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location Seattle, WA
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visits member for 4 years, 2 months
seen 13 mins ago

Aug
18
comment Do I have the wrong idea about software engineering?
My experience is that research labs are indeed very concerned that the core of their software is correct, and they do spend lots of time verifying the results, and proving reproducibility. However, they are much more inclined to skimp on user interface, efficient file formats, and ease of maintenance. This is arguably appropriate, since in many cases the software will never be run again or extended once the result is published.
Aug
12
answered Is this interview question real or a communication skills test?
Aug
12
answered Java API vs. Other APIs
Aug
12
comment How can I teach a bright person, with no programming experience, how to program?
@quant_dev, Have you actually read or even looked at the books Joel recommended? 'Code' is a pop science book that a physicst could breeze through in a day. 'The C programming language' is all of 248 pages long, and widely regarded as one of the best, most concise guides to a computer language ever written. SICP is the only one of those books that would get a research physicist out of intellectual 1st gear. None of them are catalogs of algorithms, though "The C Programming Language" does use qucksort for a couple of examples.
Aug
4
answered Reading Java book — I'm confused on this explanation of the difference between information and data?
Aug
2
comment any document which says exactly what range of numbers are .NET BigIntegers designed for?
@Paceier I've moved my comment to my answer, and added a link to a document discussing exactly this.
Aug
2
revised any document which says exactly what range of numbers are .NET BigIntegers designed for?
Updated answer with a paragraph on computational complexity of bigin
Aug
2
answered any document which says exactly what range of numbers are .NET BigIntegers designed for?
Jul
30
answered Can you actually produce high quality code if you are sleep deprived?
Jul
30
comment Can you actually produce high quality code if you are sleep deprived?
"The Social Network" is not a documentary. It is only loosely based on the actual events relating to the founding of Facebook. As a marketing ploy the "true story" aspect was played up, but whenever the author and the director were cornered by an interviewer they would admit that it was mostly their imagination about "what could have been".
Jul
30
answered Is it true that “Real programmers can write assembly code in any language.”?
Jul
26
answered What is the benefit of multiple return values
Jul
26
awarded  Nice Answer
Jul
26
answered Is it good to keep the bugfix comments within the code?
Jul
21
revised Should I learn low-level principles if I plan to develop in high-level languages?
added 3 characters in body
Jul
19
revised Should I learn low-level principles if I plan to develop in high-level languages?
added 3 characters in body
Jul
19
answered Should I learn low-level principles if I plan to develop in high-level languages?
Jul
18
answered When did developers start making normalized relational databases?
Jul
14
comment I'm a manager. How can I improve work relationships and communication with programmers?
@-S.Lott, boy I've worked at a major shrink wrap software firm, and a couple of small software contractors, and I've never seen any of them use your suggested approach. It certainly would reduce the risk for the company doing the development, but it ignores the risks for the customers: competition, market windows, regulatory requirements, etc. I've never seen anyone offer a contract for custom development without a schedule specified. Would you hire a contractor for a home remodel without getting some sort of commitment as to how long the job will take?
Jul
14
comment I'm a manager. How can I improve work relationships and communication with programmers?
I understand your point, but programmers don't work in a vacuum. Roll outs have to be planned, payments scheduled, ads bought, documentation printed, bandwidth purchased, all of which need hard dates. Programmers have to understand that a bad estimate from them can kill a business just as surely as a bad bid by a contractor can kill their business. Certainly "estimates" decreed by management in order to meet business requirements are poison, but there is just no way to avoid the fact that folks downstream from the programmer have to rely on their estimates.