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Comment Re:CS is part of IT (Score 1) 520

I'm not sure if this is what you are talking about or not; but I have had recruiters suggest changes or, in one case, change my resume details before passing it on to a company. These changes were in direct contradiction with reality.

Oddly enough, I just got a phone call about a job interview for this Friday. Keep in mind, I'm interested in any software development position. I'd even prefer something web-based or not .NET if I could get it without a huge pay cut. I posted my accurate information on my resume. All of the calls and emails I get are for .NET only. Some of them are for ASP.NET because I'm blurry about how little professional ASP.NET I have. Most of them are uninterested when they ask for clarification and I don't lie.

So, of all the hundreds of jobs that are open in my city; the only one that I have an interview for is one that happens to be in the exact .NET language I used at my last job, and happens to be a Winforms application, exactly like my last three jobs. I'm currently desperate for a job (because, without work sponsorship I'll be an illegal immigrant or have to leave my wife in a foreign country)...so I'll jump at it if I can.

I'm still fairly early in my career (I'm 28) and once I finish my masters and get a job that let's me stay in this country; I'll work really hard in my spare-time to get out of my narrow little box. But man, it is easy to get pigeon-holed.

Comment Re:Frankly, that's cool (Score 4, Insightful) 312

I don't even understand it.....

He randomly generates 9 characters until he gets the 9 characters he wants. Then he repeats until he has the Shakespeare book he wanted? That's not how 'random' works. Why 9 characters? Why not 1?

I will have my computer randomly guess letters until an A comes up. Then until a B comes up. And then, at the end I'll have the ABCs! RANDOMLY!

Am I being retarded? Did I miss why this is cool?

Comment Re:CS is part of IT (Score 1) 520

Except EVERYONE gets MUCH, MUCH MORE specific than that.

I'm a software developer. I graduated with a B.S. about five years ago, I've been working full time as a .Net developer. I've recently moved and I'm looking for a new job.

Nobody wants to hire a 'good developer'. They want specific, narrow, concrete classifications of a 'good developer'. When I was in school I did some C, some C++, some COBOL, some mainframe ASM and, in my spare time, some .Net. My first job out of school happened to be a .NET company.

That made me a '.NET Developer'.

As soon as you go past the college-grad/entry level positions; even '.NET Developer' is too generalized. My first job did *winForms* development. So now I'm a .NET Winforms developer. I've read books on ASP.NET, I've made some pretty cool side-projects with ASP.NET and Javascript and CSS - but nobody cares. The recruiter who understands none of it say, 'Oh, so how many years of professional ASP.NET development would you say that is? 0? Oh well, this client requires 4'.

C# and VB.NET are all but identical. I can do either, equally well. And I would content that any competent developer knowing one language can smoothly and effortlessly transition to the other. But employers don't care. It's SO DAMN similar; but it's like talking to a brick wall. 'I see your resume says you did VB.NET? How many years of professional C# would you say you've got? Sorry - this client requires 3 years of professional C# development'.

I'm even seeing things like 'Must have experience with ASP.NET MVC2' in job descriptions. Naturally, the language has to match too. So if you are a VB.Net Developer who works in ASP.NET; they don't want to even consider you for a position unless you work with ASP.NET MVC2.

It's crazy.

That's all within the .NET world of things. Since I started working full-time I've started work on a Masters program. I've been learning a lot about POSIX systems, running Linux, writing code in C and Java. It's funny, in college, the kids who were at the top of their C class, go on to be at the top of the COBOL class, and the Java class. Because the language isn't that important. But once you leave college, nobody seems to believe or remember that.

It's very hard to transition roles from one similar programming discipline to another. Going from years of IT experience (running/maintaining/configuring servers) to writing software is going to be much harder than going from college to writing software. If you have 3-4 years of IT experience and are good at your job, you'll earn a lot more than a college grad. Most companies hiring developers will put $0 values on your IT experience and want to offer you entry-level pay. At which point, they'll consider you over-qualified and a high-turnover risk. After all, why not just hire a college kid who will be grateful and easier to mold into the employee they want?

Comment Re:Doubling the value! (Score 1) 488

I'd heard (could be BS) that the problem with Quantum Leap had to do with them being unable to secure the rights to certain songs that appeared in those episodes.

