The Mandatory Three, The Easy Road to Success, and Relevant Inexperience

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  • SlyEcho 2008-11-25 11:09

    how would you build a priority queue?


    Using a heap stored in an array?
  • No 2008-11-25 11:10
    It's relevant
  • koekum 2008-11-25 11:10
    Oh, and you may as well stop reading...

    the rest of the comments are just filler
  • Rachelle 2008-11-25 11:12
    This comment runs like a dog, but its ok for a firsat attempt.
  • SysKoll 2008-11-25 11:13
    So what you are saying is that you don't reward honesty in résumés. You just want another carefully weasel-worded, buzzword-compliant, boring résumé.

    That'd be TRWTF.
  • MattWPBS 2008-11-25 11:19
    I reckon what the résumé is saying is "If you ask someone you've pissed off to write your résumé or polish it up, check it before using it."
  • hikari 2008-11-25 11:22
    SysKoll:
    So what you are saying is that you don't reward honesty in résumés. You just want another carefully weasel-worded, buzzword-compliant, boring résumé.

    That'd be TRWTF.


    Well if you read as far as something that says "I don't know how to use interfaces" and more or less says "and I can't be bothered to learn them" when you use them extensively then it's a pretty good reason to reject them.

    The fact that they admit to not understanding them isn't really the problem; the flat refusal to learn them is. It's a pretty core concept of abstracted development - I'd hate to work on even a moderately sized project with someone who didn't know how to use them.
  • Michael 2008-11-25 11:23
    Ha ha ha ha! I took a combined 6 years of Italian through junior high and high school. All I retained was: mi piace le tue tette!

    Captcha: tristique. A mystifying trisquit?
  • Dei 2008-11-25 11:31
    You must hire someone with a resume like that, they will be very entertainig in the office.
  • Chris 2008-11-25 11:36
    SlyEcho:

    how would you build a priority queue?


    Using a heap stored in an array?


    Hold on a minute. Shouldn't we involve a table and pictures or something?

    We're also going to need XML, Webservices, PHP, a neural net, and some assembly sprinkled in (to make it very fast).
  • Satanicpuppy 2008-11-25 11:39
    hikari:
    SysKoll:
    So what you are saying is that you don't reward honesty in résumés. You just want another carefully weasel-worded, buzzword-compliant, boring résumé.

    That'd be TRWTF.


    Well if you read as far as something that says "I don't know how to use interfaces" and more or less says "and I can't be bothered to learn them" when you use them extensively then it's a pretty good reason to reject them.

    The fact that they admit to not understanding them isn't really the problem; the flat refusal to learn them is. It's a pretty core concept of abstracted development - I'd hate to work on even a moderately sized project with someone who didn't know how to use them.


    Speaking as someone who hasn't used interfaces hardly at all since college, I have to agree. If something is required at your job, you need to pick it up.

    The guy sounded like amateur hour anyway. Resume's need to be professional, and you don't need to include lines like "This is where I taught myself how to code." If you did teach yourself, keep it TO yourself. Self-taught coders have tons of bad habits.
  • Chris 2008-11-25 11:40
    SysKoll:
    So what you are saying is that you don't reward honesty in résumés. You just want another carefully weasel-worded, buzzword-compliant, boring résumé.

    That'd be TRWTF.


    Suppose the resume said "I hate other people. They are stupid and always wrong. When will everyone just recognize my genius and worship me as their god?"

    Would you hire TopCod3r because he was being honest? Or save yourself the hideously painful ulcer?

    I didn't realized honesty was the only qualification and competence was uninteresting.
  • JamesQMurphy 2008-11-25 11:43
    I'm still scratching my head... what does XML have to do with a queue, especially a non-persistable queue? Why would nine out of ten candidates recommend something like that?
  • St Mary's Hospital for the Eternally Sleeping 2008-11-25 11:48
    Uh, the Italian language technician, would you hire him or not?

    awful:

    1: inspiring awe
    2: filled with awe: deeply respectful or reverential
    3: extremely disagreeable or objectionable
  • Raven Darke 2008-11-25 11:51
    JamesQMurphy:
    I'm still scratching my head... what does XML have to do with a queue, especially a non-persistable queue? Why would nine out of ten candidates recommend something like that?


    Because, to quote Abraham Maslow, "When the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem begins to resemble a nail."
  • christian 2008-11-25 11:51
    Could bringing in people as "fillers" put the school in danger for a civil suit?

    They're intentionally misrepresenting the possibility of an employment opportunity, which wastes the candidate's time and money.
  • foobar 2008-11-25 11:56
    Point of clarification: It's generally not universities, per se, that impose the three interview minimum rule but governments. Many state jobs have the same issue: they've already decided who they want to fill the position but by law they're required to post the job for a minimum period of time and interview a minimum number of people--including the person that they've already decided upon!
  • Procedural 2008-11-25 12:01
    Agreed; the purpose of such a law must be to insure that the competent are hired, instead of just rewarding inertia.

    This is a triple failure: 1) the hiring institution ends up with the familiar rather than the best; 2) people's time and money is wasted on known false promises (which is tantamount to fraud); 3) the people in charge not only fail to do their job, but also teach themselves and each other that such failure is acceptable; those are the people who will get promoted the next time some poor guys are asked to pay with their time and money as unpaid extras to come to an interview they have no chance of getting.
  • Frost 2008-11-25 12:03
    SlyEcho:

    how would you build a priority queue?


    Using a heap stored in an array?


