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Comment Role models, learn the business, live well. (Score 2) 229

1) Find a manager that is successful in your company and is generally admired. Get to know him/her and learn what they do right, what they do wrong, and what they know about the culture of the company. When you know them well and know their secrets well, find the next one.

2) Find a very successful manager that runs a similar department to yours in an excellent company reknown in your industry. Get to know them, figure out what they and their teams do right, what they do wrong, and how the culture of their company works and differs from theirs. Fix yours that way or have good enough relationships to join theirs. When your group is better than that group, find the next one.

3) Find out how your company makes money . . . really makes money -- what do they make, what do they sell, who do they sell to and how much of each thing do they sell to whom and how. Figure out how your department fits into that and how you can best fit those goals. Do those things. Figure out what doesn't make money (or worse wastes money at) -- aggressively try to eliminate those things.

4) Figure out what your team is good at and what it is bad at. Cross that with the results from #3. Focus on getting your team better at things that help the company make money and getting rid of things that make it lose money.

5) Respect people -- even those you don't like. You can learn something from _everyone_. Even if it is to just avoid making the foolish mistakes they make. Have enough respect for those people who work hard and pull things through for the company to let go those who slack off and basically leach off of their coworkers. Help those who aren't good at things, but really, really want to get there. Consider everyone's skillset as they are and reward each achievement and each step forward for people at their level.

6) Have a plan. From the details of #3, and the development of #4/5 and the examples of #1,2 figure out what goals get you closer to achieving those ideals in the the next 3, 6, and 12 months. Every quarter, reassess where you are and tune up your goals so they stay relevant and you measure your progress.

7) Measure your progress -- success or failure -- at every turn. How well do you work and how well do you create product? How good are the things you make and how good are your processes/tools for making them? Use your comparative analysis with external and internal teams to figure out how they operate as well and figure out how to measure it and improve it. Don't be a slave to numbers but don't be ignorant of them. If you pick the wrong metrics, then you learned that you need better metrics.

8) Act like the manager you wish you had. Don't be a jerk, and don't gossip. Talk to people face to face and act with integrity. Your group and peers are you community - treat them that way and build the community stronger.

9) Build your self and your group. Figure out what you all are weakest at (that matters) and get training and practice at getting better. Make it a quota to do this at least annually.

10) Manage yourself and your own stress. Have a todo list of the next top 3 most important things to do at all times -- do those next. Take care your health, sleep well, eat right and learn to leave work at the office enough to not bear the burden of your whole team's worries when you go to bed at night.

Comment The best html5 + api overview out there so far. (Score 5, Interesting) 90

I see a lot of naysaying here, and I respectfully disagree. In general, I've been really turned off by the Head First Series (I tend to think the style is annoying), but this book is better than the rest and is probably one of the best high-level overviews of html5+javascript+css3 that I've seen in one book. note: I have nothing to do with the authors or the publisher -- I just liked this one.

For one thing, this is the book in the series that finally gets the point that Javascript is the heart of web interactivity. It doesn't shy away from plenty of Javascript code and it isn't lazy about asking you to write copious amounts of it. If you are a javascript expert, you probably won't be challenged, but you can skip the rudimentary parts and get to the modern browser features and related apis.

Secondly it gets you through a lot of topics like location-awareness (including the google maps api), 2d canvas rendering, local storage and a few other topics that aren't usually covered together but make a great overview of the current state of browser capabilities. Its not easy to get that in one place.

I've tried to get overviews elsewhere -- I have been through a bunch of the oreilly series, online documentation, master class videos etc, and I personally think this is the best basic high-level overview of basic web programming for the browser right now. Is it telling you to use backbone? Is it pushing Coffescript, Dart or the other fringe technologies? No -- just the basics, but it does a good job of it. Its not for everyone, but it is a great choice for folks who want a good, easy-going overview..

I had to put a good word in, because I really liked this one and I like to encourage good tutoral writing -- something that is increasingly hard to find these days (I'd rather see tutorials than cookbooks, blotchy docs or 1-page quickstarts of copy-paste code with a link to api docs). Tree-killing aside, I even liked that it was printed on paper - it seemed like an old-school workbook and I'm not ashamed to say that I enjoyed scribbling in its puzzles and zipping through its pages over a few days over Thanksgiving week.

