Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:COBOL isn't hard to learn (Score 4, Interesting) 193

Indeed. If there is a market for COBOL programmers (and it's clear there is), then the obvious solution is for unis and colleges to spit out more COBOL-literate CS graduates. Honestly, if I was ten years younger, I'd probably delve into it myself. It is, after all, just a programming language, and hardly on the same level of trying to learn Sanskrit.

As long as you have a real fall-back so your career doesn't dead end. What can easily happen is that you do X then more of X because it's the only place you get a salary/career development until you've done X so long nobody will really hire you for anything else. I see this with for example some SAP consultants, essentially SAP customers want to hire you for your SAP experience and the rest of the world doesn't care that you have a general IT degree 5 or 10 years ago because your experience is all SAP-specific and they don't run SAP.

Now they're probably safe since that ERP is burrowed so deep into many companies they'll never get out, but for something like COBOL you could end up doing it for some years and then the legacy system is shut down and nobody wants to give you anything but a junior non-COBOL position. That is if they'll even hire you or if they'd rather have a recent college graduate. Or you might have to relocate to find one of those increasingly rare positions that actually value your COBOL experience, which of course only makes it harder at the next crossroads.

If you write cell phone apps as a hobby and can show them a portfolio or something, maybe you'll get away with it. No, you're not a dinosaur who only knows an outdated language and best practices from 50 years ago. Or some other way to be able to transition away from that COBOL career more smoothly. Some of my older colleagues noted that the parking inspector at work used to be COBOL programmer some 20 years ago, they updated their skillset and apparently he didn't.

Comment Re:Makes sense (Score 1) 522

I know every generation thinks the young generation is lazy, etc., but there is real statistical evidence that the Millennial generation actually is starting to work much later. On a more anecdotal basis, I notice a very different approach to work in my kids (late teens, early 20s) and in their peers. My kids have always had to do chores and work around the house so I don't think that's the difference.

They do things like decide they're unhappy with their current employer so they just walk out, without trying to fix the problem and without trying to find another job first. I have never in my life quit a job before finding another, and it wouldn't even occur to me to do so. If my job sucks, by all means I'll make a move, but not until I have something else lined up. That's just one example, but it's typical of their whole approach. I suppose in some ways it's good to be more focused on quality of life and less on income... but not until you're safely self-sufficient.

It concerns me that I'm wandering into "get off my lawn!" territory here... but there really does seem to be a difference, a worrisome one.

Comment Re:So what's the issue? (Score 3, Interesting) 201

How about someone in the bank just puts here age in like 10 years younger than she is, what's the big deal if their system thinks he is 106 instead of 116?

Well, the bank is usually allowed to issue IDs that many people who don't have a driver's license and don't want to carry their passport use. Intentionally falsifying records like that is not something I'd do without explicit approval from my boss in writing, because a note is unlikely to prevent such false documents from being issued. And that would probably escalate all the way to legal, who might have to check whatever agreements they have with the government, who will then probably say no. It's just not worth my own skin to be customer friendly.

Comment Re:Yes, inherently unpredictable, needs percentage (Score 1) 214

*and* some panicky manager started having $deity damned _daily_ meetings about it.

This is my favorite bit when something very unexpected happens and managers make us twice as late by creating a ton of overhead about when/how/why/re-estimating/re-planning and plain old nagging to get it fixed. If what you care about is getting it actually done, let me work. If you need an alternative other than not delivering I can help you find that, but other than that you're not helping. You're slowing us down. This is particular frustrating when you're not 100% assigned to a project, yeah I'm supposed to spend 30% of my time on this... you spent 10% of your time, maybe that made sense to you. But you just spent 33% of your development time on BS, was that worth it? That way we have the same meeting in a few days on how nothing is happening.

Comment Re:Unrealistic for you, maybe (Score 1) 522

Insurance is for accidents, not routine maintenance. Its that way for your car, it should be that way for you too.