I won't lie - I ended up pirating the whole thing. It was much easier than paying for it and better quality than netflix streaming. I don't like pirating, but...eh...I guess I don't dislike it that much.

Comment Re:Doubling the value! (Score 1) 488

You may or may not be correct. But I know I just cancelled my plan after logging into Netflix to verify the increase was real.

I can go to Redbox and get a movie for $1. And it's already at places I go frequently (grocery store, McDonald's). It's *slightly* less work to have Netflix mail me the DVD than stop at the store; but I don't watch more than 2-3 movies per month. Truthfully, I probably average closer to one DVD per month.

I will sometimes stream an old TV show. I'm currently watching Quantum Leap. I still had to pirate a few episodes because I couldn't watch them with Netflix.

All in all, at $10 per month, I was a happy customer. But at $17.99 or whatever it will be; I can't justify it. I'll rent a few movies from Redbox ($2 per month) and stream TV shows from other (free) sources.

Comment Re:Slap in the face. (Score 1) 211

I don't think so. I think it's an entirely different thing.

MS hires a lot of great developers. But the fact that they (presumably) finished college and looked for a job shows they are walking down an entirely different path than Bill Gates ever did. There is a big difference in skills/mindsets between someone who starts a company doing X and being someone who does X full-time.

Comment Re:MS hate (Score 1) 358

Silverlight *doesn't* suck.

It's actually pretty awesome. The biggest complaints I've heard about Silverlight is that doesn't run on everything (but neither does Flash) and it doesn't have a big enough install base (but that's the same with HTML5).

Flash isn't so awesome, in a lot of ways. But it gets the job done. And it was around when there wasn't much else to pick from. It is popular. It was also buggy and insecure, but it become the dominate force. Flash isn't 'open' and it doesn't run everywhere (just like Silverlight).

When Silverlight was introduced and in it's early years, there was no HTML 5. Microsoft didn't create HTML5. Remove HTML5 from the equation and you are left with Flash Vs. Silverlight Vs. Java Applets. I'd pick Silverlight, even if it goes less places than Java Applets.

But HTML5 is gaining support. A lot of big names are on board. It's generally recognized as the 'future'. But the future isn't here. HTML5 isn't even finalized, support on the PC is pretty good assuming you've got the latest and greatest browser. But if you don't (how many people still run IE6?) or if you have a portable device odds are you don't have HTML5 support. And, HTML5 brings back a lot of problems that Silverlight, Flash, and Java attempted to solve. If a browser doesn't implement HTML5 correctly, you can see different behavior in different browsers. Even it is considered a 'bug', it's a possibility. A lot of browsers don't have FULL HTML5 support, which is, again, a problem. Things like 'I want to play this video' is a difficult task in HTML5. Different formats are supported by different browsers.

Also, maybe I'm biased, but I like the benefits a compiler gives me. I also feel like JavaScript sure makes it easy to shoot yourself in the foot.

Still, don't think MS didn't want Silverlight to become the next big thing. Also, I'm quite sure any Silverlight application you've written will continue to work for the foreseeable future. I really believe that if you've created some compelling content worth seeing, users will click on the 'Install Silverlight' button. It's pretty effortless. Certainly less effort than getting your user to upgrade to a new web browser.

I understand the frustration Silverlight developers might feel, knowing that the web is going in the direction of HTML5. But that is beyond MS's control. It's probably the exact same feeling Flash developers are going through. But I can't fault MS for adopting HTML5 for a new website they are making. I don't see how that is 'stabbing' someone in the back. I've written some things in Silverlight and I never paid a single penny to do it. I think it's pretty ridiculous the level of entitlement some people have.

"Hey - here is this cool thing we spent years developing. You can use it. It's free. Also, here is some software that also took years to develop that you can use to create things for that first thing we were talking about. It's also free. And here are all sorts of examples and documentation we put together. It's yours - free! You can use it, or not, it's up to you."

Five years later....

"OMG! What a bunch of jerks. First they BEGGED ME to write apps in Silverlight. Now, some new technology is in the spotlight and my existing code works exactly like it always has but BOY AM I ANGRY! Microsoft Sucks!"

Comment Re:Why is this still news? (Score 1) 182

I'm not trying to argue so much as I'm legitimately asking....it's possible that, being an American, I'm surrounded by American software and don't realize what else is out there. But, virtually all of the major software I'm familiar with comes from American companies.

