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+ - How do you deal with programmers who have not stayed current? 1

Submitted by skaffen42
skaffen42 (579313) writes "The recent Ask Slashdot about becoming a programmer later in life got me thinking about a related question. How do you deal with programmers who have not stayed current with new technologies?

In the hiring process this is easy, you simply don't hire them. However, at most companies I have worked at there are usually a few programmers who have been employed there for long enough that the skill-set they were originally hired for has become irrelevant. At the same time they have not bothered to stay current with newer technologies. They usually have enough business knowledge that they provide some value to the company, but from a technical perspective they are a slowly increasing liability. As an example, I work with a developer who is 10 years my senior, but still doesn't understand how to write concurrent code and cannot be trusted to use a revision control system without causing a mess that somebody else will have to clean up. On top of that he is really resistant to the idea of code reviews, which I think is due to him disliking people he considers junior to him making suggestion about how to improve his code.

So how do my fellow Slashdotters handle situations like this? How do you help somebody like this to improve their skill-sets? And most importantly, how do you do so without stepping on anybody's feelings?"

Comment: Re:The NYSE shouldn't reverse trades. (Score 1) 223

by skaffen42 (#40992147) Attached to: Knight Trading Losses Attributed To Old, Dormant Software

They actually did reverse trades in something like 6 of the 146 affected symbols. These were stocks that were clearly trading completely out of their realistic ranges, so a small portion of trades were reversed. Though I'm sure Knight was begging them to reverse all the trades...

Comment: Re:The NYSE shouldn't reverse trades. (Score 1) 223

by skaffen42 (#40992105) Attached to: Knight Trading Losses Attributed To Old, Dormant Software

Wish I had mod points, but instead I'll just add a comment to agree with you.

This whole thing has nothing to do with HFT, except that a bunch of uninformed idiots who have no idea what they are talking about have decided to spout off about HFT. Because it sounds exciting, not because it had anything to do with what happened.

Comment: Re:Be Nice You Might be hired back (Score 2) 550

by skaffen42 (#40744181) Attached to: Being Honest In Exit Interviews Is Pointless

Very true. Be nice, be as honest as you can without stepping on any toes, and don't burn any bridges if you can avoid it. The world is much smaller place than many people realize, and even if you don't end up back at the same company there is a good chance you might end up with some of the same co-workers one day.

Comment: Re:This is bullshit. (Score 1) 331

by skaffen42 (#37354806) Attached to: Algorithmic Trading Rapidly Replacing Need For Humans

Taking your points in order:
1. Adding random delays to all trades will make life harder for (some) HFT traders, but will also add uncertainty to all trades. More uncertainty is rarely a good thing in the markets.
2. Ron Paul for higher taxes! (Hey, it's your sig, not mine). So you seem to support Ron Paul with your signature, but at the same time want more government interference because you think the HFT guys are making too much money. And you even want to use taxes to kill their business. The amount of cognitive dissonance is astounding.
3. HFT guys will love this. They usually stop trading when there is a chance of their trades being reversed. So making it impossible will just make it easier for them.

Comment: Re:This is bullshit. (Score 1) 331

by skaffen42 (#37354100) Attached to: Algorithmic Trading Rapidly Replacing Need For Humans

3. enact a rule that all trades stand.. erroneous trades made by a computer algorithm will never get rolled back

THIS. It is total bullshit that if your computer fucks up massively you get a rollback. Keep your winnings if you win, get your money back if you lose. What a deal for the big firms.

I think the HFT people would be the first to support this rule.

Remember the "flash crash"? From what I understand the reason the market went into freefall was that a lot of the HFT folk pulled out of the market when they though there was a risk their trades would be reversed. So they turned of their computers and the liquidity they added to the market disappeared. Result... market goes into freefall.

Comment: Re:Could that be a lie? Or, is Amazon not doing we (Score 1) 207

by skaffen42 (#36191464) Attached to: Ebooks Now Outselling Print Books At Amazon

OK, so this is anecdotal, and we all know the plural of anecdote is not data...

I buy lots of books, and I can barely remember the last time I bought a book from a source other than Amazon. Even the used books I buy I get through Amazon's marketplace. About 2 months ago I finally broke down and bought a Kindle. I bought it to use on my commute, with the idea that I'd finally get around to reading all the classics (which are free), but would rather buy paper books for anything else.

Two months later I have been completely converted to the Kindle. I now don't even bother looking at books that I can't buy on the Kindle. It kind of sucks, as a lot of publishers charge a premium on Kindle books (how the hell do they justify that???), and other books simply are not available. But the convenience of reading on a Kindle trumps the disadvantages for me.

So for me at least, buying paper books is now a last resort.

Comment: Re:I disagree (Score 4, Insightful) 791

by skaffen42 (#35560970) Attached to: CS Prof Decries America's 'Internal Brain Drain'
So here is something I always ask when people complain about H1B workers. You are going to compete against people from India/China/etc. no matter what you do. But would you rather have them in the US, where they have to compete against you while having the same cost of living as you, or while living in their home country where the cost of living is a fraction of that in the US?

Even better, a lot H1Bs go back home after a few years. However, during their time in the US they paid into the social security fund, a benefit they will never be able to claim. Unfair to them, but great for US citizens.
Classic Games (Games)

20 Years of Commander Keen 152

Posted by Soulskill
from the aliens-ate-my-babysitter dept.
angry tapir writes "This week marks the 20th anniversary of the release of the first Commander Keen game. For those too young to remember, Commander Keen was a series of shareware 2D platform games for the PC released by Apogee Software (aka 3D Realms) developed by no less than id Software — the developers of Wolfenstein 3D, Doom and Quake."

You know that feeling when you're leaning back on a stool and it starts to tip over? Well, that's how I feel all the time. -- Steven Wright

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