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Comment Re:That shouldn't surprise anyone (Score 1) 349

I spend some amount of time interviewing programming candidates at my job. We ask some questions and require some code samples that you might consider on the algorithm-y side. We don't require that you be able to talk about it using academic terms, but they are still an important part of our process. As a very basic example, we don't expect you to be able to tell us what the Big O of an operation is, but if you can't talk reasonably about the difference in performance characteristics between a linked list and an array, you're going to be in trouble.

As a general rule, we actually have a pretty terrible success rate for people who walk in with post-grad degrees and not much other experience. The average age on our team is probably about 40, and I think about half come from CS backgrounds. I don't doubt that there are interviews out there that stray more towards demanding that somebody know exactly how to implement a quicksort, but I also think there's a tendency to classify any question that causes one problems during an interview as too computer sciency and not the part of programming that really matters. But we ask the questions we do because we think they tend to be good indicators of how well a candidate understands the ramifications of their code and can solve hard problems.

There's a lot to be said for what somebody can get out of years of experience, but given the choice between the inexperienced guy who has the capacity to solve the hard problems and the veteran of the industry that knows the tricks of the trade but will struggle on things that are involve challenging algorithms, I'd take the inexperienced guy. If you give him a couple years to gather experience, he'll be able to do everything the mediocre veteran will and more. And as long as you have some veterans on the team and decent collaboration, they can cover any gaps knowledge gaps he has in the meantime. Thus, my interview process is going to select largely for the former.

Of course that still requires me to hire or retain some veterans who can solve hard problems, but as long as you don't require them to quote from a CS textbook, they'll be able to navigate our interview process anyway. And given how hard it is to find good candidates if you're not one of the high profile tech companies, there's a decent chance you can't afford to wait to only hire candidates like that if you're looking to increase headcount.

Comment Re:Why Cold Fusion (or something like it) Is Real (Score 5, Insightful) 350

That's a pretty busted up analogy. The closest I can come to fixing it for you is if you provide me with a series of instructions for painting the Mona Lisa but following them produces a picture of American Gothic every time anybody tries to follow them, it is unlikely that you used those instructions to create the Mona Lisa.

Comment Re:Bottom line... (Score 1) 170

I've got a question for you. How do you think the first nation states came to be? Can you explain why you think that if we somehow managed to demolish them today, it would leave us in a different enough situation that they wouldn't just form again, with or without the consent of those who would be governed? Wouldn't it happen even more quickly, given the much larger wealth and power concentrated among fewer people?

Comment Functional Programming? (Score 3, Insightful) 315

A functional language is one whereby the functions themselves can be stored in variables and passed around as parameters to other languages.

What in the actual fuck. That may be the worst definition of a functional language I've ever heard. Even if I try to interpret it as something that could make any sort of sense, I just get that storing functions in variables makes a language functional, which the author goes on to debunk by pointing out that C++ isn't a functional language. Why bother even trying to describe them if you have no idea what the hell they are?

Comment Re:Yes, Perl is indeed dead and rotting (Score 2) 283

From the benchmark you linked:

String manipulation is the core functionality for all languages so this allows to compare languages fairly.

If that doesn't clue you in on how utterly full of shit he is, I'm not sure what will. I mean, Java Strings are immutable. This test is just about adding strings together. That's pretty much the worst possible case for trying to benchmark Java. So if you're coding Java and adding a bunch of strings together, you use a StringBuilder and not a String. Only you can go look at the source code, and whoever wrote it didn't. Not only that, but how much memory Java would use during the run would depend pretty much entirely on flags given to the JVM, because it would just keep eating up space copying the immutable String over and over until it was forced to garbage collect. And that's all just a quick inspection of the Java comparison. I am pretty confident without looking that that margin of difference between C and C++ is entirely due to pathological C++ code.

I mean really, if you think that your interpreted language is comparable to any major compiled language in performance, you're an idiot. Sabotaged test results (whether the result of duplicity or incompetence) don't change that.

Comment Re:They are ridiculing you (Score 0, Troll) 382

I followed the shitty blogs linking to shitty blogs all the way down to watch Al Gore's "predictions". It's funny how saying things like that he was told some models show a 75% chance that all polar icecaps will be melted by x date gets translated to "Al gore's expert opinion". I notice the other trend there is to use words like "scientist" when talking about Al Gore, even though he is clearly no such thing, to set up a false relationship between him and actual people doing science, so that whenever he does say something stupid, a bunch of people like you can dance around and pretend that he is representational of the climate science community.

So yes, you "make fun" of people like us by trying to find examples of people who happen to agree with us for whatever reason on this particular issue, and then pouring on ad hominem attacks against them. And not only that, you have to make shit up because otherwise the ad hominem attacks aren't even compelling enough. I suspect you sound a lot smarter in your head than you do to the rest of us. Maybe you should spend a little more time getting your facts in places other than blogspot.

Comment Re:The $5,000 gets you... (Score 3, Insightful) 196

That article is awesome. You know that somebody is being extra fair with their comparisons when they start adding things like payroll tax and unemployment insurance to the cost of an employee to inflate the number, as if that has anything to do with unions. And my heart just breaks for the auto manufacturers that they pay a third more than base salaries because their workers have to work on average hundreds of hours of overtime per year.

Here's the real takeaway from that article for me: base wages are $30/hr, the effective wage due to the overtime ends up being $40/hr, and the general rule of thumb for the fully loaded cost of a worker is usually 150%-200% of salary, so they are right on target. Remember that, for instance, 4 weeks total of vacation and sick leave costs 7.7%, unemployment insurance costs another few percent, payroll tax is another 6.8%, throw in a few more percent for worker's comp. You're north of 20% before you even start paying for health insurance and retirement.

If you think that's too much compensation for somebody working in a factory, you don't believe that the United States should have a middle class.

Comment Altenrative to the Model S? (Score 5, Interesting) 196

It looks like news outlets all over the place are comparing this to the Model S, but then like 2 sentences later point out how it is mechanically basically a Volt. How does that make it an alternative to the Model S at all? Doesn't that just make it an alternative to the Volt? Was the Volt an alternative to the Model S?

Comment Re:We're in a major hurricane "drought" (Score 3, Insightful) 385

I find that a kind of odd statement. First of all, I wonder what you mean by "major" hurricanes and making landfall. Is "major" category 3, 4, or 5? Does it take into account things like diameter? Is that ever, or just when it makes landfall in the US? I mean, it sure seems like you are carefully crafting you wording to exclude some pretty notable storms, like Dean, Felix, and Ike. And Sandy is a pretty dubious non-major hurricane, given that it had the largest diameter of any Atlantic cyclone, which was a large contributing factor to how damaging it was. And what's with the US mainland only caveat? Climate change only counts if the hurricanes happen to make landfall within artificial boundaries on a map? Felix didn't turn north after slamming into the Yucatan the same way WIlma did, so it didn't happen? Besides, I think if you actually applied your criteria prior to 2005, you'll find that it eliminates so many hurricanes that an 8 year gap isn't statistically anomalous at all.

When you have to get that oddly specific, you should be at least a little worried that you are cherry picking data to create "proof" of your already decided upon conclusion. If you instead just look at more general trends in quantity and strength of storms, it's pretty clear that we have had more and stronger hurricanes over time.

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