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Submission + - Bad Programming Ideas That Work

snydeq writes: Cheaper, faster, better side effects — sometimes a bad idea in programming is better than just good enough, writes InfoWorld's Peter Wayner. 'Some ideas, schemes, or architectures may truly stink, but they may also be the best choice for your project. They may be cheaper or faster, or maybe it’s too hard to do things the right way. In other words, sometimes bad is simply good enough. There are also occasions when a bad idea comes with a silver lining. It may not be the best approach, but it has such good side-effects that it’s the way to go. If we’re stuck going down a suboptimal path to programming hell, we might as well make the most of whatever gems may be buried there.' What bad programming ideas have you found useful enough to make work in your projects?

Submission + - Signs Your Kid Is Hacking -- And What to Do About It

snydeq writes: InfoWorld's Roger Grimes lends insight on how to recognize the signs of your child's involvement in malicious online activity before the authorities do — and offers advice on how to help them direct their skills and curiosity into a more positive (and ethical) direction. The advice is based on Grimes' personal history helping reform his stepson, a former hacker, and in mentoring a number of other young ex-hackers as an IT security veteran. 'Hacking can provide a new world of acceptance and empowerment, especially for smart teenagers who are not doing all that well in school, are bored, or are getting harassed by other teens or by their parents because they "aren't working to their full potential." In the hacking world, they can gain the admiration of their peers and be mini-cyber rock stars. It's like a drug for them, and a good percentage can turn permanently to the dark side if not appropriately guided.'

Submission + - Real-World Devops Failures -- And How To Avoid Them

snydeq writes: InfoWorld's Bob Violino offers several hard-learned lessons of devops implementations gone awry. 'There are plenty of examples of how devops works well and delivers tangible improvements for companies in a variety of industries. But sometimes it doesn't work well. Things can go wrong with devops just as they can with any other aspect of IT. Following are some examples of devops initiatives that failed on at least some level and what the organizations involved did to address the problems or prevent them from happening again.'

Submission + - Interview With a Craigslist Scammer

snydeq writes: Ever wonder what motivates people who swindle others on Craigslist? Roger Grimes did, so he set up a fake Harley Davidson ad on Craigslist, and requested an interview with each scammer who replied to the ad. One agreed, and the man's answers shed light on the inner world of Craiglist scamming: 'If you mean how often I make money from Craigslist, it depends on the day or week. Many weeks I make nothing. Some weeks I can get five people sending me money. But I respond to a lot of ads to get one email back. I’m not only doing Craigslist — there are many similar places. I haven’t counted, but many. It takes many emails to get paid. That’s what I mean. Some weeks I lose money. It’s harder than most people think. But I don’t have to go into a place at a certain time and deal with bosses and customers. I can make my own time.'

Submission + - SPAM: How to Build a Better Dev Team

snydeq writes: The secret to building and maintaining a great development team requires transparency, flexibility, and yes, good vibes, writes InfoWorld's Paul Heltzel, in a roundup of methods engineering managers have used to improve the productivity and cohesiveness of their dev teams. 'For all the talk of rock-star developers, we all know it takes a strong, coherent team working in concert to get the best work done. So here’s the question: What does it take to establish a great team of developers who create great products and work well across departments? ... From finding the best fit for your next hire to keeping your team fresh and motivated, the following collective advice will have your team coding at its best.' What tips do you have to pass along?

Submission + - 15 Signs You're Doing Agile Wrong

snydeq writes: Misconceptions and 'best practices' may have your team spinning wheels rather than continuously churning out productive code, writes InfoWorld's Steven Lowe in a round-up of agile practices gone wrong. 'The problem with most approaches to agile is not a problem with agile; it's a problem with Agile, the Capitalized Methodology. Agile isn't a methodology. Treating it as one confuses process with philosophy and culture, and that’s a one-way ticket back into waterfall — or worse.'

Submission + - Programming Languages We Love to Hate But Can't Live Without

snydeq writes: Tools masquerading as languages, maddening syntax, dusty code that won’t die — InfoWorld's PeterWayner discusses seven programming languages we love to hate even though we can't live without them. 'From Gödel and Turing, we’ve learned that logical mechanisms have edges where scary things occur. Sure, maybe it’s our own fault, we humans, for misusing or misprogramming. But if the programming languages force our brains into weird yoga poses, it’s hard not to blame them for our ills,' Wayner writes. 'And we often can’t do anything about it. The installed base may be too large for us to jettison the language that irks us. The boss may love a stack so much he can’t hear the screams coming from the cubicle farms. The cruel truth is that there may be no better options.' What languages have you shaking your fists at the console?

Submission + - SPAM: 7 Deadly Career Mistakes Developers Make

snydeq writes: Failure may lead to success, but unthinking complacency is a certain dev career killer, writes InfoWorld's Paul Heltzel in an article about developer career mistakes that may prove hard to recover from. 'We talked with a number of tech pros who helped us identify areas where mistakes are easily avoided. Not surprising, the key to a solid dev career involves symmetry: Not staying with one stack or job too long, for example, but then again not switching languages and employers so often that you raise red flags.'

