Comment On The Next Big Thing, "The Best" Interview, & Too Primitive for COBOL

Have your own Tale From an Interview? Don't hesitate to send it to me. [expand full text]
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Re: The Next Big Thing, "The Best" Interview, & Too Primitive for COBOL

2009-05-14 08:36 • by jaco
261807 in reply to 261584
Joon:
Jaco:

I remember that... It's from an episode of My Family, isn't it?

People really find it hard to believe, sometimes, just how much technological advances are made in South Africa. (and yes, I am a programmer in Cape Town :-P)


Heh, a fellow reader from Cape Town, home of the world's first successful heart transplant

Lyk my nou is daar ten minste twee van ons...

Captcha: Enim. Anyone else feel there's a letter missing?


Ek is seker daar is heelwat meer van ons hier...

Re: The Next Big Thing, "The Best" Interview, & Too Primitive for COBOL

2009-05-14 09:30 • by One Night at the Computer History Museum (unregistered)
261827 in reply to 261764
Mummy:
Code Slave:
Charles400:
Post:
“Okay,” he said in disappointed tone, “well now I know you’re lying. I mean really, everybody knows that Africa hardly even has electricity, let alone computers, let alone COBOL programmers! You could have at least picked a place like Scotland!”


Idiot! Archeologists frequently unearth COBOL listings in the pyramids...


We buried them there for good reason! Would you idiots please stop digging them up?


Yes, please stop it! Isn't it enough that inventors of COBOL are being shown in museums around the world, wrapped with thin, white stripes of COBOL listings!

I'm picturing green-and-white mummies (greenbar!), in sarcophagi made of IBM 360 cabinets, decorated with grave goods and jewelry made from Hollerith cards... Nice. I like it.

Re: The Next Big Thing, "The Best" Interview, & Too Primitive for COBOL

2009-05-14 10:09 • by Bosluis (unregistered)
I'm from South Africa (JHB) and this reminds me of a story my mate (white guy) was telling me when he went over to the states a few months back.

He met a black guy (I mean "African American") and told him that he was African just like him, the Dude FLIPPED out and went crazy... my friend then replied "I've lived in Africa for 26 Years, how long did u stay there?" ... needless to say, it didnt end well.

Oh and for people who want a place to go on hoiliday, come to South Africa .. its R9 for a beer here which is around $0.90 and the weather is always good. :)

Re: The Next Big Thing, "The Best" Interview, & Too Primitive for COBOL

2009-05-14 11:14 • by Someone You Know
261861 in reply to 261590
Herby:
Not an interview, but at a job fair. I handed my nicely printed resume to the HR droid (I don't think they qualified for that, but I digress). It was summarily handed back with the comment "we only take college graduates". I mentioned "HUH?" and she (yes, it was a she) had only looked at the first line which indicated my high school education (I thought it was important, it was a private school), and the NEXT line mentioned my college degree. Evidently they didn't read past the first line.


Traditional resumes have the most recent material at the top. I think a droid could be forgiven for assuming that was the case with yours.

Re: The Next Big Thing, "The Best" Interview, & Too Primitive for COBOL

2009-05-14 11:40 • by Gharp (unregistered)
261868 in reply to 261742
Chris:
The Sout Africa story reminds me something I was told ...
I used to leave in South West of France, close to a mountain. When one of a friend's relatives came to visit us from a "very big town", he told us
"Believe me, when I first arrived, I was so surprised to see you had electricity! Even toilet in your house, instead of the garden! I really thought you didn't have all that!I mean, you're in the mountains so ..."


Seems this happens everywhere... On a trip from Seattle to Washington DC, I had a lady ask "if we were still having problems with the Indians". She was rather offended when I told her the Indians are quite happy with their casinos and inquired how the war with the red coats was going.

Re: The Next Big Thing, "The Best" Interview, & Too Primitive for COBOL

2009-05-14 12:01 • by Teh Irish Gril Riot (unregistered)
261877 in reply to 261868
Gharp:

Seems this happens everywhere... On a trip from Seattle to Washington DC, I had a lady ask "if we were still having problems with the Indians". She was rather offended when I told her the Indians are quite happy with their casinos and inquired how the war with the red coats was going.


Obviously she was a Tory.

Re: The Next Big Thing, "The Best" Interview, & Too Primitive for COBOL

2009-05-14 12:20 • by Jay (unregistered)
261887 in reply to 261748
hey persto!:
EatenByAGrue:
Apparently CPound has remembered one of the first things they teach you about contracts: a verbal contract is worth the paper it's written on.


That's strange, when I studied contract law one of the first things that we were taught is that the requirement is 'communication' rather than any specific medium. It is only in few rare cases where written word (in the form of a deed) is required.

I imagine I am in a different jurisdiction, however I expect that this is the same in most western countries.


