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Comment Re:Whenever I want really... (Score 1) 189

I know, it DOES sound absurd, and in practice, it is. Now, it's "only" around 800 individual products actually delivered fresh each year, but because I'm having to touch and test older games as a part of that process, I'm in effect coding for thousands of shipped products per year, just to make it as sane as possible to continue each product line.

And yes, that means each day, I'm jumping between 15 minute mini-projects, reviewing and raising issues on design documents, throwing together project directories and rapidly configuring them, throwing those project into automated testing suites of tools (which I'm also cross-developing), testing the various inputs/outputs of other teams to make sure nothing will prevent delivery to spec.

I'm making active progress on around a dozen separate projects each day, contacting clients as needed to hammer out shared documents, then reacting to rare but important issues as they are raised.

Ryan Fenton

Comment Whenever I want really... (Score 2) 189

I code for thousands of mostly-unique commercial software products a year, using 8 languages (mostly C#), for many dozens of major customers, and lots of smaller ones.

Because of this, I have a huge chain of demands I keep track of, and methods of automation in order to collectively manage a constant flow of data requirements, and of course tracking issues both shared and common between these scenarios.

When I'm coding, I've got to code in a way that communicates these details to myself, consistent between all the languages I might have to touch for coding, scripting, database, reporting, and specialized languages a client may suddenly require.

Because of that, my code has to be a loose framework, a late-binding train station of logic, where demands may switch at any moment, and limitations imposed from other teams may similarly pop up.

My code is littered with multi-paragraph discussions of a technology I once had to interact with (customers often switch back), large sections of functions commented out rather than deleted, and other 'bad' practices just to give me landmarks and a 'flavor' of what a customer is occasionally interested in, amidst a never-ending avalanche of context switching between products and customers.

I've redesigned these several systems from the ground floor once (they used to only handle a small fraction of the work, using an antiquated language), and am working with a team to do a better design... but it's been very difficult for a team of perfectionists to understand how to react to an unlimited flow of changing requirements. Fortunately, the code itself has been quite usable, and they're using the same languages, but no system can really handle these demands truly consistently - I'd call it NP ridiculous. It's basically the "mythical man month" writ live, where I've got to do my work, and train a team whose work process may never really be able to do what I can do - definitely healthier long term, but can't help but result in some amazing process failures.

I actually would have made most of these design changes myself, but at the time, I was forbidden by management from making those choices, since I was doing my work directly at the production level - so it's actually a bit of a relief to see someone at least allowed to make some of the better choices.

In short (and yes, for this scenario, this is short), because I'm doing alone, for years, what a team of almost any size would struggle to approximate, as many of us seem to be doing, I've got no choice but to code how I need to in order to have a system that I can sanely maintain in an insane set of requirements. There's not really a choice in the matter, if your put in a position where "oh, we suddenly need this" exists as a live production task in a growing industry.

Ryan Fenton

Comment Re: Not entirely true (Score 1) 109

Posting something about your employer without being anonymous is just plain stupid!

Depends on your employer. I post stuff about my employer all the time, under a slashdot username that is the same as my corporate LDAP username, and have gotten kudos for it. I've also gotten a couple of calls from legal, asking me to be careful about commenting on legal issues, but the attorneys apologized effusively for doing so, and pointed out that they recognized I was being careful but just want to reiterate that it was important.

But my employer is particularly open-minded, and particularly confident in its employees' judgement. You need to understand your context, and YMMV.

Comment Re:Thank god for Trump! (Score 1) 316

But what happened to all the good Republican candidates? I'm a long way away from the US, but trying to make sense of it.

The short summary: The primaries are extremely dominated by special interest groups (SIGs), because if they can get a sympathetic candidate the actual election will be a coin flip of who people dislike the least. So what happens is that a lot of moderates get caught in no man's land because the SIGs support their hardline candidate and if you can't get any momentum out the gate the chances of recovering 5-10 states down the line as people realize their favorite won't make it is slim and none. It's hard to find a moderate that many people would be happy with, until it's clear they'd lose and would rather compromise.

Comment The "so what?" heard around the world! (Score 3, Informative) 316

Milktoast centrist put in vice president status. Courage required: 0

WIkipedia entry

At least the guy is well educated and experienced.

Not a dramatic choice - but a solid guy all the same. Would be justly called pretty conservative most places outside the US.

I'd have much preferred an Al Franken or Elizabeth Warren emotionally - but see the virtue in a low-key centrist technocrat.

Perhaps he's exciting by virtue of being boring in this environment. Get the guy training with some comedians before the debate, and a few good lines with low expectations could have OK results.

In other news: No news is news, in this news cycle. Which isn't news, with 24 hour news.

Ryan Fenton

Comment Re:I get the feeling that (Score 1) 123

I get the feeling that dark matter is today's epicycles

Well you're not the first one, there have been multiple attempts to modify gravity so that it gives the right answers without introducing additional matter. Unfortunately that tends to break other results that our current theory of gravity gets right and trying to "fix" that usually ends up in just as convoluted theories as dark matter/dark energy. Personally I think it's easy to feel like solid matter is a wall but we know radio transmissions pass through it like it was nothing. And neutrinos pass through the planet without even noticing. I don't find it particularly hard to imagine that there are particles that have even less interaction, given what we already know.

Comment Re:Somebody didn't get the memo... (Score 1) 279

This whole problem could have been avoided if we had just done the sensible thing in the first place:

When you have a group of extant species, and then you discover that there are a whole lot of extinct species that are more commonly related to that group of extant species than to anything else, you generally say that you've discovered a bunch of extinct members of that extant group.

So when we discovered the relationship between e.g. Stegosaurs and Finches, rather than saying "we've discovered that birds are dinosaurs", we should have said "we've discovered that dinosaurs were birds".

Comment Re:Google giving the Business.. (Score 2) 93

That does suck, though...introductory rates and such are never guaranteed. Still, it beats my Comcast by a pretty wide margin - $70 gets me 30/10, and that's consumer-capped. I'd jump at the chance for 100/100 (or even 50) at $75.

And you're only getting a consumer service level agreement which is, basically, that if it doesn't work they'll fix it when they get around to it. I'm sure the Google Fiber business class service includes a more typical business SLA, with defined maximum response times and compensation for excessive outages. That sort of SLA typically triples the price vs a consumer service with the same bandwidth.

Comment Re:Google giving the Business.. (Score 1) 93

So, with the price change, that means we'll have to pay, basically, double to maintain our 1 Gbps, otherwise we lose 75% of our speed to pay the same price.

Or, you could drop down to the consumer tier and pay less per month than you currently do... but give up the business-class service level agreement that you have.

If you're getting 1Gbps with a business SLA for $125 per month right now, that's an *amazing* deal. Comcast would soak you for twice that for 100 Mbps. I currently pay $120 per month for 15/3 (Mbps) with a business SLA, though that's because I'm out in the sticks where there are very few options available.

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