Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Re:IT Unemployment Rate = No Demand (Score 2) 242

by trippytom (#42597577) Attached to: IT Job Market Recovering Faster Now Than After Dot-com Bubble Burst

Here is where I take some offense with the article and the comparisons to 2000/2001. I watched the bubble burst here in the states and then in Europe, and let me tell you during the peak of the dotcom bubble like 50% of folks had any real technical chops. The bandwagon jumping was ferocious, even at good companies.

Just putting it out there ...

Comment: many ways to look at this .. (Score 1) 94

by trippytom (#42462091) Attached to: Buffalo Bills Going the <em>Moneyball</em> Route With Analytics

I'd be surprised if scouts and/or agents weren't already doing a lot of this when marketing and evaluating players.

- arrests? #?
- children by different mothers?
- college GPA? School? Graduation? etc?
- catches during a scoring drive, finger touch drops, yards after contact, block success, etc

As far as the in game stuff goes, my guess is you could create a supervised but automated system to review game film, and more easily radio feeds to get a ton of useful data. Eventually you can throw all the 32 teams, 256 games, 1696 players per year and start some Machine Learning training. You'd have to continually iterate, but my guess is you'd be a lot better of going this route than traditional intuition.

I have no idea what you'd find ... but surely it would be interesting.

Comment: classic programmer vs developer argument (Score 2) 233

by trippytom (#41586259) Attached to: The Case For the Blue Collar Coder
If you know mostly what you'd like to to, have a chosen path to get there, and time and $$$ to do it this model would probably work very well.

The problem is, I have NEVER seen that in my 15 years of developing. The technology landscape is constantly evolving, we need developers that know how to learn to do stuff ... not know how to do stuff. Assumptions and business requirements change, often daily. Developers need to communicate with businesses, persuade them to make good decisions (why I like developers with Arts and Sciences backgrounds). My guess is we'd get a lot more meaningless (not well thought out) stuff done which would buy us squat.

I don't want an army of semi-functional programmers, I want a FEW real developers.

I am in the beginning stages of teaching a lifelong MS developer and fanboy our Big Data environment. The poor guy basically needs to learn Nix, bash, sed/awk, SSH, cron, Ruby, MYSQL, EC2/S3 and Rails BEFORE we start talking about HDFS, Hive and Mahout. The ONLY thing I have going for me is his background in CS.

Comment: let's get this straight (Score 1) 110

by trippytom (#41223437) Attached to: Khan Academy Pilot Educators On Khan Academy
Education majors enter college with the worst scores and leave with the highest grades. And we are listening to them? From personal experience in the an undergrad Math department, the Math education crew were largely though of as do gooders along for the ride. They were conspicuously absent form upper level Math and CS courses, but the History of Math elective I took was filled with them. It is sad so few choose to get into teaching for the right reasons, but understandable. More links ...

Comment: supply and demand (Score 1) 575

by trippytom (#40763915) Attached to: Khan Academy: the Teachers Strike Back
Teachers are paid what they are largely because there are plenty of people who want to do it. If there weren't we'd have to pay them more. It is a fairly safe career choice choice (low unemployment rates, sackings unlikely, etc), and widely considered to be an easier route through undergrad than science, engineering, most ology's, etc. Conversely, no one wants to be a geek so most of us here on slashdot make the big bucks. Even bigger if you understand business concepts and are personable.

Comment: managing up anyone? (Score 1) 141

by trippytom (#39995967) Attached to: 'Goofing Off' To Get Ahead?
I see a lot of grumbling here, but in reality many coders are awful at managing up. Somehow I always seem to end up in nearly totally unsupervised positions. This happens for a number of reasons, but really because I know how to look productive and delivery. More technologists need to sell their ideas, and and their accomplishments. Make the boss look good and generally give them what they like, and success will enviably follow. Manage your manager. Don't over engineer, and don't overwork. Do produce more than expected. Read lots, and have an opinion. Think LEAN. "Done is better than perfect, and perfect is the enemy of done."

Comment: Job Titles (Score 1) 738

by trippytom (#39786707) Attached to: Software Engineering Is a Dead-End Career, Says Bloomberg
One of the issues is we geeks have is there are so many titles, I rarely keep one for more than a year. I sometimes write a lot of code, sometimes very little. Sometimes I do strategy work, sometimes management, and sometimes I sell. But at the end of the day, I lean on my technology skills a ton. I was able to dive and and gain ownership of our Big Data efforts (my current gig) by noodling around with Hadoop at AWS. The following titles were scribed from my resume ... going back 15 years. Sr. Architect Team Lead ICT Volunteer Senior Software Engineer Lead Technologist Software Engineer / Senior Software Engineer I have a ton of friends with other roles ... Principal, CTO, VP, etc. The key is not to lose your head in the code, learn about business, people and process. I'd argue almost no one has the same job for 5 years, in technology or otherwise. Fortunately technology is a growing field, don't fight it ... grow along with it.

Comment: unfortunately Larium is cheap and effective (Score 2) 195

by trippytom (#39524337) Attached to: Army Reviews Controversial Drug After Afghan Massacre
This stuff is given to pretty much all Peace Corps Volunteers in malarial zones. Speaking from long term experience, it sucks ass. I made it about a year before I nearly lost the ability to sleep. I was then placed on Doxycyclene which worked ... never got malaria myself. The other option, Malerone, is like 10x as expensive. Neither Doxy or Mal is nearly as good ad malaria prevention, as have to be taken daily ISO weekly, so medical officers are hesitant to make a switch unless things have gotten pretty bad. I would say 50% of my fellow PCVs made it two years on Larium, and many blamed their psychological evacuations (wacky-vacs in Peace Corps lingo) at least in part on it. There is no way in hell anyone with access to firearms should be allowed within ten feet of this stuff.

Aussie Scientists Find Coconut-Carrying Octopus 205

Posted by timothy
from the concealed-carry-in-australian-waters dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from an AP report: "Australian scientists have discovered an octopus in Indonesia that collects coconut shells for shelter — unusually sophisticated behavior that the researchers believe is the first evidence of tool use in an invertebrate animal. The scientists filmed the veined octopus, Amphioctopus marginatus, selecting halved coconut shells from the sea floor, emptying them out, carrying them under their bodies up to 65 feet (20 meters), and assembling two shells together to make a spherical hiding spot. ... 'I was gobsmacked,' said Finn, a research biologist at the museum who specializes in cephalopods. 'I mean, I've seen a lot of octopuses hiding in shells, but I've never seen one that grabs it up and jogs across the sea floor. I was trying hard not to laugh.'"

No amount of careful planning will ever replace dumb luck.