cut the throttle.

This firmware update changs the very basics of how the car drives, and has been rushed together in 3 months, which certainly means Toyota engineers haven't had the time to test it in the stringent manner that embedded software requires.

I personally would not take a firmware upgrade that made my car less responsive to my inputs.