    Silly "XML" and "JavaScript" comments aside, I'd dig out one of my old textbooks, or just google for pseudocode. TRWTF is expecting any other answer. A priority queue is easy to implement as a tree.
  • Code Dependent 2008-11-25 12:03
    Paul H.:
    it didn't take long for the dev manager to admit he had given all of them the answer because he was tired of us rejecting candidates.
    Adam:
    I have been asked to scan through the résumés and select the ones that have the relevant experience. Why the agencies don't do this is beyond me.
    The agencies don't do it because they don't make money unless you hire someone, and they don't care who you hire as long as it's their candidate. So the more candidates they send, the greater the chance that you'll be fooled by interview-time bullshitting and hire some idiot.

    When we were interviewing for a developer position and had rejected the third candidate from one headhunter due to them not being able to satisfactorily answer our technical questions, he took me aside and said, "Look, why don't you give me a copy of your list of questions, and I'll weed these guys out for you."

    Things that will never happen:
    A. Headhunter gets a list of our questions.
  • James 2008-11-25 12:09
    foobar:
    Point of clarification: It's generally not universities, per se, that impose the three interview minimum rule but governments. Many state jobs have the same issue: they've already decided who they want to fill the position but by law they're required to post the job for a minimum period of time and interview a minimum number of people--including the person that they've already decided upon!


    I speak from experience -- in my gov't job, I applied for a bunch of positions only to find (long after the fact) that they'd been "filled" by the incumbent. Of course, they were filled weeks before I was even interviewed.

    The problem arises because there's no way to generate genuinely objective data about someone's qualifications. If the interviewer wants Joe to beat Sally, he's going to emphasize Joe's strong points and downplay Sally's, so even if there's an official audit, there's almost no chance of showing impropriety. It's sad, but I don't know how to fix it.
  • Buddy 2008-11-25 12:15
    JamesQMurphy:
    I'm still scratching my head... what does XML have to do with a queue, especially a non-persistable queue? Why would nine out of ten candidates recommend something like that?


    It has nothing to do with queues, but if the applicant doesn't understand data structures or algorithms, and maybe has experience only in XML, or it was the most recent thing they were doing, then what the heck, throw XML out there.

    I don't even bother asking algorithm questions in interviews, kids these days just copy stuff off the web. If something comes up that they have zero experience in, I just spell it out in excruciating detail. By and large, they don't have debug skills either. Without a debugger, they're hopeless.

    I remember once was tracking down a problem in JavaScript which was supposed to be validating form input. The problem report consisted of "It's not working." which was pretty good considering it had no grammatical or spelling errors. The idiot was flustered, clicking the submit button over and over and nothing was happening. I'm not sure what he was expecting by clicking submit repeatedly, maybe it would somehow fix itself, but anyway.

    I sat next to him and helped him debug. I said put an alert just after the function line, that's to confirm the function is called. Got the alert popup. Then said, okay move it after the next line and run again, that's to confirm if it executes that line. Got the alert popup. Did this maybe 10 times, moving by blocks and by lines, and he still didn't get it. By then we found the offending line which had some trivial error, likely missing a closing bracket.

    Right up until the day we let him go, he still never figured out to debug.
  • SlyEcho 2008-11-25 12:16
    JamesQMurphy:
    I'm still scratching my head... what does XML have to do with a queue, especially a non-persistable queue? Why would nine out of ten candidates recommend something like that?


    It's easy to do trees in XML. I get chills though when thinking about implementing a heap algorithm with XML DOM structures.

    (Might be worth doing for the Stupid Coding Tricks column along with the T-SQL Mandelbrot)
  • Jay 2008-11-25 12:25
    JamesQMurphy:
    I'm still scratching my head... what does XML have to do with a queue, especially a non-persistable queue? Why would nine out of ten candidates recommend something like that?


    Because the first rule of good programming today seems to be, "Make the solution as complicated as possible." If you can build a very complicated solution and make it work, this proves that you are a programming genius. The fact that it will waste system resources, that no one will be able to maintain it because they can't figure it out, etc, these are the kind of carping criticisms made by lesser mortals who could not have assembled this complicated structure that you have built.
  • MisterCheese 2008-11-25 12:30
    Don't some dogs run quite quickly?
  • newfweiler 2008-11-25 12:31
    How do you build a priority queue?

    If I'm hiring a Java programmer I expect the candidate to say "new java.util.PriorityQueue<E>();".

    Or at least that's what I expect a Java programmer to write in a real application. I don't want the programmer to go away for two weeks and come back with a handmade priority queue. (A good part of this website's content is stories about pages of handcrafted code that should be replaced with a one-line call to a built-in function.)

    I don't absolutely expect a candidate to know what a priority queue (or a soft reference or a curried function or a JavaScript closure) is. If he / she asks "What's a priority queue?" I'd say "You put things in in any order and they come out in order of priority." The next questions I would hope the candidate asks are "Is there something in a class library that does that?" and "Does it have to be thread-safe?"
  • Jay 2008-11-25 12:33
    James:
    foobar:
    Point of clarification: It's generally not universities, per se, that impose the three interview minimum rule but governments. Many state jobs have the same issue: they've already decided who they want to fill the position but by law they're required to post the job for a minimum period of time and interview a minimum number of people--including the person that they've already decided upon!


    I speak from experience -- in my gov't job, I applied for a bunch of positions only to find (long after the fact) that they'd been "filled" by the incumbent. Of course, they were filled weeks before I was even interviewed.

    The problem arises because there's no way to generate genuinely objective data about someone's qualifications. If the interviewer wants Joe to beat Sally, he's going to emphasize Joe's strong points and downplay Sally's, so even if there's an official audit, there's almost no chance of showing impropriety. It's sad, but I don't know how to fix it.