The only exception that jumps to mind is Japan. For years (and, depending on who you talk to, even now) they've dominated the video game market. But, from what I understand Japan has similar laws that allow software patents.

Also, for the record, I'm not saying that I support software patents in their current form. There is plenty of ridiculous crap out there.

Comment Re:In High School, we beat the shit out of them. (Score 2) 317

I don't know where you went to high school or where you work; but I've found this to, largely, be incorrect. Most of the 'geeks' I knew in high school are software developers or system admins or something similar. Even some of the really, really smart geeks I knew, the one who worked at Google and then Plantir (while I'm sure he's rich by normal standards) isn't 'running' things.

I'd bet money there are more CEOs in the US who were former jocks/popular kids than former geeks. I might be wrong, I don't have any real data on this, but my gut and personal experience support it. There are a few notable exceptions, specifically tech companies that were started by one geek that grew.

Comment Re:Why is this still news? (Score 0) 182

I've been told (perhaps incorrectly) that the countries that are willing to forgo laws that protect intellectual property are the ones that benefit most from allowing it's citizens to copy/steal/imitate others.

Are there any countries that don't allow software patents that have a history of regularly introducing ground-breaking/game-changing software (at the global scale)?

Comment Re:TrueCrypt (Score 1) 482

Is it really worth the hassle of using DropBox for something you access once a year? I thought the big selling point of DropBox was that it seamlessly synced files on all of your devices with each other in (near) real-time.

But if you've got a small, encrypted file you access once a year; what's the benefit of having it on all of your devices and updated and synced all the time? What makes DropBox better than emailing an encrypted file to your Gmail account? Heck, Gmail gives you more storage than DropBox does the last time I checked and I can't imagine Google being more likely to lose your data.

Just curious. For the record, I have the exact same setup as you (TrueCrypt with important tax files on my DropBox) but I never really thought about WHY that makes sense. Just that I could do it.

Comment Re:To ask the question: (Score 2) 169

I'm not really sure if it's fair to assume other people would have your experience.

I'm sure there is some rich, successful business man who has many millions of dollars who started his first lawn care business when he was 8. That doesn't mean the key to future generation's financial success is to make them all cut grass all day. There are plenty of entrepreneurial types who do what you've done, in other areas than computer software. And there are lots of people who study computer science and never make anything worth having.

There are plenty of people who never had to work a single day in their life because of their ability to play football or basketball. That doesn't mean we should emphasis sports in elementary school. There is only so much we can teach in schools if we add something we have to lose something. If we have 'x' hours in the day which material will be the most beneficial for the most students. Maybe CS should be included. Maybe it shouldn't be.

Comment Re:To ask the question: (Score 3, Insightful) 169

I hear this argument a lot. X isn't just about X, it's about all this other stuff that it sorta kinda addresses too.

I think the question really needs to become, 'Does X teach other important stuff *better* than all of these other things we could cover?' I'm sure there are Shop teachers that would argue building a bird house or fixing a car teaches problem solving.

You can learn a lot playing Monopoly or Checkers or Chess or Dungeons and Dragons or watching TV or studying math or programming or working in a factory. I'm not sure that programming really does a better job of teaching 'problem solving' than many other things. Procedural programming, particularly at an introductory level, doesn't seem like it would do a good job. Algorithmic programming, sure, but to get to that point you need to cover the basics and then, most of the time, I think you could have the same educational experience focusing on the problem and math to solve it.

Comment Re:I am a Silverlight Developer (Score 1) 580

Yeah - if there is one thing Linux users are known for, it's being at and even pushing the very cutting edge of rich user experience!

I mean, when I think of an OS with the most robust, visually stunning, user experience, that works across the board, without any compatibility problems....LINUX just jumps to the top of the list.

Now, if I just replace 'visually stunning' with 'text only' and robust with 'neck-beard'; now Linux seems to fit the bill. Linux is great. But let's be realistic here.

Comment Re:I am a Silverlight Developer (Score 1) 580

People joke, but I really think the user experience would be better if MS bundled more things.

Of course, one of the big Linux pros I keep hearing is how your distro includes X and Y and Z. But when MS included X and Y and Z it was illegal because they were a monopoly.

If I'm an end-user who knows nothing about computers; I'd rather buy a computer and have websites work. I don't even want to hear the word Silverlight or .Net. I just want it to work. Bundling it would make that happen.

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