Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Comment Re:Can't outsource or robotize human bodies. (Score 1) 462

You can't outsource or replace with robots services catering to humans and their bodies.

Give it time.

Nor can you outsource or robotize salesmanship, leadership and all the other -ships.

Salesmanship? Amazon made that moot already. Leadership? Only matters if there are still workers left to lead.

And there will probably always be legal reasons why legal services and public administration can't be out given out to foreign employees or machines.

I stand corrected. There's a third category: Government jobs, where you're required to act like a robot.

Comment Re:IT and CS need to be split up (Score 1) 462

Really, IMO, there are three separate divisions that are fairly distinct:

  • Theoretical CS: Reducing one NP-Complete problem to another
  • Practical CS: Software architecture and software engineering methodologies
  • IT: Network engineering and server administration

Everyone in each of those tracks needs to know a little bit about the other tracks, but not a lot.

  • Theoretical CS people need to know what's happening in practical CS and IT so that they can come up with interesting new problems to reduce to other problems, and thus benefit the world rather than being in a bubble. However, they don't need to know how to set up a network or write significant amounts of code.
  • Practical CS folks need to know enough about computational complexity to avoid writing O(n^3) algorithms as much as possible. They need to know enough about networks to understand why doing certain things can be slow, and why certain other things can bring the network to its knees. They might toss together their own servers for testing purposes, but if they're deploying something, they'll bring in IT people.
  • IT people need to know a bit about theoretical CS so that they can recognize that loops in network topology are bad. They need to know a bit about practical CS to understand what's going to be done on their servers and how their network will be used, because that enables them to plan better and design setups that will meet their users' needs. However, they aren't likely to do a lot of programming beyond the most basic scripting, or else they'll hire a programmer.

My guess is that each of these sub-fields has a very different makeup in terms of gender diversity, because they're very different fields. One is almost pure math, one mostly involves setting up computer systems, and one mostly involves writing software. Each caters to an entirely different type of personality. This is not to say that folks in one field can't do stuff in the other field, but rather that folks in one field aren't necessarily going to be interested in doing so.

Comment Re:I thought there *were* programs? (Score 1) 462

I think it is more likely that the ratio is wrecked by the increase in popularity of CS among men more than anything else. NPR suggested video games as one possible cause, but I think it goes deeper than that. Guys are more likely to be exposed to tech at a young age (in part) because of video games. The younger you're exposed to computers, the more likely you are to go into CS. But that still doesn't explain the numbers fully, I don't think.

One thing I have noticed is that there are a lot of male programmers, but there are a lot fewer good male programmers. By contrast, I haven't known very many female programmers who weren't competent. Could a big part of the gender gap be because guys are more likely to pick a career based on ROI rather than based on whether they enjoy it and are good at it?

Comment Re: Oh noes!!!!11111 (Score 2) 462

The fact is that programming is a shit field over the long term. If I had to do it over again, I would have just kept it as something to toy around with.

That's true for every field in one way or another. In the long run, every job is something that can eventually be outsourced, replaced by robots, or both. Getting ahead financially is about playing the percentages, picking something that pays well and that you can stand, and saving up as much money as you can for the inevitable drought later.

Comment Re:Set up correct secondary DNS servers (Score 2) 331

That's not how DNS works, most machines do not directly resolve against a domain's DNS server. They resolve against an ISP's DNS server. An ISP's DNS could easily stream thousands of requests per second to a provider like DynDNS. And usually that's not a problem since in a well-architected DNS system, you have a TTL of 3600-86400 and so your ISP caches requests from all their clients for a specific server.

The problem with the way Twitter 'fixes' issues is to set TTL on the order of seconds and continuously update their DNS with 'working servers'. That means for every request an ISP's DNS gets, it has to immediately request a new DNS entry, because in the cloud, instead of fixing an issue or properly setting up failure models or scaling a service, you just throw more single-sourced hardware at it and let an actual working protocol route around your issues.

Comment Re:blacklists (Score 3, Insightful) 331

If this was so simple, you'd see spam blacklists being used that way. Wonder why that doesn't happen...? Right, because you have to spam to get on the list! And to get on the new list, you'd have to have an insecure IoT device in your house.

Still, it's not a good solution. Spamming blacklists hit email providers who better are professionals (and if not, it's a DAMN GOOD idea to block them anyway), while IoT users are primarily private people. You cannot expect them to do a full audit of every piece of junk they buy.

It's time to put the burden on the makers of those shoddy devices, not expect a CS degree from anyone who wants to use one.

Slashdot Top Deals

Anyone who imagines that all fruits ripen at the same time as the strawberries, knows nothing about grapes. -- Philippus Paracelsus