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Comment Re:Perhaps a better method... (Score 1) 1001

Yeah: Is it really so much to ask an experienced developer to prove that they can do code reviews? And if someone can't review code without an IDE, they're handicapped. The question remains whether their other qualities make such a handicap worthwhile. Perhaps, as a means of self-development, everyone should spend some time on StackOverflow and Code Review and learn to spot mistakes in what others do - iff they don't do code reviews in their current job.

Comment Re:Perhaps a better method... (Score 1) 1001

Yep - there must be some screening, you can't pretend to be a software developer who can't write some trivial code correctly in any of the languages they purport to know. Hello World is a good first step - if you can't do that, you have no place pretending to be a developer.

Comment Re:Perhaps a better method... (Score 1) 1001

Write a complete, working program in any language of your choice that prints 'Hello World' ten times." That was also illuminating, in a horrifying sort of way. You wouldn't believe how many people struggled with that. We usually ended those interviews pretty quickly.

Would you hire a pianist that can't point to a middle C on a standard piano keyboard? Because that's the equivalent of what's asked in the interview you speak of. At that point you don't really care if perhaps they can play all the scales very well - you can't trust the completeness of the internal framework of knowledge they use. People who don't truly understand what they're doing tend to divide and compartmentalize various areas of their knowledge instead of synthesizing a unified and interconnected body of knowledge. They learn all sorts of recipes to do various things, but have no idea how all of those things are interconnected, and what sort of mental framework unify them. It's as if a baker didn't realize that the yeast flatbread dough they deal with shares some common properties with the yeast-raised sheet fruitcake.

Comment Re:Perhaps a better method... (Score 1) 1001

I think it's a particular state of mind where you expect to be able to forget the basics. I personally don't find this state of mind to be all that appealing. It's like if a concert pianist forgot all of their music theory, because for performance you don't really care about it. But then it kinda sucks if you're a great concert pianist who superbly plays very technically demanding music, yet is unable to harmonize a simple melody during a show-and-tell with some kids. Yes, it's great that you can put design and implement a scalable architecture for a big system of some sort, but it kinda sucks if you can't do the basics. It's as if an electrical engineer forgot an inductor's constitutive equation, having an excuse that they deal with fancy control systems all the time and haven't used any inductors in ages. It smells of functional illiteracy to me. Or at least I try to keep my basics refreshed to some extent, as a conscious effort where I spend an hour or two every week re-reading the fundamentals just to keep them fresh.

Comment Re:Money! (Score 1) 232

Joel Spolsky had this to say about the chairs, and I agree with him:

Let me, for a moment, talk about the famous Aeron chair, made by Herman Miller. They cost about $900. This is about $800 more than a cheap office chair from OfficeDepot or Staples.

They are much more comfortable than cheap chairs. If you get the right size and adjust it properly, most people can sit in them all day long without feeling uncomfortable. The back and seat are made out of a kind of mesh that lets air flow so you don’t get sweaty. The ergonomics, especially of the newer models with lumbar support, are excellent.

They last longer than cheap chairs. We’ve been in business for six years and every Aeron is literally in mint condition: I challenge anyone to see the difference between the chairs we bought in 2000 and the chairs we bought three months ago. They easily last for ten years. The cheap chairs literally start falling apart after a matter of months. You’ll need at least four $100 chairs to last as long as an Aeron.

So the bottom line is that an Aeron only really costs $500 more over ten years, or $50 a year. One dollar per week per programmer.

A nice roll of toilet paper runs about a buck. Your programmers are probably using about one roll a week, each.

So upgrading them to an Aeron chair literally costs the same amount as you’re spending on their toilet paper, and I assure you that if you tried to bring up toilet paper in the budget committee you would be sternly told not to mess around, there were important things to discuss.

Comment Re:He's got a point. (Score 2) 224

Huh? I use the latest LibreOffice regularly on a late 2008 MacBook Pro with a 128GB Crucial SSD, on El Capitan. Works great, and that's a Core 2 Duo CPU with 8GB of DDR3 RAM. It'd be considered obsolete by pretty much anyone these days - yet it performs admirably.

OS X versions past 10.7 suck donkey balls on mechanical hard drives for some reason. The CPU on your Mac Mini has nothing much to do with its sluggishness. Replace the drive with an SSD and you'll fell like you've got a completely different, new machine. Just do it, you'll thank me later.

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