Well that would be nice if we could simply swap parts and be back in factory condition. The reality of it is that many of us have or will get problems that sneak up on us like back problems, heart problems, eye problems, bad shoulder, bad hip, cancers and such that come gradually or relapse or are semi-chronic that you can't just trivially cure but do a lot of medication and preventative measures but ultimately you don't really control and the insurance company knows long in advance that you're a hot potato that probably will require expensive treatment in the future. Catastrophic insurance works great for a major trauma like a car crash. It works much less well when they more you'll depend on your insurance in the future, the more the insurance company will want to get rid of you.

Comment Re:Asset forfeiture? (Score 2) 82

Of course, this is the same country that allows asset forfeiture. I'm sure your wallet is guilty of some crime or other...

It doesn't have to be, here's how it goes:

It looks like you're carrying lots of money. Drug dealers carry lots of money. Hence I will confiscate this money as possible drug profits. If you can show a paper trail in court, you can have it back some day. If you can't, tough. If you need the money right now, tough. Oh and there's no presumption of innocence and no free legal aid since it's a civil matter, if you lose as you very well might you'll also lose a ton on lawyer and court costs.

One joint was sufficient to confiscate a sailboat. A cheating husband's wife lost their jointly owned car because he was illegally using it to have sex with prostitutes. People's homes have been confiscated because their kids or tenants have been selling drugs out of their room. Rental companies have lost their property because the people who rented it used it for smuggling, even though the company wasn't even a suspect. Basically you can get robbed without any fourth amendment protection, it's insane.

Comment Re:Coal is a campaign punchline (Score 2) 460

Only reason why it's an issue at all is because it sounded good on the campaign trail for Trump's supporters.

More specifically, it appealed to people in one of the regional subcultures (Appalachia) who are often a swing vote. They mostly vote Republican these days, but they've never been closely tied to either of the two major parties, and Trump had to lock them down in order to shore up the fact that his support was weak in other traditionally-Republican subcultures (though he was helped by the fact that his opponent's support was weak in important traditionally-Democrat subcultures).

Comment Re:Cry me a river (Score 1) 266

You don't have to be friends with someone to see the behavioral changes that come with serious depression. Though, personally, I do like to make friends at work. I still regularly see people I worked with decades ago, because we built enduring friendships. Actually, that reminds me, it's time to organize another lunch or two...

Comment Re:An Artificial Womb Successfully Grew Baby Sheep (Score 1) 184

THIS 'device' is being put forward as a means to extend the viability of really early premature birth infants so they actually have a chance to survive - - - and NOT as an ARTIFICIAL WOMB with the ability to actually grow an infant from sperm-egg inception to birth.

True, but that doesn't mean it won't eventually become an artificial womb. If they're successful at using it to keep babies who are 15 weeks premature alive and healthy through their full development, then clearly the next step is to use it for babies who are 16 weeks premature, etc., etc. As they push back the age of viability new challenges will arise and be solved, and step by step it will get pushed back all the way to starting from an embryo. The development process will take years, maybe decades, but it's all but inevitable once we take this first step.

Comment Re:Cry me a river (Score 3, Interesting) 266

I share your cynicism about the idea that the true cause was an "aggressive work culture" but the same time this was a human being. You, the person hiding behind the screen and the AC title. Don't be an a-hole. Joseph probably had depression, you have a-hole disease.

Also, although job culture could not really have been the root cause, it definitely could be a contributing factor. Someone prone to depression can easily enter a downward spiral when placed under immense stress, to a degree that they're too depressed to take the obvious actions to get out of the stressful environment. If this guy came from LinkedIn and turned down a job at Apple, he obviously had excellent prospects for getting another job, and that would have been the obvious response to excessive job stress. But depressed people don't think that clearly. A good manager and good co-workers should have recognized the situation and encouraged him to seek help.

Note that I'm assuming here that the wife is right, and that it really was a toxic work environment. It's also possible that the work environment is fine and that it was just severe clinical depression. Given the rest of what we hear about Uber, though, it wouldn't shock me to learn that the work environment contributed a great deal.

Slashdot Top Deals

Real Programmers think better when playing Adventure or Rogue.

Working...