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Comment Re:Nope, nothing to see here (Score 5, Insightful) 445

If that were the case, the FBI conclusion would have settled the matter. Also, if that were the case, the rabidity on display would go unexplained. A much simpler explanation exists, the right's outrage machine riled up a bunch of people and it's not going to do so for Pence.

Comment Re:GUIs and AIs and Ohs (Score 1) 169

Obviously, some mistakes are less likely or impossible in a GUI just as some kinds of work are more efficient with a GUI, but the opposite has always, and will always, be true. Some mistakes are much more likely, and CLIs can do many things more efficiently. GUI also tends to be more expensive to write well to achieve similar functionality.

Comment Re:playbook?? This is my data not a football! (Score 1) 169

It might be your data, but it's Amazon's football game. Their field, their ball, their refs, their rules, their playbook.

It sounds so sinister until you consider that it could analogously apply to self-storage companies or handing over your luggage to an airline. Consider that the former have caught on fire and the latter have misplaced luggage. It's a platform that you don't have to use that makes a lot of things easier. Like all services, it's not perfect.

Comment Underrepresentation (Score 1) 1001

“The only world where you would actually need to be able to recall an algorithm would be a post-apocalyptic one, where the hard drives of all the computers connected to the internet were fried, and all copies of foundational academic papers and computer science textbooks had been reduced to ashes,” coding instructor Quincy Larson wrote in a blog post. “Whiteboard interviewing is a discrete skill, much like being able to remember Pi to a thousand decimal places.”

In my experience, every programmer I've come to deeply respect could, at any time, produce a working implementation of a hash map and at least one O(n*log(n)) sorting algorithm using only pencil and paper. I recognize that not every computing position requires deep algorithmic understanding. Maybe web developers don't really benefit that much from knowing what algorithms go into layout engines or how their associative maps work in Javascript, for instance. OTOH, there are plenty of positions that clearly benefit from the ability to think about the skills that whiteboard interviewing tests.

If this metric is so terrible, the market will push it out. The market seems to have done a pretty good job punishing the companies who asked questions that required real inspiration, as I wasn't asked anything like that in my last round of interviews. Questions like, "How do you find a cycle in two linked lists?"

Articles like these induce me to wonder if the "social media using" programmer subset is getting entirely too much representation in trade publications.

The ability to quickly inhale a lot of information, which this article admits is tested by this process, is frequently an essential skill, I find. We may not be testing directly what we state we are testing, yet we might also still have value in the process. I find the entire thing a little scary, too, but I always come away feeling like the questions were relatively straightforward.

The cost of bugs is so high in the industry, regardless of domain, that I feel this analytical ability to think like a compiler that is often tested in interviews yields people who are less likely to write bugs and more likely to find them in code reviews. Tracking this is notoriously hard, so I imagine validating the data on this is similarly difficult and it is trivial to suggest that employees who get good annual reviews, which itself may not be testing productivity, invalidate the metric.

This means companies tend to favor recent computer science grads from top-tier schools who have had time to cram; in other words, it doesn’t help diversify the field with women, older people, and people of color.

We cannot start calling a preference for CS grads, especially those from good schools, bigotry. If there is underrepresentation from those schools, the correct remedy is to fix it at the root, which might mean addressing fundamental inequality at the elementary school level or not jailing parents for non-violent offenses. At the end of the day, a company has to be able to hire what it feels are the best candidates. If the company is wrong to prefer "top-tier" schools, the company will be less competitive and another company should, via market forces, hire on a better metric.

Markets take time to remedy poor metrics, but they tend to do so better than social justice advocates. Complaining that the metric is bad in the middle of the process is what it is. Without changing the incentive systems that govern company behavior, whinging shouldn't achieve much. And, changing the incentive systems is a potentially disastrous thing to try.

“We believe that technical interviewing is a broken process for everyone but that the flaws within the system hit underrepresented groups the hardest.”

The terrible thing about this quote is that the person speaking clearly feels this fact alone is sufficient to compel a remedy at this level. Having to do root cause analysis or weigh the cost of any proposed remedy is, by implication, unnecessary. As liberal as I want to think I am, this sort of regressive thinking is triggering (/irony).

Also, you could just buy them, "Cracking the Coding Interview", give them 3-4 weeks with it, and get real results, if the premise of this article is entirely correct. Learning to play the game and stop complaining about the rules is such a massively useful skill that no amount of regulation is going to kill that beast.

Comment Re:All or nothing (Score 1) 125

It's apparently all-or-nothing with liberals.

I could retort that it's always gross generalizations with conservatives but I should let you know that as a liberal I'm capable of identifying that many conservatives aren't so stupid as to think it's all-or-nothing with *all* liberals and that it isn't all-or-nothing with *all* conservatives. From there we could start to have a meaningful discussion of trends. That is, I could have that discussion with other conservatives, but perhaps not with you.

Comment Re:Cool? (Score 1) 125

Considering you don't agree with a liberal law, no you're not. You are actually a centrist. If you believe in private ownership of property, you are center right.

I'm assuming you mean to say that if you want to take one cent from someone who received money from the market to support something else, like bridges or medicare, then you "don't believe in private ownership of property"? I mean, I think you'd be hard-pressed to find very many people at all who would agree they don't believe in "private ownership of property," at least after you subtract out taxes and fines. Writing it this way makes your position seem uber reasonable but you probably mean something more divisive and want to label it as the only reasonable position with this language. An analogous statement might be, "If you have compassion as a value, you're center left."

Also, by your definition, since I disagree with many laws written by self-identifying liberals including the one in the article, I'm a centrist? Despite wanting single payer healthcare, free college, free pre-school, to reduce the prison population to 10% of what it currently is, and to legalize all drugs? Seems hard to swallow your metric.

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