    I used to work for a company that had a programmer who was from China. Apparently there was some law that every couple of years we had to certify to the government that we had searched for an American citizen to do this job. She was a good employee, so we had absolutely no desire to replace her with someone new. Sure, a new person might turn out to be even better, but they could also turn out to be an incompetent jerk. Better to stick with the known quantity. So every time this requirement came around, we printed a want ad in a newspaper with a circulation of about 30 that was filled with every technical requirement we could think of, and prayed that no one remotely qualified would apply. One year we did have to actually interview a couple of people, wasting our time and theirs.
  • HypocriteWorld 2008-11-25 12:37
    Jay:
    JamesQMurphy:
    I'm still scratching my head... what does XML have to do with a queue, especially a non-persistable queue? Why would nine out of ten candidates recommend something like that?


    Because the first rule of good programming today seems to be, "Make the solution as complicated as possible." If you can build a very complicated solution and make it work, this proves that you are a programming genius. The fact that it will waste system resources, that no one will be able to maintain it because they can't figure it out, etc, these are the kind of carping criticisms made by lesser mortals who could not have assembled this complicated structure that you have built.


    And our programming languages promote this (*ahem* Java *ahem*).
  • joe 2008-11-25 12:38
    Not sure if I'm missing something, Frost, but you're aware that a heap is a special case of a tree, which happens to have the nice property of being easy to store in an array? (left-balanced, root at element 1, child of n at 2n and 2n+1, etc.)

    Of course, the class library does it better, but good to know your data structures. I don't mean this as an insult (there's enough of that on these boards), just trying to help out.
  • D. Travis North 2008-11-25 12:39
    Michael:
    Ha ha ha ha! I took a combined 6 years of Italian through junior high and high school. All I retained was: mi piace le tue tette!


    Heh...I always joke that I took "Three years of Spanish I"
  • Jay 2008-11-25 12:39
    And in a similar vein, when I worked for the government, there used to be a rule that we could not buy anything without getting at least three competitive bids, and then we had to fill out forms showing how we compared these bids, and if we didn't pick the one with the lowest price, justify why another was clearly better.

    These rules applied to ALL purchases. So when we needed to buy, say, a box of pencils, we had to go through the whole bureaucratic procedure. We probably spent hundreds of dollars worth of employee's time to save ten cents on a $5 purchase. Finally the government realized how ridiculous this was and passed new rules, allowing us to make small purchases -- I think the rule was under $5000 total per year or some such for our department -- without the silliness.

    A few years later a newspaper printed an "expose" about how the government was signing millions of contracts without competitive bids, they built it up into a big scandal, and we had to go back to the time and money wasting process.
  • KenW 2008-11-25 12:42
    SysKoll:
    So what you are saying is that you don't reward honesty in résumés. You just want another carefully weasel-worded, buzzword-compliant, boring résumé.

    That'd be TRWTF.


    No. What he's saying is that he wants someone who is actually qualified for the job that he's applying for, and isn't just a script kiddie wanna-be no talent idiot.

    Basically, it means don't bother to send in your resume. The fact that you're trying to submit the poser's shows that you're not qualified.
  • KenW 2008-11-25 12:50
    christian:
    Could bringing in people as "fillers" put the school in danger for a civil suit?

    They're intentionally misrepresenting the possibility of an employment opportunity, which wastes the candidate's time and money.


    Can you prove that? With evidence that's admissible in a court of law? (The fact that they "acted bored" isn't admissible evidence.)
  • Fuzzypig 2008-11-25 12:53
    I marched into an interview and I was greeted by Fred, Harry and John. Now I was very nervous and never caught the job titles. I got about half way through the interview, for a DBA job, I suddenly got into my stride and said "Well the biggest problem I face is that most development managers are pretty dumb, they never think of operational timescales.". Suddenly John gets up and walks out, 2 mins later the interview is called to a halt, shake hands and ushered out.

    The agency calls me and says it all went well but they don't want a call back after you said something very offensive. I'm a very careful person and I couldn't think what it was. She then said, "Well apparently you said all developers were stupid, but you said it to the development manager, he wasn't very happy."

    Me and my mouth! *Cringe*
  • Dirk Diggler 2008-11-25 12:54
    Jay:
    James:
    foobar:
    Point of clarification: It's generally not universities, per se, that impose the three interview minimum rule but governments. Many state jobs have the same issue: they've already decided who they want to fill the position but by law they're required to post the job for a minimum period of time and interview a minimum number of people--including the person that they've already decided upon!


    I speak from experience -- in my gov't job, I applied for a bunch of positions only to find (long after the fact) that they'd been "filled" by the incumbent. Of course, they were filled weeks before I was even interviewed.

    The problem arises because there's no way to generate genuinely objective data about someone's qualifications. If the interviewer wants Joe to beat Sally, he's going to emphasize Joe's strong points and downplay Sally's, so even if there's an official audit, there's almost no chance of showing impropriety. It's sad, but I don't know how to fix it.


    I used to work for a company that had a programmer who was from China. Apparently there was some law that every couple of years we had to certify to the government that we had searched for an American citizen to do this job. She was a good employee, so we had absolutely no desire to replace her with someone new. Sure, a new person might turn out to be even better, but they could also turn out to be an incompetent jerk. Better to stick with the known quantity. So every time this requirement came around, we printed a want ad in a newspaper with a circulation of about 30 that was filled with every technical requirement we could think of, and prayed that no one remotely qualified would apply. One year we did have to actually interview a couple of people, wasting our time and theirs.
    It would be a shame if you had to hire an American citizen and pay a living wage.
  • wee 2008-11-25 12:58
    Buddy:
    By and large, they don't have debug skills either. Without a debugger, they're hopeless.

