Reader Mail – 04/06/2014 To 04/12/2014

victor commented on node.js Is VB6 - Does node.js Suck?.
Wow, you're a bad developer, in the phase of need to being hired, a good developer have her own company and don't need to find a job

Mark commented on node.js Is VB6 - Does node.js Suck?.

I am a developer of over 16 years experience, run my own company and have never been out of work. I have worked for large blue chips, public sector bodies and small companies. I have used VB6, C#,, SqlServer, MongoDb, Javascript, NodeJs and Python and am currently learning Go.I can honestly say that we can all rubbish any programming language as I am not aware of any language on the planet that covers all the bases. We can all pick holes in any language. I prefer to use the right tool for the right job I am always open minded and have no need to profess how great I am or how bad other people are.

I have hired developers and I can say one thing that holds true and that is if ever I come across a developer who thinks they know it all, or rubbishes other peoples work so by proxy advancing their own I know that they really are very poor developers, very poor employees and bottom line very poor individuals, I suspect FSK falls into this category.

>if ever I come across a developer who thinks they know it all, or rubbishes other peoples work so by proxy advancing their own I know that they really are very poor developers

Aren't you doing the exact same thing, by posting here complaining about what a loser I am for not liking node.js.

I researched it a little. The overhead for a thread context switch is ~1000-2000 cpu cycles. The memory overhead for a thread is also negligible compared to the memory used by your application data. So, the main argument in favor of node.js is ridiculous, because the overhead of threads are negligible compared to the other stuff your application needs to do.

Mark commented on node.js Is VB6 - Does node.js Suck?.

Where in my comment above have I criticized you for not liking Node ? Where ? I criticise your hyperbolic, aggressive categorisation of mainly people. I make no comment on you technical skills and I also do not advance my own skills by rubbishing your technical abilities. What I am criticising is your aggressive, arrogant and over the top attitude. You throw terms like scum, evil and psychopath around far to liberally, evil is something I haven't come across and if I did common sense would suggest to me that it would not be in the form of a computer tech/person I didnt like. Also just to clarify I have not called you a loser so don't even try that emotional blackmail. I suspected you of being poor especially in attitude and anybody reading your comments would come to the same conclusion.

I am more polite in person than the way I write in my blog. Some people really are evil. It's a disturbing fact to realize. I have noticed that evil people prefer trash like node.js and Rails, because they evaluate hype and not merit. Node and Rails and Git have created great hype, but the product is garbage, so they attract people who evaluate hype but not technical merit.

There have been evil people at almost all of my jobs. They are everyone and dominate our society, due to the way laws are set up and that most intelligent people are conditioned to be victims. Either you are too clueless to notice them, or are one of them.

Richard commented on Is The Go Programming Language Worth Learning?.
You're using excuses to justify your failure. I had no degree, was entirely self taught and got in the industry in 6 months. It's about drive, determination and confidence. How about you stop blaming others for your issues and instead push forward?

There is no buzzword game, like any other industry getting a job is ~85% based on your personality and attitude as well as the people you know. Nobody is going to hire someone they don't like to be around. I bet you that you come off this way in your interviews.

I don't have any usable contacts. For most resume submissions, it's totally based on keyword matching.

I'm comfortable treating idiots like idiots. I don't want to work for idiots. If you can't handle a couple of questions about your business plan, then you aren't going to succeed.

It's much different for entry level and senior candidates. For senior candidates, employers seem to want a perfect purples squirrel keyword match. Age discrimination is a real problem, especially when you're older than the interviewer and all the other employees. I'm not that old! I'm still the oldest person there most of the time.

commented on I Still Don't Sign NDAs For Job Interviews.
I never sign an NDA either ; or only if I rewrite it in my own terms.

Larissa commented on I Still Don't Sign NDAs For Job Interviews.

Why do you think you're an unemployable loser?

I've been actively interviewing for 6 months now, and haven't gotten any offers. I only had one decent interview. I usually get eliminated at the keyword matching phase, because a lot of my experience considered "not hot".

Jeff commented on Reader Mail - 03/30/2014 To 04/05/2014.
I have to agree. I've learned so much from your blog posts - and look forward to more! More content posts please!

Stephen Colbert Gets Craig Kilborned

Does anyone here remember Craig Kilborn? That’s right, you don’t remember him.

He left The Daily Show to get a late night talk show on CBS. He was funny for a niche audience on basic cable, but his act didn’t appeal to the wider audience CBS required. He struggled for a couple years on CBS, his show was cancelled, and nobody ever heard from him again.

