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Comment He's Not Jean Valjean (Score 1) 1032

It's loans at 1970's college tuition rates. And the man made an agreement to pay them back. Even today there are affordable college options. He chose to take on debt. I've seen shrewd students get through their PhD's without a loan or family help. They weren't destitute, just disciplined. (I'm not remotely that disciplined, I had a good deal of fun with loaned money, and I'm fine with paying back my loans.)

And even with all that said..
I think the nation needs to provide 4 more years of free public education. An uneducated populace is not a good future for our economy.

Comment Dunning Kreuger effect (Score 4, Insightful) 809

I've sat through an upsetting number of tech interviews. Getting someone at the high end is a really horrible experience. People come in with very impressive resume's only to show no real skillset.

I don't think having some lack of understanding of encryption is a non-starter.
But I do want to see that someone has a good breadth of experience, and can talk about a good number of things at some base understanding:
How a file system works,
how a network works,
how memory works,
how a repository works,
how a software build works,
how to use editor functions far beyond what can be done by microsoft notepad,
how to use a regex,
how to make a presentation from data,
how to make a lamp webpage,
how to merge tables from multiple databases,
how to do statistical tests on data,
how to set up proper controls for experiments,
how to write. The other part is that bad applicants pervade the pool. Good hires get hired, and held onto -- Bad hires don't get hired, or get released back in the pool. If you want a good hire, there is a bunch of crap applicants to wade through, or you pay the cash to lure talent away from a lucrative job.

Oh the subject.. Eventually gave up on hiring a senior, and posted for a junior position, and got far better applicants than we ever saw for the senior position.

Comment Whole classes of bad episodes (Score 1) 512

Any episode with Q was horrible. (John Delancy was great)
Holodeck centered episodes -- lame (Barkley's stuff was passable)
Any episode focused on Troi, Data,or Wesley, were really bad.
Worf or Geordi episodes were more palatable.

My favorites:
Arsenal of Freedom
Inner light
Thine Own Self
Peak Performance
Who Watches the Watchers
The Defector
The Hunted
Best of Both Worlds

Comment Re:Maybe it's not you (Score 1) 218

If he's reaching the interview phase, it isn't the job market.
Almost nobody want's to interview more candidates than necessary. It's a huge hassle and the cost is pretty damn high.

Baseline is that in an interview I try to determine a few things:
1. Ability to perform work. Can you be in consistently, and perform work that is of an adequate quality/quantity to be worthwhile?
2. Ability to work with the team. Are you going to damage morale, will you communicate in a manner that doesn't cause excess problems.
3. Ability to not upset the exterior of the team, will a person dress/speak appropriately around customers/ bosses/ HR
For likability go for candor.
Some people feel uncomfortable with that, if so go with a mistake that could have been averted by another party -but- take full ownership of it. Leave enough of the story in there so that the interviewee can see that it was another party mistake, but not enough that it appears blatant. An instance might be making a bad commit to the code base, realizing it too late, then finding out that the svn repository died horribly AFTER everyone had pulled out YOUR broken update. Then have some canned speech about how you stopped mixing the debug and production directories from that point on.

Lot's of developers are intolerably arrogant, and there are a bunch of queue's that the interviewers are looking for, show that you can hide these signs. Talk yourself up in a way that doesn't show arrogance.

Comment Re:Why? Hell is other people (Score 1) 769

I've come in to work with some gross frickin coffee makers.
Or finding the grinder lid is no where to be found on Monday morning.
If you stash your next grinder you're considered some kind of pretentious schmuck. So you get some cheap POS grinder, just to find that the coffee filter is gone the next Monday. You grab some paper filters, and find that someone tried to brew stronger coffee by using five filters at once, making an ever loving mess of the coffee pot/kitchen area

I like that it is really inconvenient for someone else to make the brewing part go nasty/break on a K cup system.
Knowing that I just grab a pod and have fresh brewed caffeine in 20 seconds is comforting.

Comment So that explains it. (Score 1) 491

I've been interviewing people for higher end stuff, and keep getting applicants that don't know jack.
Are lost at the Ax=b
Haven't heard of Valgrind

All this from interviewees that are conditioned to believe that all these requirements are just HR flak to be ignored.
Those HR people have stolen hours from me indirectly.

Comment Be careful what you wish for (Score 5, Insightful) 533

Honestly, most managers would be clueless as how to deal with a passionate programmer.

The meetings, conference calls, the coding conventions, the documentation, making hard choices that hurt the deeper beauty of the finished product. This is poison to the passionate programmer. Other people doing substandard things to her code. This isn't ok to do to someones passions. It would be like letting a person bring a pet to work, and the staff kicks it at a whim.

They want people who pretend to be passionate. But really their looking for employees that want a paycheck, and a good portfolio when they leave.

Comment Re:TDD (Score 1) 156

The All clears an ambiguity. This means the poster means that all the print drivers have most of their stuff in userspace. Rather than most of the print drivers are in userspace.
I don't follow printer drivers closely enough to know if the poster was right. I try and follow the nuance language, it is abused often.

Comment Re:WTF (Score 2) 325

Why own the car at all? Might as well be a service, no point in having "your" car a couple miles away doing nothing.
You could summon a car, based on all sorts of criteria. Mostly I see the big use case as a taxi-van, where a ride sharing system could be in place. Sure a person could request a private car, but I suspect that many people would be happy to share a ride with people who have been matched by computer as good ride matches.

Retirement means that when someone says "Have a nice day", you actually have a shot at it.