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Comment It's not as simple as "Greece spent too much" (Score -1) 1307

It's true that Greece was spending more than it could afford to. It's true that they prettied up the numbers to get into the EU. It's also true that the EU leaders knew the numbers were not completely accurate. Europe was embroiled in this romantic idea of a unified Europe, similar to Manifest Destiny in the US. So Greece joins the EU. Everyone wanted it to happen.

But Greece was spending at an unsustainable pace. That's nobody's fault but Greece, right? Germany, France, and the rest of the EU must be in the right. They didn't overspend, they were trying to help! Right? Not exactly.

Because the EU controls the ability to print money, Greece couldn't devalue their currency (print money) to spur exports, bring in tourism, and pay off debts, or put together a stimulus package to spur growth. Another country with full control of their economy (ie not in the EU) would have used one or both of these strategies to spur growth. The situation would not have escalated this far.

Greece didn't have those options, so they had to take whatever the EU offered. The only offer on the table was loans in exchange for austerity, which (wealthy northern) Europe seems to love. Greece had to take it. This is the moment that the blame shifted to the EU, instead of Greece itself. Austerity didn't work. The Greek economy contracted by 25% of GDP and unemployment shot up to 25% in general and 50% among the youth.

Five years later, Greece was in worse shape than it started. The EU effectively prevented Greece from saving itself with terrible policies. Other unions, like the United States, doesn't practice austerity, and have had much better results. The US responded with stimulus, and attempted to grow its economy. Debt is measured in terms of GDP. Greece is at 180% debt/GDP. Top lower that ratio, you can either reduce debt (austerity), or increase GDP. Greece reduced its debt by embracing austerity, but GDP contracted so much it actually erased any gains from reduced debt. The US strategy is to increase GDP. Leave the debt, it's not going away, we just have to get strong enough to carry it.

It is in light of these complicated affairs that the EU is to blame. They need to consider alternative strategies. Greece (and the rest of the EU) gave austerity a shot for 5 years. It didn't work. People are right that this sets a precedent for Spain, Italy, and any future troubled economies. They too should revolt like the Greeks if it comes to that. But that shouldn't happen. The EU should recognize that austerity isn't the way and change policies now so that Italy and Spain don't need to have a similar confrontation.

In many ways, Europe owes Greece big time. They have opened everyone's eyes. Austerity doesn't work. Things need to change. The only question is: Is the EU smart enough to heed the warning?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Yes, we will be going to OSI, Mars, and Pluto, but not necessarily in that order. -- Jeffrey Honig