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Comment Encourage more Autonomy (Score 2) 112

I work on a very similar team, about 25 people, distributed globally, all contributing to various Open Source projects, all with different processes, governance, etc. Our managers focus on handling the management and human resources bits, ensuring that I have what I need to do my job. Most everything else; time management, development process, tooling, location... even travel, etc - is left up to me.

I personally feel that the key to the team is the core belief that everyone's an adult, and can manage themselves and their own work. Managers aren't authoritarian, they're coaches. We're all encouraged to be strategically minded, though a lot of that is taught and socialized in the team's always-on IRC channel. The team was founded by adapting the Valve handbook, throwing out all the things that require people to be colocated. Other than that, the unique dynamic of autonomy, mutual respect, support, and the freedom to ask any question - no matter how dumb it may seem at the time - isn't something I've ever seen reproduced elsewhere.

Comment Both (Score 1) 568

There's a class of software that is required for the infrastructure of the internet. If you buy into the argument of "Internet is a Utility", then a software engineer working on things like the network stack, firmware, maybe even clouds... would be considered an engineer, because you are assumably adhering to the kind of rigor necessary to make sure that the Internet Is Not Broken (tm). If, however, you're someone who uses that existing resource to support your own efforts, then I'd classify you as a developer. This isn't devaluing either - our world needs both civil engineers and realestate developers, for instance - it just happens to be a description of what the inputs and outputs of the trade are. As for programming- that's a skill, not a job classification.

Note: This also applies for engineers working on software for large technological control systems, such as train routing, power control systems, industrial machinery, and more. The internet just happens to be the most illustrative example.

Comment Don't forget the anti-fatigue mat. (Score 1) 340

I built myself a standing desk out of black gas piping and fittings from Home Depot, plus a solid kitchen countertop I got at a local reclaimed construction material store (Total cost, ~200USD). It's not adjustable, but I see that as a good thing, as it forced me to adapt without copping out and sitting all day.

So far? Love it. I would recommend that you build your desk to about 1" above what it's supposed to be, and then get yourself a thick anti-fatigue mat. It's basically a thick rubber foam pad that you stand on, though in a pinch a thick pair of sneakers will do in a pinch (don't let my PT know I said that).

Submission + - Pope Francis publishes encyclical on climate change (

Tolkienite writes: Pope Francis has released an sternly-worded encyclical regarding climate change: “ a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, economic, political and for the distribution of goods,” he wrote. “It represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day.” The head of Vatican has called on every person living on this planet" to care for our common home.

Comment FACTA (Score 1) 734

FACTA is american legislation that require foreign banks - as long as they conduct business in the U.S. - to report on the holdings and income of all their american customers & accounts to the US. The international reaction has been a huge pain to expats- many banks flat out refuse to serve american citizens (see link below), and it has led to a rash of american expats simply laying down their american citizenship.

From my view (German, Green Card for ~20 years now), there is only minor benefit to becoming a U.S. citizen, and many extremely large downsides; It simply doesn't make sense. The american higher education system is grossly overpriced, and all innovations in that field are globally available via the web and streaming video. The healthcare system is similarly top-loaded, and american salaries are only so high here because basic life services are ridiculously expensive.

Listen: If there's a reasonable chance that they're going to _live_ in the U.S. (which I advise against) then they can make that choice themselves once they're of age. Right now you're going to load your kids with far more problems than benefits if you make this decision for them.

Submission + - Australian researchers create world's first 3D-printed aircraft engines

stephendavion writes: Researchers from the Monash University, CSIRO and Deakin University in Australia have created two 3D-printed aircraft engines. One of the 3D-printed engines is being showcased at the ongoing International Air Show in Avalon, while the other is at Microturbo (Safran) in Toulouse, France. Monash and its subsidiary Amaero Engineering attracted interests from tier one aerospace companies to produce components at the Monash Centre for Additive Manufacturing (MCAM) in Melbourne. Researchers used an old gas turbine engine from Microturbo to scan components and print two versions. The engine is an auxiliary power unit equipped in aircraft such as the Falcon 20 business jet.

Comment How do I (slowly) assemble my own awesome kitchen (Score 2) 137

What is the most efficient, and ordered, way to assemble a world-class kitchen?

Many of us don't have the budget (especially when coming out of college) to buy all the crazy-awesome tools that make for a world class kitchen in one go, so we have to slowly purchase items as our budget allows and/or old cheaper items get used up. Do you have a recommended order, from a batchelor/ette's first egg pan to elaborate computerized sous-vide, in which someone can build their own world-class kitchen over several years?

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