    I remember once was tracking down a problem in JavaScript which was supposed to be validating form input. The problem report consisted of "It's not working." which was pretty good considering it had no grammatical or spelling errors. The idiot was flustered, clicking the submit button over and over and nothing was happening. I'm not sure what he was expecting by clicking submit repeatedly, maybe it would somehow fix itself, but anyway.

    I sat next to him and helped him debug. I said put an alert just after the function line, that's to confirm the function is called. Got the alert popup. Then said, okay move it after the next line and run again, that's to confirm if it executes that line. Got the alert popup. Did this maybe 10 times, moving by blocks and by lines, and he still didn't get it. By then we found the offending line which had some trivial error, likely missing a closing bracket.

    Right up until the day we let him go, he still never figured out to debug.


    So your "debug skills" essentially amount to a bunch of print statements? People are failing to sprinkle alert()s throughout their code and you're getting on their case for not knowing how to properly debug? Uh...

    Don't get me wrong, using print statements to "step" through code has uses, but if the code only has a simple typo, there are all manner of tools you can use as a first pass which can show you such errors in much less time that it takes to pop up an alert after each and every line of code. And then of course there are actual javascript debuggers that will let you set breakpoints, etc...
  • Code Dependent 2008-11-25 13:04
    Buddy:
    I don't even bother asking algorithm questions in interviews, kids these days just copy stuff off the web. If something comes up that they have zero experience in, I just spell it out in excruciating detail. By and large, they don't have debug skills either. Without a debugger, they're hopeless.
    At 55 years old, I don't qualify as a kid. I started programming for fun in 1981 on a Color Computer, got a CS degree in 1993, and have been writing software for a living since 1995, so maybe I'm not too much of a kid in that respect, either.

    That said: I do quite a lot of "copying stuff off the web". Beyond the abstract stuff that applies no matter what language you use, little of what they taught in my college classes is applicable to my present day work.

    What's that you say? "Study to keep abreast of changes?" Oh, I do. I'm glancing up at the bookshelf over my desk as I write this, and here's what I see:

    Regular Expressions with .Net
    C# 3.0 in a Nutshell
    .Net 2.0 Generics
    Pro LINQ Language Integrated Query in C# 2008
    ASP.Net AJAX in Action
    SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services
    Learning WCF

    Regular Expressions may have been around for a while; the rest are new. And while I don't devote every spare minute of my free time to studying, I have worked through all of those books and now use what I learned from them.

    Still, I reach for the internet more often than I reach for a reference book. Why? Because the information is there. My job is to create software by the best and most effective means possible, not to always draw on a store of memorized knowledge.

    For developers nowadays, knowing how to find information is about as important as knowing how to debug.
  • Jo Bob 2008-11-25 13:09
    wee:

    Don't get me wrong, using print statements to "step" through code has uses, but if the code only has a simple typo, there are all manner of tools you can use as a first pass which can show you such errors in much less time that it takes to pop up an alert after each and every line of code. And then of course there are actual javascript debuggers that will let you set breakpoints, etc...


    How in the HELL is someone going to understand what an automated tool is doing, when they can't even learn to do the simple manual equivalent?
  • WhiskeyJack 2008-11-25 13:12
    wee:
    So your "debug skills" essentially amount to a bunch of print statements? People are failing to sprinkle alert()s throughout their code and you're getting on their case for not knowing how to properly debug? Uh...


    I noticed this too, but you beat me to it.

    That said, sometimes that is the best (or only) way to debug. I'm working on a real-time system that runs under VxWorks, on three different processor cards, each running several dozen different processes, with all manner of TCP clients/servers, and messages all over the place. You can't possibly attach a debugger to this thing, and setting breakpoints or tracing through one process step-by-step would break the real-time nature of the system. Sometimes I do have to stoop to statements like

    cout << "Got here successfully, return value = " << value << endl;

    in order to trace what's going on. Not fun. Of course we use smaller scale unit tests wherever possible, but some things require the entire beast to be up and running.

  • danielc 2008-11-25 13:16
    Each candidate gave a perfect, clear, correct answer... It didn't take long for the dev manager to admit he had given all of them the answer because he was tired of us rejecting candidates.


    I've heard of recruiters doing the same thing. They debrief the candidates after an interview and then prep future candidates with frequently asked questions. So, beware...
  • Andy 2008-11-25 13:16
    Jim, Have you ever considered _not_ intentionally subverting the system, and actually trying to determine the best candidate for the job?

    In the long term that might work better than interviewing three random suckers and then just hiring the boss's kid.
  • Franz Kafka 2008-11-25 13:16
    Jay:

    I used to work for a company that had a programmer who was from China. Apparently there was some law that every couple of years we had to certify to the government that we had searched for an American citizen to do this job. She was a good employee, so we had absolutely no desire to replace her with someone new. Sure, a new person might turn out to be even better, but they could also turn out to be an incompetent jerk. Better to stick with the known quantity. So every time this requirement came around, we printed a want ad in a newspaper with a circulation of about 30 that was filled with every technical requirement we could think of, and prayed that no one remotely qualified would apply. One year we did have to actually interview a couple of people, wasting our time and theirs.


    If your coworker is game, there's a straightforward way around this requirement - get her citizenship :P
  • Montoya 2008-11-25 13:17
    TRWTF in story 1 is the system; someone thought that requiring 3 interviews would prevent favoritism and ensure fair employment practices. Obvious fail.
  • Buddy 2008-11-25 13:30
    wee:


    So your "debug skills" essentially amount to a bunch of print statements? People are failing to sprinkle alert()s throughout their code and you're getting on their case for not knowing how to properly debug? Uh...

    Don't get me wrong, using print statements to "step" through code has uses, but if the code only has a simple typo, there are all manner of tools you can use as a first pass which can show you such errors in much less time that it takes to pop up an alert after each and every line of code. And then of course there are actual javascript debuggers that will let you set breakpoints, etc...