I'm not a lawyer, but I've had to study legal issues now and then, and my understanding is that, yes, a verbal contract is theoretically just as binding as a written contract. But in practice, it is much more difficult to enforce. If you go to court and you have a signed contract in your hands in which the other guy promised to deliver 200 widgets on March 3 for $500, then if you can demonstrate that you paid the money but he did not deliver 200 widgets on March 3, you should easily win the case. But if all you have is a verbal agreement, and he tells the judge that the agreed price was $5000 and so you never paid the full amount, or that he never promised to "deliver" them and you never showed up at his warehouse in Timbucktu to pick them up, or whatever, then you are left with the difficult problem of proving that he actually agreed to what you say he agreed to. If there's nothing on paper and no unbiased witnesses, how will you prove anything?

I strongly suspect that judges groan when these cases come to them, because they are left trying to guess what reasonable people might have agreed to.

Re: The Next Big Thing, "The Best" Interview, & Too Primitive for COBOL

2009-05-14 12:41 • by PicklePumpers Dot Com (unregistered)
Ugh, can we please at least use our brains and call BS on the fake stories? The Next Big Thing (from "CPound") is clearly total Bull. Next he'll be telling us about users who can't figure out how to use their drink holders.

Re: The Next Big Thing, "The Best" Interview, & Too Primitive for COBOL

2009-05-14 12:48 • by m0ffx (unregistered)
261900 in reply to 261840
Bosluis:
I'm from South Africa (JHB) and this reminds me of a story my mate (white guy) was telling me when he went over to the states a few months back.

He met a black guy (I mean "African American") and told him that he was African just like him, the Dude FLIPPED out and went crazy... my friend then replied "I've lived in Africa for 26 Years, how long did u stay there?" ... needless to say, it didnt end well.


To be honest I'm not too surprised that a black American might get pissed off at a white South African. Apartheid ended not long ago, and there are probably people of all races who would assume all white South African's were pro-apartheid.

Re: The Next Big Thing, "The Best" Interview, & Too Primitive for COBOL

2009-05-14 14:24 • by JohnB (unregistered)
261924 in reply to 261509
Maurits:
Rich:
Seriously, guy doesn't even recognise the capital city of South Africa!

Oh wait, or is that Johannesburg...?


South Africa has three (count 'em, three) capitals.

One of them is, indeed, Cape Town.

None of them are Jo'burg, though.

Having lived there (many years ago) and having learned how to program COBOL there (yup, seriously) ... Pretoria is the executive capital (a quite impressive sweep of a building; I lived in the city for a year or so), Bloemfontein is the judicial capital (visited for a couple of days) and Cape Town is the legislative capital (visited for a couple of days). Johannesburg (aka Jo-burg or Joeys) was a great place to live, party, work ... I miss it.

Of course, for those who enjoy cryptic crosswords, the real capital of South Africa is the rand.

Re: The Next Big Thing, "The Best" Interview, & Too Primitive for COBOL

2009-05-14 16:13 • by Vechni
THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST

Re: The Next Big Thing, "The Best" Interview, & Too Primitive for COBOL

2009-05-15 00:53 • by Furis (unregistered)
And in Africa we still don't have internet. I sent this comment via carrier pigeon. I would have used my personal zebra to take me into town, but a lion ate it. :(

Re: The Next Big Thing, "The Best" Interview, & Too Primitive for COBOL

2009-05-15 04:43 • by StevenMcD (unregistered)
yeah, I just arrived at work and parked my Lion outside. To get internet access, us developers in South Africa dial up via smoke signals.

The ignorance of some people really really amazes me. This had to have been an American interviewer. No offense to you Americans that actually do have a brain, but I've found that the majority of Americans I've dealt with online are a bunch of retards that couldn't point out South Africa on a map, let alone know anything about any country outside of the "mighty USA".

Re: The Next Big Thing, "The Best" Interview, & Too Primitive for COBOL

2009-05-15 05:07 • by someone else (unregistered)
262604 in reply to 261486
Thnurg:
Scotland is supposed to be primitive according to some. I used to work for an Edinburgh based software house. On a business trip to Athens I shared a taxi with two American girls. They asked what I did and when I told them I was a computer programmer in Scotland they replied "You have all that over there?"

Sheesh.


Sounds like an opening scene from a porn movie.

Re: The Next Big Thing, "The Best" Interview, & Too Primitive for COBOL

2009-05-15 17:28 • by Franz Kafka (unregistered)
262797 in reply to 261900
m0ffx:
Bosluis:
I'm from South Africa (JHB) and this reminds me of a story my mate (white guy) was telling me when he went over to the states a few months back.

He met a black guy (I mean "African American") and told him that he was African just like him, the Dude FLIPPED out and went crazy... my friend then replied "I've lived in Africa for 26 Years, how long did u stay there?" ... needless to say, it didnt end well.


To be honest I'm not too surprised that a black American might get pissed off at a white South African. Apartheid ended not long ago, and there are probably people of all races who would assume all white South African's were pro-apartheid.


How would the black guy know this? It sounds like he flipped out at the idea of a white african.

Re: The Next Big Thing, "The Best" Interview, & Too Primitive for COBOL

2009-05-18 01:22 • by rodgerlvu (unregistered)
262995 in reply to 261521
I wonder if there's ANY country in the world today where there aren't at least some computers around. I mean, even in the poorest, most primitive country, there must be some number of relatively wealthy people who have nice houses and all the modern boots. Powered by a generator in the basement if necessary.

