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Comment Re:Who would have thought (Score 1) 73

Exactly. If you're taking 9-figure investments, you ought to have a sustainable business model sorted out by now. At that level, raising more is supposed to be for things like accelerating growth in existing markets or expanding into lucrative new markets that have high barriers to entry, i.e., work that builds on an existing successful formula. Investing that kind of money in a business that couldn't survive without it was always a dubious proposition.

Comment Re:You were hired to work for THEM (Score 1) 386

It's not just free overtime.

That is often very much what being on a salary means in practice: you get X money per day/month/whatever, and X doesn't increase if you work more than your normal hours. However, it's also not unusual for salaried employees to have those normal working hours specified in their employment contracts, effectively putting a lower bound on the amount of working time expected in exchange for the salary.

Again, though, this all depends very much on where you are and how your local labour laws work. For example, the US system of at-will employment is actually closer to what most of the world would consider contract or freelance work than employment, typically involving very little commitment to continuing the relationship by either side and relatively low benefits for employees beyond their pay cheque. What is particularly unusual in that case is that in much of the US such an arrangement seems to be the norm even for entry-level and low-paid work. Elsewhere, employment tends to involve much more of a commitment from both sides for those kinds of jobs, while the lighter touch arrangements tend to be used more for skilled professional work. In that context, abusive hiring and firing is usually less of a problem, and all parties may benefit from the greater flexibility, including flexibility about compensation arrangements.

Comment Re:Skills needed (Score 1) 111

5 years experience in a technology that has only existed for 14 months and cannot be taught in a classroom outside of business anyways. The requirements are way past ridiculous and border on the insane.

There's a "shortage" of good liars. I know a guy who was a fantastic BS-er that way. He had a network of fake references, for example. "Sure, he was doing Java for us in 1989. We used the first beta out. And he used Silverlight when it was still Bronzelight."

I felt too slimy to copy his techniques, but in a competitive world where a position receives hundreds of resumes, it's "survival of the fibbist", I hate to say.

Comment Re:Human Nature [Re:Company's Fault] (Score 1) 283

Or, white men are conditioned to an environment of abrasive competition, and not to complain about such behavior.

In a more general sense, different cultures value different things in different proportions, and that is going create conflict. "X people don't do enough Y" and/or "X people do too much Z".

Our egos make our own culture the center of the universe, and we try to shape the universe in our image. A recipe for conflict.

Comment Re:Rambo? Arnold Schwarzenegger? Any SuperHero?!!! (Score 1) 283

Most women I've known put money far above men's looks. If I had to use a point system, I'd assign it as such:

Earning power/potential: 60 pts.
Protecting and caring: 30 pts.
Looks/muscles: 10 pts.

True, the muscle part could be seen as "protecting and caring". I'm rather large in general such that perhaps that part mostly took care of itself despite me NOT resembling a super-hero. A man small or slight in stature may need muscles or karate skills to make up that portion of the report card.

Women want to be able to walk down the street at night with their guy and feel safe. There are different ways to achieve that. Some men fake it well with pure attitude.

Comment Re:Hopper? No. She's the grandmother of COBOL (Score 1) 371

Grace Hopper did not invent COBOL

COBOL was ultimately designed by a committee, but Grace's early compilers had a lot of influence on the language design.

The military and other organizations found it difficult to build financial, logistics, and administrative software for multiple machines that each speak a different language, and thus formed a joint committee to create a common language. (Science and research institutions had FORTRAN for cross compatibility.)

Basically the COBOL committee grew sour with disagreement. As the deadline for the first specification approached, the committee fractured into a "git'er done" tribe, and a "do it right" tribe. The git-er-done tribe basically cloned Grace's language with some minor changes and additions because they knew they didn't have time to reinvent the wheel from scratch. Grace's language was road-tested.

As the deadline came up, the git-er-done group were the only tribe with something close to ready, and so that's the work the committee heads ultimately submitted. There were a lot of complaints about it, but the heads wanted to submit something rather than outright fail. (The story varies depending on who tells it.)

