1,263 reputation
46
bio website zkwarl.blogspot.com
location Burbank, CA
age 35
visits member for 3 years, 10 months
seen May 17 '11 at 0:14

Mar
12
comment Are you a member of a trade union?
@bit-twiddler No, I work on an salary basis here. I don't get extra protection on overtime.
Mar
11
comment Are you a member of a trade union?
@bit-twiddler It sounds like you've been burned by some bad workplaces. My experience is quite the opposite. Experience is valued and senior programmers do get paid more.
Mar
11
comment Are you a member of a trade union?
It is very true that it's easy for programmers to move around. I think this is especially true for senior-level programmers with tons of experience. It can be near impossible to find top-tier programmers with 20+ years experience and many companies will pay top dollar to get them.
Mar
11
comment Are you a member of a trade union?
I'm not claiming carpal tunnel is not serious, but it isn't something so severe and endemic that it would require the disruptive intervention of a union to deal with. The simple action of asking nicely for a new keyboard and chair often works quite well. Employers do care about these things: it's not about paying lip service to OSHA. You seem to have a very dim view of the software industry. Maybe you've worked at a bad company. In general, my experience is the exact opposite, employers want to keep employees healthy: it saves them money in the long run.
Mar
10
comment Are you a member of a trade union?
There is a big difference between professional organizations like the AMA and the ABA and unions. Those originations provide certifications, whereas a union provides a barrier between employees and employers.
Mar
10
comment Are you a member of a trade union?
Firstly, it's hard to equate carpel-tunnel with the chronic lung diseases that took 30 to 40 years off factory workers' lifespans. Secondly, have you taken up your concerns about your cubicle with your manager? If you ask, you actually get a proper chair and keyboard. I doubt you'll need to go on strike to get an ergonomically well-adjusted cubicle.
Mar
5
comment Do dynamic typed languages deserve all the criticism?
Nice summary. I'll tack on that well-constructed types convey semantic meaning (I can look at a type and understand what it does, how it can be used) and can be used to enforce correctness (I can build a type that only accepts constrained inpus), and I do not get dumb errors from typos (I hate auto-variable declaration)
Mar
1
comment Should managers prohibit programmers from using IM in office?
We do the same, and also have chat rooms set up for each of the teams. The overarching mentality is to have easy communication at every convenient level.
Feb
28
comment What should I ask interviewer during the interview?
It is great when a candidate wants to work for our company and not just looking for a pay cheque. Those candidates are usually the ones who can pick up the context of what we ask of them much faster than those who just program. The best way to show that sort of interest is to ask good questions about the product and the process to make that product.
Feb
27
comment How do I improve my code reading skills
I've been dealing with a similar problem. Our team decided to invest time in retrofitting a very large legacy code-base to a new build that supports shared caching. We managed to improve our build times and build reliability significantly. Also, if you can refactor just enough to start using large pre-built parts of your application, you can also save building time.
Feb
26
comment How far back do you use your version control and for what reason?
Just as important is to also have the records of all the history tied to the ticket system. Find a bug related to a five-year old change is one thing, but it can be much easier to deal with if the original bug report or feature request for that change is also available.
Feb
25
comment How do you make slides for programming talks?
I'll throw in support for ditching slides in favour of talking. All of the best talks I've been to have either been completely without slides or have only used slides without text. The human brain is terrible at reading and listing at the same time; therefore showing text while talking splits the audience's attention and thus reduces comprehension and retention.
Feb
23
comment Is there a measure of code rot?
I've always wanted to have expiry dates on code. When code hasn't has a review in one year, it needs to either stop compiling or give off a sulfer smell like a bad egg.
Feb
22
comment Can scrum master allocate tasks?
I went through a case where no one on the team would pull a task. Despite repeated attempts to encourage the initiative to just grab a card from the board, work would stop until I myself pulled the card and handed it over. I think that stems from a transition mentality. When the engineers are used to having assignments pushed on their plates, it can be hard to turn that around.
Feb
22
comment What is the difference between an engineer and a product manager?
@jmort253 It looks like your edit is in place already. Thanks for the fix up.
Feb
22
comment What is the difference between an engineer and a product manager?
My fault for not reading carefully. I'll edit my answer accordingly.
Feb
22
comment What's the most effective way to invite a facebook “friend” to use an app?
Does anyone know how to bounce a question back to stackoverflow? There doesn't seem to be much of a response here, and as @bustrofedon mentioned, its specificity makes it more suitable fore there anyways.
Feb
21
comment what is a phone interview?
I'll second the importance of turning of the computer. The last thing I want in a phone interview is to ask a candidate a question, only to hear typing noises and then an answer after the approximate time it takes to read through Google search results.
Feb
21
comment Effective versus efficient code
Thanks, I just found the wikipedia article with Cunningham's full quote (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technical_debt). He stated the concept much better than I did.
Feb
21
comment Collocation in Code
Ah yes, Joel's infamous defence of Hungarian notation. All that article did for me was illustrate the strength of strong semantic typing over the reliance of obfuscating variable names with secret code letters.