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Comment: COFFEE!! (Score 1) 121

by ulatekh (#47381523) Attached to: Happy Software Developers Solve Problems Better

I forsee a huge market in happy pepper-upper pills for programmers. Oh, wait. That's what coffee is for.

Exactly! I go to work with a 2-quart thermos full of stovetop-percolated coffee.

I pound coffee until I become happy. Well, happy maybe isn't the word...but enough coffee and I'm like "Wow, this badly-written code is just FASCINATING! I can't WAIT to fix this crap while my so-called co-workers are off creating even MORE piles of crap for me to clean up! WOOOOOOOOO!!!"

I have a Gladware container full of chocolate-covered coffee beans too, for when 2 quarts of coffee isn't enough.

Comment: Mountain Dew connection (Score 1) 361

The problem started when the NSA realized that many programmers drink Mountain Dew, given its caffeine/sugar jolt.
Add to that all those Mountain Dew commercials featuring "extreme" personalities.
Treating programmers as extremists was simply the next logical step.

Now pardon me, I must ride my snowboard down the side of the building while screaming "WOOOOOOOO!!!!"

Comment: My company's CSN is embarrassing. (Score 1) 131

by ulatekh (#47381365) Attached to: Employees Staying Away From Internal Corporate Social Networks

I work for a very large multinational company. A corporate social network makes sense for us. There is all sorts of expertise possessed by our employees that isn't normally utilized in their job. This gives us a chance to cross-pollinate, to allow our skills to be more broadly used within the company. Or so that was the intent.

Instead, it's mostly degenerated into a bunch of questions by Bangalore computer programmers that would be more appropriately asked on Stack Overflow, if the subjects they asked about weren't so simple and embarrassing. They're hardly worthy of an American middle-school child. I can't believe we actually hired these people, or that these are the sorts of programmers that take American programming jobs.

The most ridiculous question I've seen was about how to fix a computer in a remote village. Apparently it was completely broken, not coming up at all, but the questioner wanted to know if it could be fixed over the Internet. "Could I maybe use the IP address?" The amount of basic, fundamental misunderstanding that it takes to ask such a question just drives me to tears. And we employ this person. And I've probably lost several potential employment opportunities to people like this.

So after trying to use our corporate social network for its intended this point, I've just given up.

Comment: No, they're replacing. (Score 4, Informative) 341

by ulatekh (#47335981) Attached to: If Immigration Reform Is Dead, So Is Raising the H-1B Cap

H1B is merging with the us labor force, not replacing. The overwhelming H1B workers I know have either become citizens or are eager to do so.

No, immigrants are replacing native workers. The Center For Immigration Studies just released a report showing that all employment growth since 2000 has gone to immigrants, legal and illegal. There is no general labor shortage.

Comment: Mod parent up! (Score 1) 205

...this will continue to happen as long as the software industry maintains it's age-ist view that 'younger is better'. Younger people are not going to have the experience level of older people, which means they will be much more likely to make all sorts of mistakes that older people (who had also made those mistakes when they were younger, but learned from them) won't. Between the two, there is simply no hope at all that we can have products that are anything more than mediocre quality.


Comment: Re:Cash is King (Score 1) 205

Should your position become dominant, or even a significant minority, crime will revert from phishing scams to knocking you over the head with a pipe and taking your wallet. While I do not deny that this may work for you, it's not a scalable solution.

Depends where you live. Here in Arizona, law-abiding citizens can carry a concealed firearm without a permit.

Also, such criminals would you have to be in your vicinity. They can't hit you over the head from way over in Russia, China, India, Nigeria, or wherever.

Comment: The aliens aren't stupid. (Score 1) 686

by ulatekh (#47219385) Attached to: Aliens and the Fermi Paradox

Of course there's intelligent life in the universe. They don't make contact with us because we are not intelligent life.

The people on our planet seem to only be interested in killing and dominating each other, all in the name of their tribal god-image, or green pieces of paper. Why would a spacefaring civilization consider such a people worthy of contact? It'd be as dumb as taking the family for a vacation in Supermax.

There are plenty of stories about human contact with alien life, and of course none of them ever seem to be verifiable, but strangely, nearly all follow the same pattern — forcible abduction and horrifying medical-like experiments. The aliens are here...and think of us only as guinea pigs...and are superior enough to avoid our pathetic attempts at evidence-gathering.

I would like to hear a defensible reason why any spacefaring civilization would be interested in making contact with us as equals. Because, in my opinion, there is no defensible reason.

Comment: Obvious solution: MOVE. (Score 3) 664

by ulatekh (#46147325) Attached to: Virtual Boss Keeps Workers On a Short Leash

The state I live in has weak labor laws, and the company believes it can do as it pleases. My fellow co-workers and I have been looking for other jobs for a few years now, but the market sucks. (BTW, all of us have at least a bachelors degree, mine is in engineering). There are thousands of jobs around here that pay minimum wage, but almost nothing paying any more than that.

I have an obvious solution for you. MOVE.

That's what I've had to do for years, just to stay employed. My last move was 200 miles. The one before that was 650 miles.

I see my family a week at Thanksgiving and a week at Christmas. Sure that sucks, but it's what I had to do in order to avoid what you're going through.

Comment: An anarchy of nation-statess (Score 1) 462

by ulatekh (#46064635) Attached to: How Silicon Valley CEOs Conspired To Suppress Engineers' Wages

Then we must currently live in anarchy because it's still about having bigger bombs, biceps, knives and guns.

Indeed...viewed internationally, we live in an anarchy of nation-states.

The U.N. has no real enforcement powers...the General Assembly is little more than a forum for expressing hatred.

Comment: Re:Obligatory Trainspotting (Score 1) 692

by ulatekh (#46032625) Attached to: Blowing Up a Pointless Job Interview

Even if you *are* being hired to implement Version Control, what would your opinion be of a company who, in 2014, doesn't yet use version control?

I recently had a job where I had to institute version control, and even encountered a lot of resistance to the idea initially.

Unfortunately, it was a department of the U.S. Army.

Comment: Re:Working hard (Score 1) 190

by ulatekh (#46002321) Attached to: What Makes a Genius?

What drives the smart guys to keep focused and interested working for a long time on hard problems? After a hour of intensive STEM stuff I already feel quite exhausted and need a good break.

Me too. My secret...recreational levels of caffeine. God bless the person that invented chocolate-covered coffee beans.

Comment: Lots of ideas, intellectual cross-training (Score 1) 190

by ulatekh (#46002061) Attached to: What Makes a Genius?

Someone once asked Linus Pauling what his secret was to having good ideas. He answered that it was having lots of ideas and throwing away the bad ones.

Here's my personal list of genius traits:

  1. 1) Read
    Stand on the shoulders of giants as much as possible. No point rediscovering the wheel.
  2. 2) Work hard
    Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.
  3. 3) Intellectual cross-training
    Learn as much as you can about as many different subjects as you can. You'll be stunned how often principles from one subject will apply in a completely unrelated subject.

If you had better tools, you could more effectively demonstrate your total incompetence.