Colbert is probably going to have the same problem.

It’s a shame, I liked his show. The censors at CBS are probably going to require him to be less extreme and more mainstream, which means he won’t be funny anymore.

Reader Mail – 03/30/2014 To 04/05/2014

commented on I Still Don't Sign NDAs For Job Interviews.
Bro you gotta stop with the "reader mail" - it is cluttering up your blog big time. Also it's redundant, since anyone can read the comments to an article simply by clicking on the comment section. No offense - just offering a bit of constructive criticism. This is a good blog and the "reader mail" posts is starting to really drag it down in my opinion. Also, if you decide to stop doing those posts, you should go back and get rid of all the old ones. Let people read comments by clicking on the comment section if they want. Just one opinion!

The bigger problem is that I haven't been putting the time into creating new posts.

Some people don't go back to read the comments, which is why I started doing it. Sometimes, there are really interesting discussions in the comments, or I spend a lot of time writing a response.

I Still Don’t Sign NDAs For Job Interviews

I had a phone interview with a stupid startup. They insisted that I sign an NDA before they tell me their business plan. I refused, and said that I only sign NDAs at the job offer stage, never as a prerequisite for an interview.

I already mentioned this here.

They said I was the only candidate they talked to that refused to sign! (I probably also was the most qualified by a huge margin.)

They had 2 other red flags.

1. They hired an outsourcing firm to develop their MVP. I’ve been on several interviews where they wanted me to clean up the mess made by the outsourcing firm that made the MVP. They always say “It’s 80% done! We just need some finishing touches!”, but when I look at it, it’s garbage. That’s a no-win situation. The client isn’t able to admit that the outsourcing firm delivered crap and he wasted his money. He wouldn’t let me do a complete rewrite and do it correctly. Outsourcing your MVP is a no-win situation, a doomed startup. The outsourcing firm delivers garbage, but having wasted their money, the client wants to patch it and make it work instead of a complete rewrite, leading to inevitable failure.

1.a. When I asked them who the outsourcing firm was, they also treated that as super-confidential. Again, that’s proof that they’re crazy. I don’t need to hire an outsourcing firm, I’d just write it myself. The fact that they treated it as super-confidential shows mental illness level paranoia.

2. Neither of them were technical themselves, but they had a “technical adviser” who didn’t actually work on their product, which is another red flag every time I’ve seen that. (If their idea was so brilliant, their “technical adviser” would work on it himself full-time.)

So, I avoided wasting my time on fruitcakes. My “No NDAs!” policy served its purpose. However, I’m kind of surprised that nobody else refuses to sign NDAs? I thought that was standard among people who have at least half a clue? I don’t mind missing out on the opportunity, because they clearly were nuts. I’m surprised that NOBODY ELSE refused to sign the NDA. I’m 99.9% sure I did right thing, but it still is disturbing when an ***hole says that you’re wrong for standing up for yourself.

I saw one article that explained why “Non-technical cofounder looking for programmer/co-founder” types are all fruitcakes. If you’re a potential non-technical co-founder who’s an 8-10, you aren’t going to do a startup. Those people are VCs, hedge fund managers, investment bankers, etc. It’s only the low-quality nontechnical guys who do startups, the people who are 5s and 6s.

Another person said that the software job market is a “double lemon market”. It’s a lemon market for employers, because most active candidates are unemployable losers. (I’m an active candidate, highly qualified, AND an unemployable loser.) It’s a lemon market for candidates also, because a highly qualified manager will have plenty of people to hire from his network or from previous jobs, so he won’t be posting on some job board. When most of the candidates are lemons and most of the jobs are lemons, it’s very hard. It’s hard for the good candidates to get past the gatekeepers, who think their job is to filter out the lemons. Employers get frustrated, because their gatekeepers are also filtering out the outlier great candidates. It’s frustrating when most of the jobs you interview for aren’t worth taking.

Reader Mail – 03/23/2014 To 03/29/2014

reemul commented on node.js Is VB6 - Does node.js Suck?.
1) There is no developer license for for Flex/Flash. The only one charging developers for licenses is Apple.

2) When developing mobile apps, you use touch events, NOT mouse events. Adobe and Apache have been good at developing mobile libraries.

1. I'm pretty sure that Adobe charges money for their Flash SDK. I researched this a couple years ago. The open-source Flash SDK isn't as good.