    I can guarantee, this was not a guy you'd want to show advanced tools to, dear God, no. Stick to alert for this guy.
  • WhiskeyJack 2008-11-25 13:40
    Fuzzypig:
    The agency calls me and says it all went well but they don't want a call back after you said something very offensive. I'm a very careful person and I couldn't think what it was. She then said, "Well apparently you said all developers were stupid, but you said it to the development manager, he wasn't very happy."

    Me and my mouth! *Cringe*


    Heh. I have a similar story, only (thankfully) a happier ending. I was asked how I liked round-trip engineering with a particular UML design tool. Turns out I had used the tool in university, and even TA'd a course using it not long before. Frankly, I wasn't too impressed with it.

    I told them I'd had experience with that particular tool and felt that was an awful lot of overhead and not particularly conducive to the real-world, where you are constantly tweaking your design to arrive at the final solution. A good tool for some things, I concluded, but shouldn't be relied on too much, especially for anything larger than a school assignment, and trying to stick to round-trip engineering got in the way too much when doing the actual software development. The interviewers exchanged glances and were quiet for a moment when I'd finished. Then they told me that the department was transitioning to using this particular tool for all of their software design and documentation.

    Oops?

    It was revealed to me much later, after I got the job, that my answer to that question was essentially what sealed the deal. I had realistic expectations, knew the tool but knew its limitations, when to use it and when not to. Other candidates apparently either adopted a "my way or the highway" approach (let me hack it all together, who needs tools?) or a too-theoretical expectation (use the tool for everything).

  • dubbreak 2008-11-25 13:45
    Raven Darke:
    JamesQMurphy:
    I'm still scratching my head... what does XML have to do with a queue, especially a non-persistable queue? Why would nine out of ten candidates recommend something like that?


    Because, to quote Abraham Maslow, "When the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem begins to resemble a nail."

    Only since they know XML (or claim to) they must have a few more tools in the tool chest (can't use xml whilst being completely ignorant to other techniques and tools).

    More like: They have a meagre selection of lowgrade tools (dollar store phillips screwdrivers that strip screws and the likes) but choose to always pull out their shiney hammer.

    That reminds me of a tv show called, "Canada's worst handyman." Funnyish show (counterpart to Canada's worst driver). In one episode the contestants were tasked with patching a small portion of drywall (a square less than a square foot). One contestant for some reason decided his cordless drill wasn't the appropriate tool, and a handheld screwdriver was too inefficient soooo (you probably guessed it already).. he used a hammer to nail in drywall screws (or rather attempt to hammer in). He was big into the brute force attempt at solving problems.
  • Addison 2008-11-25 14:02
    Wow the American government sounds retarded. The worst we have it here in Canada is the fact that the government I work for is bilingual, so everyone who's hired full time (unless they just work off in a corner) has to know both English and French. Since almost no English person ever bothers to learn French (unless they want a government job :P) 60% of my co-workers are French even though the city I live in is only about 10% French.

    Oh and if they make a job posting and say "needs 3 years of experience in x" and someone has 2 and a half they are automatically turned down without anyone relevant ever looking at the resume.
  • Addison 2008-11-25 14:03
    dubbreak:

    That reminds me of a tv show called, "Canada's worst handyman." Funnyish show (counterpart to Canada's worst driver). In one episode the contestants were tasked with patching a small portion of drywall (a square less than a square foot). One contestant for some reason decided his cordless drill wasn't the appropriate tool, and a handheld screwdriver was too inefficient soooo (you probably guessed it already).. he used a hammer to nail in drywall screws (or rather attempt to hammer in). He was big into the brute force attempt at solving problems.


    I love that show!
  • Code Dependent 2008-11-25 14:03
    dubbreak:
    One contestant for some reason decided his cordless drill wasn't the appropriate tool, and a handheld screwdriver was too inefficient soooo (you probably guessed it already).. he used a hammer to nail in drywall screws (or rather attempt to hammer in). He was big into the brute force attempt at solving problems.
    I worked with a guy like that. When he routed the edge of a board, he would grasp the router, set it against the board, and then start furiously shoving it down arms' length of the board, then dragging it back for another shove, as if it were his forceful actions that were shaping the wood rather than the motor spinning the bit.

    Sadly, we were construction contractors at the time.
  • Jay Jay 2008-11-25 14:27
    Unfortunately, I had something like this happen to me except that I already worked for the company. A member of upper management came to me and specifically asked me to evaluate a UML tool with respect to the code it generated. Seeing as how it just generated function stubs, I told him that, according to the requirements I had been given, it was a waste of time. Useful for spec'ing out a project, but absolute crap as far as generating code. I gave it a failing grade, once again based upon what had been requested of me.

    Turns out that he had preemptively purchased a corporate license and just needed a positive recommendation for his boss (a member of VERY high management) to sign off on it. My failing grade made it (and him) look bad.

    Just scant months later, the same guy was in charge of my division; I didn't see another raise in the year and a half I managed to survive the constant stream of crap directed my way before leaving for MUCH greener pastures.
  • me 2008-11-25 14:28
    Code Dependent:
    Adam:
    I have been asked to scan through the résumés and select the ones that have the relevant experience. Why the agencies don't do this is beyond me.
    The agencies don't do it because they don't make money unless you hire someone, and they don't care who you hire as long as it's their candidate. So the more candidates they send, the greater the chance that you'll be fooled by interview-time bullshitting and hire some idiot.

