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Submission + - What's The Best Programming Language To Learn First? ( 3

jfruh writes: Sure, your first programming language was probably BASIC on the Apple IIe or Atari 800. But what should the kids today learn? Matthew Mombrea takes a systematic look at the question, considering it in light of which languages are the most commercially useful and which lay a good foundation for learning other useful languages.

Comment Why not just address the nonsense? (Score 2) 249

If managers are there to shield engineers from "political nonsense and red tape" it is probably more cost effective to reduce the political nonsense and red tape instead of hiring someone to deal with it.

If there are too many meetings address that issue. If there is political bullshit address it. If the processes are all fucked up and you have guys jumping through hoops just because some process document says to, fix it. Fixing the actual problems will benefit the company way more than hiring a guy to shield the engineers from it. The last non technical manager I had just invited me to all the meetings he went to because he wasn't able to answer anyones questions. He literally did nothing and when he quit after being denied a promotion he applied for his position was not backfilled

In my opinion you want the engineers to interface with the rest of the company. That is how problems get solved. Engineers getting feedback from customers, tech support, manufacturing, and ops. Then engineers figure out how long it would take and how much it would cost to solve the issues and present that data to marketing and project management. Then you get representatives from each group together to decide based on marketing data and project management input what features to prioritize, what features to drop, and so on. ( I know this never happens in the real world)

All too often marketing draws up some Marketing Requirements Document, which is usually fucked to begin with because marketing doesn't present the engineering group with the customers problems, instead marketing presents the engineering group with marketing's (usually poor) solutions to the customers problems. Then some project management people get together with the non technical manager and agree upon some crazy timeline based on no input from the actual people responsible for doing the work. Then the engineers get a product spec document that basically says to invent a perpetual motion device in a couple of months. When they don't do it everyone blames the engineering group for not following through once again. Set up to fail from the start... In my experience non technical managers don't do anything but add additional noise to the signal.

Comment Re:Slow news day (Score 0) 191

Why doesn't he have any work lined up? I worked at a grocery store 9 years ago and we all knew Dominicks was fucked. They have been doing poorly in the Chicagoland market for years. I know there has been lots of talk about the stores closing. If he hasn't looked for anything yet then that is his fault.

Lucky for him Gov. Quinn established a "Grocery Store Taskforce" to assist these poor people on finding new entry level jobs. Illinois has plenty of money to pay for this shit.

Comment Re:I think we all know what happens next. (Score 1) 191

Materially negative consequences. You probably don't spend enough money there to make a difference, nor would it make a difference if 100 of us stopped shopping there. In a short amount of time this will blow over like every other corporate transgression and 99% of everyone will forget about it and move on.

Bad press isn't enough to make people stop shopping somewhere. Look at McD, their profits have been growing. WalMart isn't doing bad. Sony is doing well. Google is doing amazing. God look at BP, they fucking killed cute little sea creatures and they are once again a money printing machine.

Consumers are idiots. You may not be but that still isn't going to deter bad corporate behavior.

Comment Laws to protect us from drones? (Score 3, Interesting) 78

Does anyone else think that before we allow commercial drone use we should also start thinking about some laws on how drones can be used?

For example, should it be legal for an advertising company to buzz around my home with a drone based billboard?

Should Amazon or some other retailer be allowed to surveil me with a drone to compile my shopping habits and then make me offers?

Should my employer be able to use a drone to monitor if I am interviewing at a competitor?

We're in a bit of a privacy crisis right now partially due to the fact that online privacy laws were about 10 years behind the technology. Lets try to avoid that with drones.

Comment Re:Slow news day (Score 2) 191

I guess that is one way to look at it. Another way to look at it is that they were out competed by larger stores and customers voted with their wallets. I'm from Chicagoland, this isn't as simple as some CxOs running a company into the ground. Woodmans, Target, and WalMart are all relatively new competitors in the grocery store market. Jewel Osco and Dominicks have been hurting for a while because of that.