2. The problem is OLD Flash content won't work on mobile, unless it is re-written specifically to work on mobile.

More importantly, I've decided that HTML5/CSS/Javascript is worth learning more than Flash or native mobile apps. Of course, I could be wrong, like with my decision to invest in C/C++ instead of Java.

I've been (slowly) experimenting with HTML5/Javascript, but I don't have much energy leftover after work.

Reader Mail – 03/16/2014 To 03/22/2014

Ira Hyman commented on About FSK.
Some friends and myself (in NYC) have started a software company and need a programmer, we would like to use GO, for our first project. On Amazon there is a kindle book called the "The Way to GO " it's enough for you to evaluate the GO language it only cost 3 Dollars.Please download this and let me know if you think you can program in GO, it seems close to C and C++ in many respects.This is very inportant to me, please contact me ASAP. We have money set aside for the making of a demo program and if you can make this happen in a month or so,it will lead to a great paying permanent gig with us and shares in the company as well & title as well.Thank you FSK for your time, I hope we can solve each others problems, by the way we are doing a cyber security plug in.Thanks IRA.

My attitude towards languages is "learn them when I need them". Right now, I've been looking at html5/javascript/css for my personal experiements. If you're serious about hiring me, I'll learn Go as needed.

I usually don't waste time learning a language as a pre-requisite to an interview, because I learn them as needed pretty quickly.

However, this is a huge red flag. You haven't hired a programmer yet, and you already decided you're using Go. If you are not technical yourself, how can you know that Go is the right choice? Whenever I hear someone say "We're starting a startup, we don't have a programmer among our current co-founders, and we already decided what language we're using for implementation.", my reaction is "Oh, you're clueless. Why am I wasting my time on you?"

Since you are not technical, I know you have selected Go based on hype and not based on technical merit, so I don't see why you're worth my time.

What if I evaluate the description of your product, and conclude another tool is better than Go?

reemul commented on node.js Is VB6 - Does node.js Suck?.
Hold off on PHP being the bastard language for amateurs, I develop Flex applications. Last I heard Flash/Flex developers are the red headed stepchildren in the programming world. I also develop in nodejs (got hired at a company, they said "use this") so I did. I like the scalability of it and it's lightweight nature. I don't know how it compares to VB6 cuz I started in the C/C++ world and then C#/MVC as far as MS development. As such I always thought of VB6 as the bastard language to be forgotten. I always chose C# over VB. But to each his own. It seems every company I work for wants to do something else. So I tend to go with the flow. I will say this, I once got hired for a PHP role(don't know why), needless to say it did not work out.

The nail in the coffin for Flash was Apple refusing to support it on mobile.

I also will usually use whatever tools the employer picks. However, employers almost always want job candidates to already be experts in whatever they're using.

reemul commented on node.js Is VB6 - Does node.js Suck?.

Actually Flash is not dead. It just out grew the browser. That's how the AIR runtime came to be. If you have a strong Flash or Flex background you don't have to ditch your skillset to produce mobile apps for both Android and Apple. Also there are new tools such as edge that will translate Flash and actionscript to html and javascript.

One complaint I have with Flash/AIR is that the development license is big $$$, along with the vendor lock-in. That makes it bigger than my budget when I'm just doing a casual experiment.

I looked around, and there also are tools that compile Javascript to native mobile binaries. I don't know if they're any good.

One issue with Flash on mobile is that "mouse-hover" is a common operation in Flash (especially Flash games), but mosue-hover has no comparable operation on a mobile touchscreen. Existing Flash content would need to be re-written to work properly on mobile. That's one reason Flash was banned on the iPhone, because existing Flash web apps wouldn't work properly. However, I do like the way Puffin browser handles Flash. (I have it on my Android phone.)

Reader Mail – 03/09/2014 To 03/15/2014

John K. Hinsdale commented on Test Driven Development Personality Analysis.
Another fundamental flaw with TDD is that -- by definition -- it cannot be known, when the test is first written, i.e., before the code it is tests has been written, whether the test ITSELF has bugs. Tests are themselves software that can be buggy. Therefore, the initial status of the test as failing may be due also to the test being buggy, not only the code under test's being incomplete. So now, during development, when you are struggling to get the automated test to pass, you've got two places to worry about. Debugging is all about eliminating variables and isolating problems, not adding variables. TDD -- specifically, the "write tests first" part -- is asinine. I'm glad someone is calling it out, good work!

After spending a lot of time with PHP and Javascript, I started doing some C/C++ again. It's amazing how nice it is to use a strongly typed language. The compiler catches so many bugs for you! The compiler catches mistyped variable names, unused local variables, wrong function arguments, and more. Plus, the compiler error messages in C/C++ are so much better than the barely-useful messages you get from PHP and Javascript(firebug).