    I cannot completely agree. In many cases, I am sure the persons at the agencies just don't even UNDERSTAND the requirements they were given. Thus, even if they wanted, they cannot do it.
  • Smash King 2008-11-25 14:28
    Our favorite was "how would you build a priority queue?"
    Everybody knows that you would need a variable... and a constant... oh, and a, what's that called? A flag! Yes, a flag!
  • Smash King 2008-11-25 14:29
    Our favorite was "how would you build a priority queue?"
    Everybody knows that you would need a variable... and a constant... oh, and a, what's that called? A flag! Yes, a flag!
  • Bear 2008-11-25 14:29
    wee:
    Buddy:
    [...]I said put an alert just after the function line, that's to confirm the function is called.[...]

    So your "debug skills" essentially amount to a bunch of print statements?[...]
    His story very well may have been before the time of decent JavaScript debuggers. There aren't a lot, and they haven't been around for long. And, honestly, the only one I have found that has been of any real use is FireBug.

    CAPTCHA: Appellatio: Performing oral activities on an apple?
  • Heron 2008-11-25 14:41
    Jay:
    And in a similar vein, when I worked for the government, there used to be a rule that we could not buy anything without getting at least three competitive bids, and then we had to fill out forms showing how we compared these bids, and if we didn't pick the one with the lowest price, justify why another was clearly better.


    The company I work for makes water modeling software for civil engineers, and this software is used quite often by government agencies (e.g. the Federal Highway Administration). They are required to get at least two bids before they can buy our software.

    So what's our solution? We own a subsidiary (with one employee who "also" works for us) which resells our software for $5 more. We offer our software for $x, the subsidiary offers it for $x + $5. This appeases the government's bureaucracy (since multiple bids were available) and we get our sales. The government is aware of this situation, but because legally they're two separate companies offering bids, they don't care.

    What's funny is that (as far as I'm aware) there isn't a competing product from another company, so if there *wasn't* a second bid, the government simply couldn't buy anything at all with which to do their work.
  • DragonessEclectic 2008-11-25 14:42
    [quote user="Jay
    Because the first rule of good programming today seems to be, "Make the solution as complicated as possible." If you can build a very complicated solution and make it work, this proves that you are a programming genius. The fact that it will waste system resources, that no one will be able to maintain it because they can't figure it out, etc, these are the kind of carping criticisms made by lesser mortals who could not have assembled this complicated structure that you have built.[/quote]

    I always seem to be the next programmer who has to maintain that dreck after the original guy left... In my years, I've rewritten an awful lot of code to be more readable, maintainable and functional.

    I could have assembled your complicated structure, I just choose not to--because then I'll be asked to maintain it. I get bored working on the same code all the time, so I prefer to write it and document it so that any idiot programmer can maintain it.
  • TopCod3rsBottom 2008-11-25 14:56
    Frost:

    ...I'd dig out one of my old textbooks, or just google for pseudocode. TRWTF is expecting any other answer. A priority queue is easy to implement as a tree.

    Not just any old tree. You almost certainly want a heap, of which there are many implementations with different characteristics. Being able to know which data structure to use, and when, is *the* mark of a standout software engineer, IMO. I interview a lot of people, and when I hear "I'd just google for pseudo-code" for data structure questions, I want to roll my eyes. Its the response of a non-serious coder, not a serious developer. At least know how to choose between arrays, linked lists, hash tables, trees, and heaps.
  • Me 2008-11-25 14:59
    Andy:
    Jim, Have you ever considered _not_ intentionally subverting the system, and actually trying to determine the best candidate for the job?

    In the long term that might work better than interviewing three random suckers and then just hiring the boss's kid.


    You're assuming this is the case. My observation is that the non-filler is often a student or other part-timer who is finally getting the full-time position that they deserve. Granted it's not universally true, but I'd guess that they most places are not going to blow off interviewing 3 or 4 other qualified people to keep an unqualified employee. That is unless the staff in the company are incompetent in which case I'd not want to work there anyways.
  • Buddy 2008-11-25 14:59
    DragonessEclectic:

    I always seem to be the next programmer who has to maintain that dreck after the original guy left... In my years, I've rewritten an awful lot of code to be more readable, maintainable and functional.

    I could have assembled your complicated structure, I just choose not to--because then I'll be asked to maintain it. I get bored working on the same code all the time, so I prefer to write it and document it so that any idiot programmer can maintain it.


    Exactly - I can't count how many Java applets I've replaced with a handful of lines of whatever scripting language. The happiest day is when I safely uninstall Java on the machine and realize that the world is now a slightly better place. I detest Java.
  • TopCod3rsBottom 2008-11-25 15:00
    Smash King:
    Our favorite was "how would you build a priority queue?"
    Everybody knows that you would need a variable... and a constant... oh, and a, what's that called? A flag! Yes, a flag!
    The Giuliani coding style: all you need is a variable, a constant, and 9/11! 9/11!!
  • Heron 2008-11-25 15:11
    Jay Jay:
    Seeing as how it just generated function stubs, I told him that, according to the requirements I had been given, it was a waste of time. Useful for spec'ing out a project, but absolute crap as far as generating code. I gave it a failing grade, once again based upon what had been requested of me.

    Turns out that he had preemptively purchased a corporate license and just needed a positive recommendation for his boss (a member of VERY high management) to sign off on it. My failing grade made it (and him) look bad.


    I'm in charge of IT at my company now, but I used to work on a programming team. I parted from that team on bad terms with the my former manager (he fired me, a story for another time). He e-mailed me three months ago asking whether a particular 4GB kit of RAM (OCZ Fatal1ty) would be appropriate for three of his development machines.

    I responded that because our software did not even compile in 64-bit, and we weren't currently running 64-bit OSes on two of the machines, it would not be useful to get extra RAM, and that getting our software actually <i>compiling</i> in 64-bit (a task that, three months later, is not even close to completion) is a higher priority than buying more RAM.

