412 reputation
36
bio website edwinbuck.com
location Houston, TX
age 44
visits member for 3 years, 9 months
seen Dec 24 at 2:29

Software developer, and a whole lot more.

Currently employed at Cisco Systems

Formerly employed at:

PROS Revenue Management
ABB
ABB Network Management
Elsag / Bailey (Formerly Ferranti Systems)
The City of Houston
Tarrant and Bulgherini, CPA.
The Jewish Herald Voice
The University of Houston Biology Department

Programming since the age of 8 (Logo). Mastered various languages including

Logo
Pascal
C
FORTRAN
C++
Prolog
Scheme
TCL
TK
Expect
Java

Left computing in 1993 to do research oriented genetic engineering, with emphasis on the structure-function relationships of various proteins including alleles of emb-27 (C. Elegans) , p53 (molecule of the year), and an aquaporin candidate. Left research to return to computing in 1997.

Deep knowledge of the internal workings of the JVM and related technologies. Strong skills in job scheduling, demand forecasting, build / continuous integration systems, tool building, and software architecture.


Aug
25
comment University teaches DOS-style C++, how to deal with it
@Slomojo True, and I've met a few of them. They are a strange breed, excellent at what they know. The difficultly lies in the breadth of problems they encounter. Occasionally, a problem has a much shorter path to solution when you know some corner of Computer Science, and yet, those talented folks tend to keep hammering at it the only way(s) they know, which eventually looks like brute force. An example, a problem that was "hard to solve" to a self-taught was solved by a DFA in two days, with testing (in TCL/TK to boot!). Two weeks later, they still didn't understand it, with explanation.
Apr
5
comment About Artificial Intelligence
+1 as the computer will only run machine code anyway, no matter what "language" you think you are writing. :) Some languages do fit some problems better than others, but you'll only learn where the real pain points lie with experience.
Mar
8
awarded  Yearling
Feb
20
comment Should I go to a job interview even though I know I won't get it?
Of course you should go. That company is part of the decision to interview you too, and you must have something that they identify (or mis-identify) that they like. You cannot be certain that they truly mis-identified you, they might be looking for something other than you imagine. I've seen people who look for "perfect fits" only, and other who only hire the inexperienced so they can be "molded into how we do things" under the assumption that someone who didn't start at their firm couldn't really be retrained (silly, but they believe it).
Feb
20
comment Can Software Engineers become certified Professional Engineers (PE)?
Which is true, and a noble test to take and pass certainly; however, it doesn't permit you to use the title "Professional Engineer" which is typically legally reserved to be granted or denied by the State. So you need to disregard the CSDP and follow state requirements should you wish to be a PE.
Feb
6
comment How important is it to reduce the number of lines in code?
@DanielB Long functions are often harder to wrap one's head around not because they are long; but, because they attempt to do many things at once. For example, they generally start with validation of inputs, then some processing, followed by a check for alternate processing, followed by another check to see if something unrelated needs updating, followed by an inlined routine that has nothing to do with the main action (like date logic that checks for month overrun and adjusts) and so on. By the time you get to the end, you can't remember what the class's on responsibility was.
Oct
1
comment How will closures in Java impact the Java Community?
@permeakra It wasn't the definition of closure that I questioned, it was the definition of "proper". Proper is a funny word, it can mean "compiles", "works", "is easy to maintain", and a lot of other things depending on who uses it. I'm saying that today, without closures, we can do threading and immutability. With closures, you can combine them with treading and immutability to get the combination you want, or you could just replace Comparator and not be required to use threading or immutability. Your combination of proper and required is restrictive.
Oct
1
comment What problems are stack oriented languages well-suited and ill-suited for?
Readability is learned. I had a HP-48 calculator, so a b * c d * + was exactly what I would type for years.
Oct
1
answered What is the relevance of resumes in the age of GitHub, Stack Exchange, Coursera, Udacity, blogs, etc.?
Oct
1
comment How will closures in Java impact the Java Community?
@permeakra I think you are using the word proper with extra meaning. Some kinds of proper Java can cause brain explosions, but with a different definition of "proper" that same code is not proper. Closures and immutability are a great combo, especially under multi-threading situations, but you can have one, two or all three without requiring the others. Whether your combo of the day works or is a good combination is more a function of the skill of implementation and language parsimony.
Sep
12
comment How to work in an environment with a 'character assasin'
Pointing out the transgressions of others is akin to character assassination too. You can't be better than your peers if you pick up their tools and try to out-do them at their game.
May
1
awarded  Commentator
May
1
comment How relaxed (or not) should a sprint be?
Negative experience covers many different scenarios. One friend had quite the negative sprint experience mostly due to the team not "yet" getting the concept of the sprint down. In their effort to improve release cycle, they basically sped up the death march and called it a sprint.
May
1
comment The Joel Test's equivalent for measuring a programmer
All of Joel's questions are more about the environment than the programmer. If my team doesn't use source code control, then my not integrating with them by using my own source code control is hardly an improvement. Getting the team to use source code control is an improvement.
Apr
27
answered Completion time on a company where the supervisors don't know programming
Mar
8
awarded  Yearling
Oct
7
comment Why the scorn for COBOL?
Admiral Grace Hopper was a key figure in the development of what would become COBOL. Her understanding that the issues of debugging and coordination between programmers and users led to the popularity of "human readable" programming languages, like COBOL. The idea was that you could hand the program to the client who could verify the routine. Also by having the program in pseudo-english, more people could read it and possibly find bugs. She's also credited with the term "debugging" and I happen to have one of her "nanoseconds". I don't think the NAVY wanted the client writing the program.
Oct
4
awarded  Supporter
Oct
4
answered How should we implement Scrum with two projects for one team?
Oct
4
comment Is it unusual for a small company (15 developers) not to use managed source/version control?
+1 for not unusual. Some people just don't understand that the benefits of source code control outweigh the costs. They fear the cost, and integrate by copying files or patches into a "central" merge workspace for the "build"; mostly because that's what they figured out would work, and nobody invests in the development environment. Typically this is due to the perception that they have so much work to do on the code, they can't waste development time on the environment. I find the time saved with the more efficient environment more than pays back the investment of a developer working on it