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Comment Re:Lies? (Score 1) 523

Is a cook an engineer because he or she knows the correct way to poach an egg?

If he designed his own method for poaching it based on actual scientific data and tolerances, sure. Being able to read a recipe book or repeat what someone else has decided is "correct" has nothing to do with engineering. Then you're an operator.
And if you're able to modify the recipe to fit the kitchen, perhaps adjusting the amount of water, acid or cooking time because the original recipe doesn't work, you're still not an engineer, but might be worthy of technician.

Comment Re: "Good programming discussion is found at /." (Score 2) 523

Often found in close proximity: "Hmm, it's not *that* bad".

Or "This is how I/we have always done it".

Duplication of the same bad code over and over again is the sign of inept programmers.
Passing enormous structures as a stack arguments might work fine the first time or even the fifth. But sooner or later it will blow up.
Empty try/catch blocks might work well when there isn't anything that needs catching, but sooner or later, there will be.
Eschewing "this.", using generic names, and letting the compiler handle it might work well now, until someone else makes a change somewhere else.
Oversizing arrays and always having an off-by-one that ensures overrun if the array ever were to get full will work as long as the array never gets full. But one day it will.
Not providing a default case because you "know" a variable can only be one of N things create code that works. Now, that is.
Writing unittests that rubberstamps the exact code you wrote and not what it's meant to do will give you a pass for code coverage. But it is a waste of time. ... and hundreds of other examples of things programmers do over and over again. It compiles, it runs, so it must be okay? What's my next task?

Comment Re:VMWARE is the future? (Score 1) 351

The snapshots are incremental.

Yes, and in VMware at least, they still take several seconds of blocking (followed by several minutes of high CPU/IO use when the oldest snapshots are merged to make room for a new snapshot).
Automated snapshot in VMware is a true productivity killer. Manual ones are much better, but still a huge disk space sink.

Comment Re:VMWARE is the future? (Score 1) 351

What's easier to backup and restore? Hint a virtual machine image.

Backing up a 40 GB file to catch a few minor changes? Or automated snapshots that freeze up your VM at the most inconvenient moments, and still are far too far between?
The easiest backup/restore is, in my opinion, to use a version control system.
The OS and apps can easily be restored from nightly/idletime backups; it's the data you actually work on that should be backed up. Checking in your work in progress shouldn't be more than a couple of keystrokes, to a file system that automatically trickle-backups whenever idle.

Good old rcs is great for local version control that won't interfere with the corporate version control. I can check in my work in progress locally during the day using a macro, with the RCS directories being rsynced every few minutes. And when I'm done with my changes, I check in to a central repository using a different vcs, and the RCS directories automatically get excluded. I never lose more than a few minutes of work, can roll back and forward in much finer detail, which greatly eases merging, but most of all, no heavy IO takes place slowing down my work. Sure, you can do that in a VM too, but it doesn't buy you anything.

Comment Re:VMWARE is the future? (Score 1) 351

Game developers, for example, can't run in VM environments because even the "best" of VMware's offerings for Linux, MacOS and Windows only support OpenGL 3.3 and DirectX 10.

It could be argued that you don't need to run the programs on the development box. The majority of PS4 developers don't develop on a PS4, for example.

I'd even argue that development velocity goes down if you frequently interrupt your development work with execution.

Comment Re:Private Offices (Score 2) 351

I disagree. I think members of the same team should be located together, rather than isolated in private offices. That way, if you need to bounce an idea off of a teammate, all you need to do is to turn around and talk, rather than having to get up and look for them.

... and disrupt three other people in the process. Because, you know, their work isn't as important as your "bouncing ideas".

Besides, a few years ago, someone came up with the concept of instant messaging, which not only is nice for short messages, but can also tell you whether someone is available without having to get up and look for them. If that's too new for you, there's always this thing called a "telephone".


Ask Slashdot: What's the Best Working Environment For a Developer? 351

New submitter Dorgendubal writes: I work for a company with more than a thousand developers and I'm participating in activities aimed at improving the work experience of developers. Our developers receive an ultrabook that is rather powerful but not really adapted for development (no admin rights, small storage capacity, restrictive security rules, etc.). They also have access to VDIs (more flexibility) but often complain of performance issues during certain hours of the day. Overall, developers want to have maximum autonomy, free choice of their tools (OS, IDE, etc.) and access to internal development environments (PaaS, GIT repositories, continuous delivery tools, etc.) . We recently had a presentation of VMWare on desktop and application virtualization (Workstation & Horizon), which is supposedly the future of the desktops. It sounds interesting on paper but I remain skeptical.

What is the best working environment for a developer, offering flexibility, performance and some level of free choice, without compromising security, compliance, licensing (etc.) requirements? I would like you to share your experiences on BYOD, desktop virtualization, etc. and the level of satisfaction of the developers.

Comment Re:Mint (Score 1) 499

The real question before the quick answer is what hardware do you have?

Even more to the point, he said "just need something to work with the mechanical equipment it controls."

So what exact mechanical equipment does he need to control?
If there isn't any off-the-shelf software for that mechanical equipment for a particular OS, it may not be straightforward to do so. Especially because he said he's not an IT guy.

In cases like this, the best choice might be to pick a stable OS that has the software, and make sure it's air gapped, so it won't receive OS updates or other things that can break the system.

Comment Re: Uhm... (Score 1) 543

Sometimes H1B visas absolutely are the best talent. Not every company is optimizing for minimum wages.

Undoubtedly. But that's real talent, and not people provided by Wipro or similar outsourcing companies for a pittance.
People with neither highly paid prior work experience nor a degree from an internationallly accredited university should, IMHO, never get a H1-B visa, because the risk is high that they're only going to be employed to save a penny, and not because resident workers can't be found.

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