    The response I got was perhaps the rudest e-mail I've ever received, and I'll reproduce it here in its brief entirety:

    We are working on a 64-bit version. I don't care if you think I am wasting "my teams money". Tell me if either of these items of RAM would be appropriate for my, John and Blair's computers. I don't want your opinion about whether or not it is the right purchase or the right time.


    I'm not sure why he put the phrase "my teams money" in quotes, because I never mentioned its price at all (perhaps he already knew the RAM was more expensive than necessary?). In any case, what I think is funny is that he says "tell me if they're appropriate" and "I don't want your opinion" back-to-back. Isn't whether the RAM is useful integral to whether the RAM is appropriate for the machines?

    This particular manager has a habit of being extremely rude unless his subordinates (or people he views as subordinates) do exactly as he wishes, even if what he wants is useless or even counterproductive.

    Oh, ironically, he bought the RAM anyway, and it doesn't even work in one of the machines (bluescreens galore). As a result, my opinion carries more weight right now than it used to...
  • i still remember some italian 2008-11-25 15:16
    Michael:
    Ha ha ha ha! I took a combined 6 years of Italian through junior high and high school. All I retained was: mi piace le tue tette!

    Captcha: tristique. A mystifying trisquit?


    should have studied more...it's mi piaciano le tue tette.
  • Andy 2008-11-25 15:40
    TopCod3rsBottom:
    I interview a lot of people, and when I hear "I'd just google for pseudo-code" for data structure questions, I want to roll my eyes. Its the response of a non-serious coder, not a serious developer. At least know how to choose between arrays, linked lists, hash tables, trees, and heaps.


    I fully agree. But, if this comment had wound up on the first page then about three of the following pages of comments would be angry flames from non-serious coders who think that they're more than that.
  • Walleye 2008-11-25 15:41
    Raven Darke:
    JamesQMurphy:
    I'm still scratching my head... what does XML have to do with a queue, especially a non-persistable queue? Why would nine out of ten candidates recommend something like that?


    Because, to quote Abraham Maslow, "When the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem begins to resemble a nail."


    And when the only tool you have is C++, every problem begins to resemble a thumb.

    Let the language flame wars begin!
  • Duke of New York 2008-11-25 15:44
    JamesQMurphy:
    I'm still scratching my head... what does XML have to do with a queue, especially a non-persistable queue? Why would nine out of ten candidates recommend something like that?

    Stop scratching before you make a hole in your head.

    Surveys show that XML is one of the most-requested IT job skills. If you interview an idiot who has read those surveys, he's going to give you a bullshit answer that involves XML. He's hoping that you're also an idiot and that you're interviewing from a checklist that has "XML" on it.
  • Tim Delaney 2008-11-25 15:57
    Unfortunately, the PriorityQueue class has a few problems ...

    1. You can only use very simple sort criteria - in particular, it cannot depend on the element being inserted. I've had cases where bounded priority queues were required (memory constraints - actually C++, but the principle is the same) where the discard criteria was "lowest priority, oldest, but if there are multiple of the lowest priority, choose the oldest of the same category as the element being added (if there is one). This can only be done with a custom priority queue, and it's quite tricky to not get O(n^2) performance ...

    2. The java.util.PriorityQueue class does not guarantee the order of iteration - which is normal with a heap-based implementation. This means that removing things from the queue (without popping them from the head) is extremely difficult (and definitely expensive) - the use case I'm thinking of is a job queue, where jobs can be cancelled. For this reason I usually forgoe PriorityQueue, and instead just use a SortedSet - I can maintain the same invariants as the PriorityQueue, and have the flexibility I need.
  • PublicLurker 2008-11-25 15:58
    Jay:
    And in a similar vein, when I worked for the government, there used to be a rule that we could not buy anything without getting at least three competitive bids, and then we had to fill out forms showing how we compared these bids, and if we didn't pick the one with the lowest price, justify why another was clearly better.


    My dad worked for a government office that was like that. It made things interesting when the front door lock broke. They were apparently supposed to advertise that the lock was broken to the world and then take enough time to collect three bids before actually fixing the thing.
  • GovernmentDude 2008-11-25 16:08
    Usually theres a process for sole-source purchasing. Usually, this process is a giant pain in the ass that involves extensively justifying why Vendor A the one and only source where you could buy that, and at my particular institution, then having some high-school education secretary calling you back and telling you that "she typed it into google and it looks like there are lots of vendors"...

    It's generally easier to arrange the bid to have the outcome you want.
  • newfweiler 2008-11-25 16:08
    Tim Delaney:
    Unfortunately, the PriorityQueue class has a few problems ...

    1. You can only use very simple sort criteria - in particular, it cannot depend on the element being inserted. I've had cases where bounded priority queues were required (memory constraints - actually C++, but the principle is the same) where the discard criteria was "lowest priority, oldest, but if there are multiple of the lowest priority, choose the oldest of the same category as the element being added (if there is one). This can only be done with a custom priority queue, and it's quite tricky to not get O(n^2) performance ...

    2. The java.util.PriorityQueue class does not guarantee the order of iteration - which is normal with a heap-based implementation. This means that removing things from the queue (without popping them from the head) is extremely difficult (and definitely expensive) - the use case I'm thinking of is a job queue, where jobs can be cancelled. For this reason I usually forgoe PriorityQueue, and instead just use a SortedSet - I can maintain the same invariants as the PriorityQueue, and have the flexibility I need.


    If you said that to me in a job interview ...