Comment Re:Do they still have the sharp edges? (Score 1) 411

mod parent up

For all the design kudos that apple gets, their ergonomics are truly awful.

Who puts a sharp edge where your wrists lie?
The flat sheet-metal keyboard is pretty, but ridiculous for RSI users.
Typing on a flat screen -- that is sure to cause all kinds of problems.
Even the ads for the Ipads make everyone look contorted while using them - they are either in some crazy position or are craning their necks over to see what they are doing.

I can't believe there isn't more of an outcry about these things. These things are beautiful, but are also meant to be used by biped hominids -- ignoring ergonomics entirely is kinda crazy.

Comment Re:Type erasure (Score 1) 299

I'm so glad you are on slashdot -- you were right, and I was wrong. Ego aside, it may actually not matter because Scala manages to avoid the problems of erasure in java.

The discussion here discusses the issue and talks about how the perils of type erasure of Java don't have the same negative effects in Scala:

Thanks for demanding precision in the discussion.

Comment Re:Type erasure (Score 1) 299

This isn't true at all. Scala's genetics are far more powerful than java's type erasures except in the case where you have to inherit/use an existing java class.

Odersky actually created g4j for sun before writing scala. It stands for "generics for java" and it didn't use erasure there either. Sun scrapped it for type erasure and odersky left and created scala.

Comment Re:STFU, Cuban. (Score 2, Interesting) 251


Cuban is con man. I heard the sales pitches for when he and Mary Meeker (unethically on her part) were trying to sell that scam. His lies are thick, he relies on bullying/shaming people and he took a lot of money Yahoo could have used to help free software and be a healthier business.

He is not a typical clueless MBA, he is a con-man and should be actively avoided.

Comment Is this just muscle-flexing? (Score 5, Insightful) 244

Don't get me wrong. . . I think it is an amazing technical feat, but is it really practical to require internet access for this?

I think it is time that we as a community get behind a project that allows these remote apps to be cached locally for fully disconnected use (with a desktop runtime -- something akin to Adobe Air). It would be great to visit the site once and thereafter run it local (and get updates later while connected). As long as I'm fantasizing, I think we should try to make this a standard for new desktop apps -- written like gadgets, but full blown apps.

What do you think? Are there projects out there that are working on this already?


Spotlight Improvements In Leopard 356

Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard is set to feature several new enhancements to Spotlight, Apple's desktop search, and ComputerWorld outlines them. The improvements include searching across multiple networked Macs, parental search snooping, server Spotlight indexing, boolean search, better application launching (sorely needed), and quick-look previews.

Submission + - Sex-ed the Tex-ed way

zoltamatron writes: The SF Chronicle is running a story about the Bush administration's abstinence only sex-ed program and how there is no evidence to show that it works any better than the comprehensive education it replaces. Still, California is one of only three states that does not participate in the program that pushes the Texas born curriculum. From the article:

"California took a very progressive approach," [Douglas Kirby] said. "Texas pushed abstinence and made it a little more difficult for teens to receive contraceptives. Pregnancy did go down between 1991 and 2004, but Texas had the second-lowest decline of all states, 19 percent. California had the second-greatest decrease, 46 percent."
The article says there is more than $1 billion in federal money going to these programs.

Submission + - EU bans sock-puppet blogs

PhilipMarlowe9000 writes: Businesses which write fake blog entries or create whole wesbites purporting to be from customers will fall foul of a European directive banning them from "falsely representing oneself as a consumer".

        From December 31, when the change becomes law in the UK, they can be named and shamed by trading standards or taken to court.

        The Times has learnt that the new regulations also will apply to authors who praise their own books under a fake identity on websites such as Amazon. icle1361968.ece
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Choosing a USB Hard Drive

PunkOfLinux writes: "I'm looking at getting an external hard drive (USB) for use with my laptop. When I look online, I see so many options that I have no idea where to start. Does anyone here on slashdot have experience with any particular models, or any recommendations?"

Submission + - Teaching children to write software?

Desmond Elliott writes: "I recently worked on a piece of software for an undergraduate course which involved me writing a Sudoku game using the GWT. My youngest sister (9 years old) was fascinated to know how I had done it and seems quite keen to want to know more. I know that some people say that children and fickle at that age but I'm keen to let her have the resources that she needs to learn more about programming if she wants to. Does anybody know about any good resources for children to learn more about Java?"

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