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Comment: Maybe not, but it can help too (Score 1) 546

by technomom (#47819729) Attached to: Does Learning To Code Outweigh a Degree In Computer Science?
I don't think a degree is necessary but a lot of everything in your work life depends more on where you intend to go from there. College can also give you skills in business, leadership, writing and negotiation skills. Those can be very helpful if you want to ever get out of the coding business or just want to expand your horizons outside of coding. The thing you find out quickly in this business is that there are a lot of coders, but fewer people who can organize requirements from customers, architect solutions to scale to enterprise level, negotiate a schedule for release, or even lead a group of programmers in a large scale project. Yes, even those things might not require a college degree, but if you don't have those skills to begin with, college can be a good place to acquire them.

Comment: They need to match more than price (Score 5, Informative) 215

by technomom (#47704337) Attached to: New HP Laptop Would Mean Windows at Chromebook Prices
Here's the thing. Part of the problem is that they're not really beating Chromebook on anything, just matching the price. I still am going to need to load an anti-virus program, still going to have to sit through a long startup, and still have to sit through Update Tuesday. Yeah, I know Chromebook isn't perfect, but for most of what I do, it's really good enough and with my Macbook covering the 10% of things I can't do with my Chromebook, I'm really not seeing the need for Windows at all. Office? Please. I've been using OpenOffice and/or Google Docs for the past 4 years and no one has even noticed a difference so long as I save to .doc format.

Comment: Re:Incoming international flights (Score 1) 702

by technomom (#47399445) Attached to: TSA Prohibits Taking Discharged Electronic Devices Onto Planes
This is yet another stupid security theater thing, yes, but the headline is overwrought. First up, this is only for flights to/from very specific places and secondly, it's really not hard to figure out a way to not be caught up by this one. Find an outlet and plug it in for a while....or carry one of those spare charger thingees.

Comment: Re:IBM FORUMS were user-driven too (Score 1) 131

by technomom (#47380939) Attached to: Employees Staying Away From Internal Corporate Social Networks
IBMPC / IBM Forums no longer exists in its old VM form. They've now been moved to the w3 version of connections. The internal IBM connections community gets quite a lot of content, contrary to what this article says. It's pretty much the standard way to set up any kind of shared content team room now.

Comment: Re:I love start ups but they're not for everyone (Score 1) 274

by technomom (#46920313) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Joining a Startup As an Older Programmer?
....which, btw, doesn't just happen in startups. I'm working in a company that's been in the tech industry since there was a tech industry and we still do the "OMG! Trade show coming up, better be able to code quickly!" thing all the time, complete with other, competing deadlines. The only difference is the ending. In the established company, you get laid off with maybe a severance.

Comment: Hmmm... (Score 3, Interesting) 89

I think it makes sense if you consider that Microsoft and Google are starting to make peace with each other. Microsoft recently officially gave their blessing to using on Chrome and ChromeOS. So, imagine now that maybe you'll be able to save and edit actual word docs in Drive using Office and that perhaps Microsoft will also be opening its own Skydrive (or whatever they're calling it now) up to other document types? I admit it's a stretch, but given the new focus on the cloud from Microsoft, it could happen. This also makes more sense from the "merging Android and Chrome" point of view as well as mobile tends to favor smaller, single purpose apps.

Comment: Re:As a 40 something programmer recently interview (Score 1) 379

I always thought a better, and in some cases, more real life test for a programmer would be to hand them a chunk of someone else's code, something real and in house but obviously not something that is proprietary. Ask them to recommend ways to improve it if possible, or explain why it is good, sound code if not. Good programmers will recognize good code (even in languages they haven't worked in) and recommend fixes where they see problems. Someone you want to hire will be honest about whether or not they've worked in the language and will almost immediately spot things like potential null pointer exceptions, potential leaks of connections, unhandled exception possibilities, etc. or even just poorly structured code.

Comment: Re:No Offense (Score 1) 379

No. You don't have to be a manager, but you do have to do more than sit in your office and code your little chunk of the universe because any kid out of college can do that. Heck, an awful lot of people out of high school can do that and don't necessarily require even a living wage. Older programmers should be mentoring and leading. You don't have to have "manager" in your title to do that. The best programmers are the ones who can lead teams of more than 8 programmers, orchestrating the whole product life cycle. Generally, they contribute code too, but they also worry about repeatable testing, providing a release plan, code hygiene and standards, integration and customization points, and testing. I've been on both sides of the fence, hiring and looking for work as a programmer. This has always been the reality. Your skill set should be commensurate with the years of experience you've had, which means that you should show a certain professional maturity. If you haven't advanced your skills beyond code monkey in 30 years, you've got a problem.

Comment: Re:Experience Matters But So Does Price (Score 1) 379

If you don't like office politics and nonsense then you need to get the heck out of an office that has any more than 2 people. Work for yourself and be your own boss. But then you have to make peace with the fact that you're not likely to make as much money as the guys/ladies who do deal with office politics.

Comment: Re:Ignore Silicon Valley (Score 3, Insightful) 379

You know what? I don't ignore all of headhunter notes I get. The ones that sound a little interesting, I send a little note thanking them for their interest, tell them I'm currently employed but if that changes I definitely will keep them in mind. Usually, I throw in some small talk asking how the market is for things that are more my current "hobby" than my job (I've been dabbling in a lot of mobile, noSQL and cloud programming) just to get an idea for what my Plan B, C, and D will be should I get laid off or finally decide to retire from my "real job". More than a few recruiters have engaged in conversation this way. Those I keep in my Contacts list for a later date.

"I have more information in one place than anybody in the world." -- Jerry Pournelle, an absurd notion, apparently about the BIX BBS