Also, how do you qualify for having your own Wikipedia page? I thought they're pretty strict. You work at Wireless Generation? They used to spam Craigslist job ads but I haven't seen them in awhile. I never got an on-site interview from them.

Marc commented on The HIV/AIDS Conspiracy Theory.
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Reader Mail – 03/02/2014 To 03/08/2014

captain hindsight commented on Larken Rose Still Thinks Like A Statist.
Well that was stupid of you. You could have been rich by now.


I still say that Bitcoin is stupid. In retrospect, it would have been a good investment to buy a couple years ago and sell now (If I could find an exchange that wouldn't MtGox me!).

My first Bitcoin post was in March 2011, when the price USD/BTC was less than $6/BTC!

Larissa commented on Node.js And NPM - Still Run By Children.
Why are you surprised about v8 beating php and python?

I thought that PHP was mostly a wrapper around the C standard library. I didn't realize there was that much extra overhead.

I did seriously consider HVVM (Facebook's optimized PHP), but that's probably not worth my time.

My plan is still to use PHP, and then switch to C/C++ when performance is an issue. Now I know to not do anything calculation-intensive in PHP.

There was another amusing bit at work. Doing calculations on the server in SQL isn't really much faster than doing it on the client (in Javascript)! The only downside of doing it on the client is that it takes awhile to transmit the data. I blame the lousy AWS instance. I noticed a 100% variation in the amount of time a calculation takes! (i.e. 40-80 milliseconds)

I did some more C/C++ lately, working on the Video Poker program. I forgot how nice it is to use a strongly typed language. It's so much easier to debug when errors show up at compile-time instead of run-time. Lots of nice little things like "unused local variable warning" that you don't get in Javascript and PHP.

Anonymous Coward commented on Survivor Anti-Intellectualism.
I went to the top university in my country for science. Most of my employers have told me I do perfect work.

Yet throughout most of my working life I have been unpaid and a fair proportion of my jobs have been unstable for a variety of reasons. I lost one job with a famous tech company one day after my last project manager visited me to give me a gift for doing such good work! In that company you had one "people" manager and several different project managers. As such my "people" manager fired me, despite my project manager congratulating me on my work.

So I might have some intellectual capacity, but as far as my own success in the corporate world goes I have been a failure.

I run my own business now and that actually does quite well. I've just sold a lot of my software to one of the top three tech companies in the world.

Anonymous Coward commented on Survivor Anti-Intellectualism.


> I have been unpaid

This should read "I have been *underpaid*.....

I Don’t Like Hackathons

Hackathons are very popular now. During a hackathon, a bunch of people get together for 24-48 hours and develop a simple product. If your project does well, you might get someone to invest in your project or get hired.

What’s the problem? There are some projects that can’t be done in 1-2 days. I don’t like hackathons, because I’m interested in projects that can’t be finished in one weekend.

Some people cheat. They come with code written ahead of time, and pretend to finish at the hackathon.

The hackathon is a usually bunch of people in a big noisy open plan room. I like to work in a quiet place.

I don’t like the idea of hackathons, because I prefer projects that can’t be finished in 2 days.

Survivor Anti-Intellectualism

I watched bits of the first episode of Survivor. The players are in 3 teams, “Beauty”, “Brains”, and “Brawn”. However, they picked COMPLETE IDIOTS for the “Brains” tribe. The hidden message is “Smart people are really stupid.”

The “Brains” team had the same problem on Big Brother, when they tried that. Ronnie played really stupid during his HoH. Chima got kicked out for breaking the rules once she realized she was going to lose (just like the girl who dumped the rice in the fire on Survivor).

The Survivor “Brains” team voted out their two most athletic players first, an idiot move. As I just mentioned, one of the players dumped their rice into the fire when the other players told her she was getting voted out. The other players were idiots for not blindsiding her. The correct way to manage the votes on Survivor is to make every player think they’re safe, until the vote is revealed.

There are two types of intelligence, logical intelligence and emotional intelligence. To win on a reality show, you really need emotional intelligence, because you need to make alliances and convince other people to not backstab you. The “Brains” tribe seems to have mediocre logical intelligence and lousy emotional intelligence.

The producers for Survivor intentionally picked idiots for the “Brains” tribe, because they want to promote the idea that intelligent people actually are stupid. That seems to be a universal rule. If a reality show has a “Brains” team, they will play the game really poorly.