What it boils down to is that people would rather pay $1 for a loaf of bread from WalMart than $1.20 for a loaf of bread from Dominicks. Why is it more expensive at Dominicks? Well for one they are unionized with means very generous benefits for the workers (when I worked at Jewel-Osco in highschool I had 2+ weeks of paid vacation and made time and a half on Sunday, and made holiday pay even if I didn't work that day. Some holidays made 2.5 times my base pay due to it falling on Sunday.) Another reason might be that Woodmans and WalMart are much larger than a typical Jewel or Dominicks so they can purchase in larger quantities and offer a larger selection.

Comment Re:Slow news day (Score 1) 191

The guy was suspended for a day.... Common I would hardly call that kicking someone when they are down. For all we know he might not even have been scheduled to work that day. So the guy is maybe out at most $100 in missed pay, bummer but I wouldn't call that cause for moral outrage.

I do actually agree that this article was posted to incite anti-corporate feelings. That's why I asked the question, and that's why I suggested not shopping there if you don't agree with it. I really feel like this is petty shit compared to real abuses and what makes me upset is the people who are going to get all bent out of shape over this and complain about corporations treating people like shit using this as evidence. Corporations do treat people like shit, but its happening all around you in much worse ways than some guy getting suspended for a day. Be outraged about that.

Comment How do we prevent this? (Score 4, Informative) 252

I feel like I might know how something like this happened.

Dev: "Hey we need to spend some time on security, for example the USB ports are not disabled, if we wan't to use them for service we should put authentication on them."
Project Manager: "Well, you have a point but none of our competitors focus on security either and were also behind on the project. It will be fine and we can fix it next time"

As a embedded dev I have had that conversation.

Submission + - U.S. requirement for software dev certification raises questions (

dcblogs writes: U.S. government contracts often require bidders to have achieved some level of Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) level. CMMI arose some 25 years ago via the backing of the Department of Defense and the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. It operated as a federally funded research and development center until a year ago, when CMMI's product responsibility was shifted to a private, profit-making LLC, the CMMI Institute. The Institute is now owned by Carnegie Mellon. Given that the CMMI Institute is now a self-supporting firm, any requirement that companies be certified by it — and spend the money needed to do so — raises a natural question. "Why is the government mandating that you support a for-profit company?" said Henry Friedman, the CEO of IR Technologies, a company that develops logistics defense related software and uses CMMI. The value of a certification is subject to debate. To what extent does a CMMI certification determine a successful project outcome? CGI Federal, the lead contractor at, is a veritable black belt in software development. In 2012, it achieved the highest possible Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) level for development certification, only the 10th company in the U.S. to do so.

Submission + - Memo to Parents and Society: Teen Social Media "Addiction" is Your Fault (

FuzzNugget writes: Wired presents a this damning perspective on so-called social media addiction...

If kids can’t socialize, who should parents blame? Simple: They should blame themselves. This is the argument advanced in It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens, by Microsoft researcher Danah Boyd. Boyd ... has spent a decade interviewing hundreds of teens about their online lives. What she has found, over and over, is that teenagers would love to socialize face-to-face with their friends. But adult society won’t let them. “Teens aren’t addicted to social media. They’re addicted to each other,” Boyd says. “They’re not allowed to hang out the way you and I did, so they’ve moved it online.

It’s true. As a teenager in the early ’80s I could roam pretty widely with my friends, as long as we were back by dark. Over the next three decades, the media began delivering a metronomic diet of horrifying but rare child-abduction stories, and parents shortened the leash on their kids. Politicians warned of incipient waves of youth wilding and superpredators (neither of which emerged). Municipalities crafted anti-loitering laws and curfews to keep young people from congregating alone. New neighborhoods had fewer public spaces. Crime rates plummeted, but moral panic soared. Meanwhile, increased competition to get into college meant well-off parents began heavily scheduling their kids’ after-school lives.

Comment How do you get the average person to care. (Score 3, Interesting) 312

There are some people that I would consider "smart" that don't even know who Snowden is or what the NSA does. These people are successful professionals, some valedictorians of their undergraduate colleges. There is always going to be a small segment of the population that is critical of the government, paranoid about the encroachment on civil liberties, and overall dissatisfied with the status quo. But that isn't a majority. Its not even half. I would guess it's less than 25%.

Snowden sacrificed a lot for the world. I wish I knew of a way to get the world to care.

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