Submission + - Software Audits: How High Tech Plays Hardball

snydeq writes: InfoWorld's Dan Tynan offers an inside look at how high-tech software vendors such as Adobe, Oracle, and IBM play hardball over software licensing, pushing customers to 'true up' to the tune of billions of dollars per year — and using the threat of audits as a sales tool to close lucrative deals. 'When it comes to software audits, the code of omertà prevails,' Tynan writes. 'It’s not a question of whether your organizations’ software licenses will get audited. It’s only a question of when, how often, and how painful the audits will be. The shakedown is such a sure thing that nearly every customer we contacted asked us to keep their names out of this story, lest it make their employers a target for future audits.'

Submission + - More Timeless Lessons Of Programming 'Graybeards'

snydeq writes: Youth may be what HR wants, but nobody bangs out code like a longtime programming pro, writes InfoWorld's Peter Wayner in a second look about what we can learn from our programming elders. 'Alas, the computer industry has a strange, cultish fascination with new technologies, new paradigms, and of course, new programmers,' Wayner writes. '[But] programming geezers have valuable wisdom you can’t absorb simply by watching a TED talk on YouTube or fast-forwarding through a MOOC. They understand better how computers work because they had to back when computers had front panels with switches. They didn’t have the layers of IDEs, optimizing compilers, and continuous integration to save their bacon. If they didn’t build it right from the beginning, it wouldn’t run at all. The young punks won’t know this for years.'

Submission + - Insults No Developer Wants To Hear

snydeq writes: Flame wars in the bug tracker might be exactly the right (harsh) feedback your code needs, writes Peter Wayner in his run-down of the insults no programmer wants to hear about their code or coding skills. 'The technology world is a bit different than the pretty, coiffed world of suits and salesdroids where everyone is polite, even when they hate your guts and think you’re an idiot. Suit-clad managers may smile and hide their real message by the way they say you’re doing "great, real great pal," but programmers often speak their minds, and when that mind has something unpleasant to say, look out, feelings.'

Submission + - Most In-Demand Skills Devs Should Learn Now

snydeq writes: From JavaScript to big data to devops, InfoWorld's Paul Heltzel breaks down developers' best bets for bolstering their careers in the coming years. 'Companies are now frequently looking for someone who is comfortable with every layer of the development stack, has the ability to extract insights from massive data sets, and can think strategically about devices to come, all while reconsidering old systems using the latest languages and frameworks. It’s enough to have no idea where to start,' Heltzel writes in his survey of recruiters, CTOs, CEOs, and other executives who offered their must-have technologies to try, strategies to consider, and soft skills to master.

Submission + - How to Break Into Data Science

snydeq writes: The high demand for data scientists has many IT pros contemplating a lucrative career shift, InfoWorld's Bruce Harpham reports, offering a look at who's hiring, what employers are looking for, and how some IT pros (and non-IT pros) are making the shift. 'Data science is rapidly becoming one of the hottest careers in IT. The field’s rise to prominence has been driven in part by the fact that its raw material — structured and unstructured data — is being produced at record levels. But it’s the ready availability of robust, low-cost data science tools, ranging from Microsoft Excel to Python to Hadoop, that has organizations of all sizes pursuing the kind of data analysis.'

Submission + - Programming Languages For Coding the Physical World

snydeq writes: Stuffing bits in databases is boring, InfoWorld's Peter Wayner writes, so why not program everything around you? 'The barrier between bits and atoms is disappearing, with programmers no longer confined to the virtual realm, in part thanks to the Internet of things becoming more real. Now we can do more than write ones and zeros to a disk: We can actually write code that tells a machine how to extrude, cut, bend, or morph atoms,' Wayner writes in a survey of programming languages for doing just that. 'Rapidly developing domains such as autonomous cars, smart homes, intelligent office spaces, and mass customization require programmers to be savvy about how changes in data structures can lead to changes in objects. If the term “object-oriented programming” weren’t already taken, it would be perfect.'

Submission + - How the Cloud Has Changed (Since Last You Looked)

snydeq writes: InfoWorld's Peter Wayner takes a look at the new services and pricing models that are making cloud computing more powerful, complex, and cheaper than it was a few short years ago. 'We get more, but using it isn’t always as simple as it could be. Sure, you still end up on root on some box that’s probably running Linux, but getting the right performance out of that machine is more complex,' Wayner writes. 'But the real fun comes when you try to figure out how to pay for your planned cloud deployment because there are more options than ever. ... In some cases, the cost engineering can be more complex than the software engineering.'

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"Necessity is the mother of invention" is a silly proverb. "Necessity is the mother of futile dodges" is much nearer the truth. -- Alfred North Whitehead