Later versions of COBOL borrowed ideas from other languages and report-writing tools, but the root still closely mirrored Grace's language. Therefore, it could be said that Grace Hopper's work had a large influence on COBOL.

(It's somewhat similar to the "worse is better" story between Unix/C and a Lisp-based OS: http://dreamsongs.com/WorseIsB... )

- - - - - - -

As far as what orgs should do about existing COBOL apps, it's not realistic to rewrite it all from scratch, at least not all at once. That would be a long and expensive endeavor. It's probably cheaper to pay the higher wages for COBOL experts, but also gradually convert sub-systems as time goes on.

However, whatever you pick as the replacement language could face the same problem. There's no guarantee that Java, C#, Python, etc. will be common in the future. Rewriting COBOL into Java could simply be trading one dead language for another.

I know shops that replaced COBOL "green screen" apps with Java Applets. Now Java Applets are "legacy" also. (And a pain to keep updating Java for.)

Predicting the future in IT is a dead-man's game. At least the COBOL zombie has shown staying power. If you pick a different zombie, you are gambling even more than staying with the COBOL zombie.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. If it's half-broke, fix it gradually.

Comment Re:The Answer Comes Around 1am (Score 2) 283

There is indeed more social pressure on men to be the bread winners, similar to how women are pressured to look attractive. And thus we'd expect young men to work harder and longer to try to get the promotions. If you are pressured by society to do X, you are more likely to do X.

It may not be "fair", but that's society as-is. A quota system doesn't factor this in.

Comment Human Nature [Re:Company's Fault] (Score 1) 283

perhaps companies ARE mistreating women and minorities which WOULD make it the company's fault

The company can't force employees to like someone. If there are known incidents, they can perhaps do something, but most "mistreatment" is subtle and/or unrecorded. The organization cannot micromanage social encounters at that level.

In general, many people are tribal jerks. I've had white colleagues who told about mistreatment when they worked with a uniform non-white group, such as all Asian. The "minority" is often targeted. Sometimes it's driven by resentment of "white culture" discriminating against them in general. They channel that frustration into an individual who happens to be white.

I'm not sure how to fix this because it's probably fundamental to human nature. Mass nagging about "being good" only goes so far. If you over-nag, people often do the opposite as a protest to the nagging. (Is the word "nagging" sexist?)

Comment Re:High-brow fails [Re:It depends on the use] (Score 1) 417

forcing yourself into a pure functional style means that your code can run anywhere because it doesn't care about the context in which it runs.

Most planners focus on the current needs, not future needs. Whether that's rational (good business planning) is another matter. It's generally cheaper to hire and get future maintenance on procedural code. If and when machine performance issues override that, the planners may THEN care.

It depends on the project. If most of the processing for an app is happening on servers in cloud centers, then it's probably already parallelizing user sessions. Parallelizing at the app level thus won't really give you much more parallelism potential, especially if most of the data chomping is done on the database, which should already be using parallelism. Web servers and databases already take advantage of parallelism. It would thus be diminishing returns to parallelize the app level. If the code is looping on 10,000 items in app code itself, the coder is probably do something wrong.

Comment Re:You were hired to work for THEM (Score 1) 386

Exactly.

Obviously if it's authorised 20% time or something then it's fine (but watch the IP agreements, because anything you create on that basis might well belong to your employer legally).

Otherwise, if you want to be paid for your results and not your time, become a freelancer or start your own company and work business-to-business, and have appropriate clauses in your contract about the basis of payment and what is included and not included. Don't be an employee and then try to not be an employee.

Some of the rationalisations of this that you can see on the original Quora discussion and the related discussions today on sites like Reddit are just bizarre, and there seem to be a disturbing number of people who are mighty confident about their legal position but who probably ought to have checked with a lawyer themselves before getting into this.

Comment Re:FP becomes more popular than OOP? (Score 1) 417

The industry learned the hard way that OOP works well for some things but not others. For example, OOP has mostly failed in domain modeling (modeling real-world "nouns") but is pretty good at packaging API's for computing and networking services.

The industry may also learn the hard way where FP does well and where it chokes. Some understandably don't want to be the guinea pigs.

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