I recall years ago talking to a woman who was a missionary in, umm, Cote D'Ivoire I think, in a place remote from any modern civilization. But she had solar panels on the roof of her house that provided enough power to run lights and a small refrigerator.

The *REAL* Next Big Thing!!!! Nobody's thought of *THIS*!

2009-05-19 00:52 • by Mr. Ging (unregistered)
263276 in reply to 262995
I'm building a computer program that allows you to put these special tags into little text files. The program will display the tags as blue, underlined text, and when you click on the text, it'll load another page-- possibly even from another computer!

Then, since you really can't tell if a remote text file is really there or not, I'll make a living writing programs that generate remote text files on the fly, which will result in "interactive" programs that are really just remote documents.

I'm thinking of calling the entire concept "Energetic Text." Nobody's thought of it before me!

Re: The Next Big Thing, "The Best" Interview, & Too Primitive for COBOL

2009-05-19 06:56 • by few (unregistered)


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Re: The Next Big Thing, "The Best" Interview, & Too Primitive for COBOL

2009-05-22 17:08 • by Isaac (unregistered)
265025 in reply to 261521
Jay:
I wonder if there's ANY country in the world today where there aren't at least some computers around. I mean, even in the poorest, most primitive country, there must be some number of relatively wealthy people who have nice houses and all the modern conveniences. Powered by a generator in the basement if necessary.

I recall years ago talking to a woman who was a missionary in, umm, Cote D'Ivoire I think, in a place remote from any modern civilization. But she had solar panels on the roof of her house that provided enough power to run lights and a small refrigerator.


A Nigerian friend has told me that many people in Nigeria use smartphones, rather than PCs, for various reasons. It's likely that he's talking about middle class urban Nigerians, but I've also heard about poor villagers in places like Africa and India, who own a SIM card, and hire a phone when they need it. Tech-savviness seems to be much more widely distributed than we might think.

Re: The Next Big Thing, "The Best" Interview, & Too Primitive for COBOL

2009-06-07 08:55 • by That's for sure (unregistered)
267617 in reply to 261454
Charles Bond:
When I was in my 20s, I had this long list of attributes I was looking for in a woman.

By the time I was 30, that list was down to one item: sane.

Now that I am 40, I'm looking for the same thing in a supervisor.


Amen, Brother!

Re: The Next Big Thing, "The Best" Interview, & Too Primitive for COBOL

2009-06-07 09:03 • by That's for sure (unregistered)
267618 in reply to 261861
Someone You Know:
Herby:
Not an interview, but at a job fair. I handed my nicely printed resume to the HR droid (I don't think they qualified for that, but I digress). It was summarily handed back with the comment "we only take college graduates". I mentioned "HUH?" and she (yes, it was a she) had only looked at the first line which indicated my high school education (I thought it was important, it was a private school), and the NEXT line mentioned my college degree. Evidently they didn't read past the first line.


Traditional resumes have the most recent material at the top. I think a droid could be forgiven for assuming that was the case with yours.


Yeah, man . . . we wouldn't want the HR toad to waste any of their precious time reading the whole document now would we? They have much more important things to do (things so secret that they are unknow to all of us that do real work).

Re: The Next Big Thing, "The Best" Interview, & Too Primitive for COBOL

2009-06-08 08:42 • by I <3 MFD (unregistered)
The Best Comment

Re: The Next Big Thing, "The Best" Interview, & Too Primitive for COBOL

2009-06-13 16:12 • by Risita (unregistered)
269050 in reply to 261521
Jay:
I wonder if there's ANY country in the world today where there aren't at least some computers around. I mean, even in the poorest, most primitive country, there must be some number of relatively wealthy people who have nice houses and all the modern conveniences. Powered by a generator in the basement if necessary.

I recall years ago talking to a woman who was a missionary in, umm, Cote D'Ivoire I think, in a place remote from any modern civilization. But she had solar panels on the roof of her house that provided enough power to run lights and a small refrigerator.


Yup - I read somewhere that even in North Korea, a few top-ranking officials have dialup Internet access.

Re: The Next Big Thing, "The Best" Interview, & Too Primitive for COBOL

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Re: The Next Big Thing, "The Best" Interview, & Too Primitive for COBOL

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Re: The Next Big Thing, "The Best" Interview, & Too Primitive for COBOL

2011-11-02 22:20 • by aphro (unregistered)
The Next Big Thing (from "CPound")

Surprisingly this actually, happens, alot. It's usually when a marketing person, usually of the older generation, who have delved into traditional business, think they can plug a market with something on the "internet" and pile "SEO" into it and it will be successful.

Unfortunately I had the experience of working with someone exactly as above. Constantly being reminded that 300000GBP was invested in this, and my recommendations weren't "working" and that what he already had was "working" (600 users a day, bounce rate of 50%), my suggestions were to remove the 150+ html errors found by the W3C checker and remove javascript generated content for "SEO" and untangle the spaghetti code, as he was throwing features at me quicker than I could even work out his current stuff.

Anyway long story short, this story made me laugh so much :P cheers
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