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Comment Re:CEO's fear (Score 1) 170

I seem to recall a study a few years back that showed that most highly paid CEOs' decisions were not better than random and, in a number of cases, were significantly worse. They shouldn't be worried that they can be replaced by AI, they should be worried that they can be replaced by a magic 8 ball.

Comment Re:Robots are good (Score 2) 170

The problem isn't robots taking all our jobs, it's robots taking half of our jobs. How do you manage a society in which 50% of the working-age population are contributing essential work for the functioning of civilisation and the other 50% are not able to do anything that a machine can't do better? Unemployment rates of 10-20% are currently seriously problematic for western societies and cause huge economic problems. For some jobs, you can solve it by dividing the work among more people, so you have four people working a 10 hour week instead of one working a 40 hour week, but that doesn't help you to deal with the people who aren't able to do any available jobs.

Comment Re:It's not that I want to brag I'm old... (Score 1) 334

Add to that, the defining feature of a functional language is the set of things that it disallows, not the set of things that it permits. A multi-paradigm language, by definition, has to permit anything that the various paradigms permit and so doesn't gain the benefits that you get from being able to reason about your code in a language that doesn't permit unconstrained mutability or side effects.

Comment Re:It has its uses (Score 3, Interesting) 334

This needs moderating up. Talk to an Ocaml programmer and a Haskell programmer about what makes a functional language and you'll see very different opinions and these two are languages that were actually designed as functional languages: the bits that end up in other languages are a tiny subset.

Coming from the Haskell side, I see functional programming as programming without side effects and with monads. You can implement monadic constructs in other languages, but it rarely makes code cleaner. Just having higher-order functions doesn't make a language a functional language any more than having structs makes C an object-oriented language.

If the question is 'do you think using higher-order functions simplifies the expression of some algorithms' then the answer is obviously 'yes': programmers have a lot of tools to choose from and most of them are useful at least some of the time.

Comment Re:It has its uses (Score 3, Interesting) 334

In C++14 in particular, lambdas with auto parameters dramatically reduce copy-and-paste coding. If you have a couple of lines of code that's repeated, it isn't worth factoring it out into a separate templated function (in particular, you'll often need to pass so many arguments that you'll end up with more code at the end), but pulling it into a lambda that binds everything by reference and has auto-typed parameters can reduce the amount of source code, while generating the same object code (the lambda will be inlined at all call sites).

Comment Re: Time to switch (Score 3, Insightful) 211

Volume licensing for Office 365 is a lot cheaper per seat than simply multiplying the list price by number of employees. It also has a much simpler licensing model than previous Microsoft volume licensing, which makes compliance easier (you get all of the desktop apps for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android included). The latter point alone is worth it to a lot of big companies.

Comment Re:a little late to the party (Score 2) 92

Our solution to this problem was to get a Jetbrains license for their suite. We already were buying Intellij (Java/web) and Resharper for .NET projects and this gave us data grip. While data grip is a relatively new product, it does all the basics with a much better UI, syntax highlighting and supports all of the databases we use including PostgreSQL, SQL Server, MySQL and Oracle. We now have one tool for all the databases we use instead of multiple. In our case, we have one enterprise app that uses SQL Server, we're phasing out Oracle and it's only used for our intranet at this point, we have one mysql database for a wordpress site and that's going away. All new projects are in PostgreSQL. Major cost savings.

Comment Re:Economics is hard (Score 1) 168

I'm well aware of the overheads, and see this from both sides. For us, procurement rules make it trivial to spend £3000 on a laptop that we'll replace after 2-3 years, but almost impossible to spend £1000 on a chair that comes with a 15 year warranty and is likely to reduce absences due to back pain by a month over its lifetime.

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