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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
comment How do you handle your Project Manager
@Gabriel McAdams, a request for an estimate is not a negotiation; therefore, if the time allowed by management is insufficient to do the work, you can't opt to make it on time without damaging your credibility in the days or weeks that follow the non-achievable new deadline. In the short term, they will not like it, but it won't be late. It will be on-time according to the schedule they didn't manipulate. With hard deadlines actually being met, management can take the appropriate steps to mitigate the extra time. Anything else involves you being involved in the mitigation song and dance.