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Comment As an engineer having been in 2 startups... (Score 2) 140


Startups are businesses. You need business acumen and people skills, neither of which are engineer qualities. If you do decide to do a startup, realize your first hire is not yourself, but the CEO who will handle the initial pitch, finance and all that non-engineering jazz. Also know that your priorities as an engineer are out oa whack with that your startup will need, unless you're already used to doing things in an agile manner.

But realize that the traditional startup might sound sexy but it sucks. If you can at all bootstrap it, do it that way. If you never have to pitch to a VC, then that's the best outcome for you, even if it takes a little longer. VC funding is only when you have hurdles to entry that you can't cross on your own, or you are racing to market because of a timeline.

Once you bring in a VC, you no longer own the business, they do, despite whatever equity agreement you have.. You wanted a start-up to be your own master, but having other people's funding makes them the master.

Comment Teach it as a trade (Score 1) 347

The college curriculum is focused on how to get software to work - at all. You do project that are supposed to do things. And you get your program to work, you submit it, and if it passes the tests, it "works"

However in the real world we are no longer concerned with getting software to work. We assume that it will be developed and will eventually be working, through some majority effort of feature-adding and a minor part maintenance, it will be accomplished. But what makes that assumption possible is that good code is written from the start. New developers will write terrible code - but it will work in the average case. To write "good" code, requires an insight into how software fails. Young developers only know how their software fails in the few ways they've been able to encounter because that's all they've seen.

So my proposal is to treat software development like a trade:
Apprentice - Write tests for code for journeyman or master developers. See all the ways that software can work AND FAIL. Minor feature additions, scripting, DevOpsy-stuff. Can write code for limited internal apps, and production systems but only under supervision. Will develop proficiencies with technologies. (AKA Jr Dev)

Journeyman - Armed all the ways the software can fail even by more experienced developers, the engineer is now able to write code for production systems. Unit tests are written by an apprentice. Demerits for when an an apprentice finds a bug. (AKA Sr. Engineer)

Master - this isn't really a thing because Journeymen are expected to move into engineering management -- if they want to.

Comment Duh, this is why I switched to Linux (Score 2) 353

I realized this even before windows 10 back around the Vista era. All those stand-alone software updaters were starting to get out of hand. The Java Updater, The Flash Updater, and the various other updaters. What's more, about the same time they started to become marketing apps.

  Although you paid nothing for windows 10, and Linux, Windows 10 costs you:
1. Bandwidth for advertisements
2. Screen space for advertisements
3. Privacy
If you don't need Adobe, use Linux. If you need adobe, learn GIMP.

Comment Outlook.com has the worst mobile UI (Score 1) 81

I have seen a lot of mobile UIs in my time, but it is the worst. The interface fails to load half the time. The time that it does, it takes multiple taps to get it to do something. Multiselect is an exercise in futility, you'll get about 3 selected, then on the next select, it'll drop the previous ones, meaning you never select more than one reliably.

And they want to charge for it?

Comment Re:Python: better than JS, except for JSON (Score 1) 187

You mistake eval() for JSON.parse()

Both JS and python can eval(). Yeah, it's really stupid to eval() code. And you can do it in JS and it will usually give you an object (the times it doesn't are very interesting indeed!) But JSON.parse() is not eval. JSON.parse decodes a string into an object, which is data only.

Similarly json.loads() takes a string and converts it to a dict.

What I was getting at is really a minor quibble but it comes up a lot. var o = { this:1 that: 2} is much more friendly to write than o = {"this": 1, "that":2} There are a limited number of what they key can be: string, int float. That is it. So if they key is non-numeric, then it can only be a string. That's the only point I was making. Perhaps it would be interesting to have key="this" o={ key: 1} which then makes {"this":1}, but I'd argue against it

Comment Before the apologists... (Score 1) 187

Before the apologists say you can use Babel, admittedly, you can, but, using such a tool is an admission of defeat. To compile something that is not true JS to something that is JS I would argue is not the original language. It's like using macros in assembly. It may seem pedantic, but pragmatically, Python runs _everywhere_ that C runs*. (Meaning your platform has a C compiler). Comparatively, using JSLint as an example, in order for JSLint to support a particular feature, it must be in two runtimes and at least stage 3 in proposal.

* I'm not talking about browsers, because that's where JS was designed to work. I'm talking about outside the browser, where people are taking JS. And Mozilla did have an experiment about running Python in the browser. And if you want to split hairs: https://repl.it/languages/pyth...

Comment My cancelled subscription begs to differ (Score 2) 162

I cancelled earlier in November for this very reason. They've got their market all wrong. The biggest benefit Netflix had was the volume of movies that you haven't watched but had some interest in. To recharacterize thier users as people who watch what they want prior to netflix, is a big mistake because that's where netflix had its biggest value.

If this is the real reality, the price of netflix should come down to reflect the diminished quality and selection.

I'm at amazon now. Amazon and chill.

Comment Re:IRS can only pursue taxes on "income" (Score 1) 203

Thanks to you input, I just had this revelation: https://slashdot.org/comments....

If the 1099 documentation is already being generated for the "sizable" transactions (I think the current lower limit to trigger reporting is $600 - but don't quote me) then there is only one purpose: "If they can get all the US taxpayers in the block chain and their bitcoin addresses, they can continue to erode the pseudo anonymity."

Comment IRS can only pursue taxes on "income" (Score 1) 203

There is no definition of income in the constitution, and there are a bunch of convoluted court rulings on income taxation. (It's not all that comes in.) This move by the IRS is (as I believe) to be unprecedented. It is effectively assuming that any american who traded bitcoin was evading the income tax without any evidence thereof. This presupposition of guilt is what makes it newsworthy. Anyone who traded btc is assumed to have evaded the tax, even though self-reporting is the obligation of the taxpayer always applies. Furthermore, the taxes due would only be on the profits of trading, just like a stock. But unlike a standard stock broker, a 1099-B would not be issued by coinbase automatically. It's not coinbase's responsibility to report, it's the taxpayers.

Good luck evading this one... the blockchain is public. Which begs the question... does the IRS have blockchain analysis tools?

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