    I'd hire you on the spot.
  • Morry 2008-11-25 16:13
    Is there NO ONE with a computer science degree anymore?
  • Asiago Chow 2008-11-25 16:16
    I responded that because our software did not even compile in 64-bit, and we weren't currently running 64-bit OSes on two of the machines, it would not be useful to get extra RAM, and that getting our software actually <i>compiling</i> in 64-bit (a task that, three months later, is not even close to completion) is a higher priority than buying more RAM.


    If you were in IT your job was to answer "yes that would work" or "no that wouldn't work." Your opinion of another deparment's priorities really have no merit or bearing.

  • GovernmentDude 2008-11-25 16:18
    I'll back that observation. It's fantastically frustrating to have to go through the whole interview process when you just want to hire the part timer who's been doing the job for the last 3-4 years on full time.

    It was always possible you'd get someone else who was qualified, but it was pretty unlikely given the poor salaries. Worse, HR pre-screened resumes, and you had to interview anyone whose resume you were handed. Didn't get the resume for the person you wanted to hire, probably because HR doesn't understand what all those funny technical terms on there mean? They'll happily send you every resume they received, so you can interview every one of them!

    The best HR moment from that job was the suggestion that a temp filling a role to be made permanent should actually be excluded from being eligable because she had an "unfair advantage".
  • pink_fairy 2008-11-25 16:21
    newfweiler:
    How do you build a priority queue?

    If I'm hiring a Java programmer I expect the candidate to say "new java.util.PriorityQueue<E>();".

    Or at least that's what I expect a Java programmer to write in a real application. I don't want the programmer to go away for two weeks and come back with a handmade priority queue. (A good part of this website's content is stories about pages of handcrafted code that should be replaced with a one-line call to a built-in function.)

    I don't absolutely expect a candidate to know what a priority queue (or a soft reference or a curried function or a JavaScript closure) is. If he / she asks "What's a priority queue?" I'd say "You put things in in any order and they come out in order of priority." The next questions I would hope the candidate asks are "Is there something in a class library that does that?" and "Does it have to be thread-safe?"
    Actually, question number one, and this should be at the top of the list (ahem) for both interviewer and interviewee, is:

    "How do you specify the priority?"

    Question number two is:

    "What are the characteristics of the producers and consumers?"

    Blathering about libraries, O(n log n), and the like is a surefire way to prove that you are, essentially, one giant balsawood totem-pole in the real programming world.

    Incidentally (ie nothing to do with newfweiler), and I'm only halfway through the comments, the correct English word is "resume." Insisting on "résumé" merely marks you out as an anally retentive twit, much as if you were to insist on writing, say, "bungalow" in the original Bengali -- but distinctly less impressive.
  • mccoyn 2008-11-25 16:27
    I remember checking the ad for the filled interviews when I was in line to be hired full time. If someone put the ad next to my resume they would notice a surprising pattern.
  • Duke of New York 2008-11-25 16:27
    Morry:
    Is there NO ONE with a computer science degree anymore?

    There are many, many CS degree programs in the US that don't have ABET accreditation.
  • pink_fairy 2008-11-25 16:29
    Code Dependent:
    Paul H.:
    it didn't take long for the dev manager to admit he had given all of them the answer because he was tired of us rejecting candidates.
    Adam:
    I have been asked to scan through the résumés and select the ones that have the relevant experience. Why the agencies don't do this is beyond me.
    The agencies don't do it because they don't make money unless you hire someone, and they don't care who you hire as long as it's their candidate. So the more candidates they send, the greater the chance that you'll be fooled by interview-time bullshitting and hire some idiot.

    When we were interviewing for a developer position and had rejected the third candidate from one headhunter due to them not being able to satisfactorily answer our technical questions, he took me aside and said, "Look, why don't you give me a copy of your list of questions, and I'll weed these guys out for you."

    Things that will never happen:
    A. Headhunter gets a list of our questions.
    You're not thinking outside the box, are you?

    I'd recommend the following list of questions to submit to your local naked New Guinean with a penis gourd and a flint knife:

    (1) "Complete the following sequence: TRUE, FALSE, ..."
    (2) What comes between collecting underpants and profit?
    (3) How would you use a hammer factory factory factory?
    (4) Do you have an amusing story about red hats and blue hats?

    Of course, this list has nothing to do with the questions you'd ask at the interview. I maintain, however, that it would result in a more entertaining interview experience.
  • pink_fairy 2008-11-25 16:46
    Walleye:
    Raven Darke:
    JamesQMurphy:
    I'm still scratching my head... what does XML have to do with a queue, especially a non-persistable queue? Why would nine out of ten candidates recommend something like that?


    Because, to quote Abraham Maslow, "When the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem begins to resemble a nail."


    And when the only tool you have is C++, every problem begins to resemble a thumb.

    Let the language flame wars begin!
    Er ... not.

    Language flame wars tend to revolve around a toxic combination of ignorance and insecurity. Neither generally applies to C++ programmers (and I'm self-selecting the group as people who actually program in C++ rather than hardware engineers who've been forced into the language. Which is reasonable, because these days every other variety of incompetent is writing the same thing in Java*).

    I'd rather be programming in C++. At the moment, I'm testing something (hideously) written in C, and using Perl and Python to generate and parse the test scripts (respectively). Any tool that comes along is fine by me, two left and gangrenous thumbs or not. Find yourself a real C++ programmer, and I think you'll get the same attitude.

    Rather than a thumb, btw, this particular problem appears to resemble:

    template < class T, class Container = vector<T>,
    class Compare = less<typename Container::value_type> > class priority_queue;

    But see caveats above about defining priority, consumers and producers. You'd have to wrap this (simple) library call in an adapter for the latter two, but the first really only needs a decent definition of Compare.

    * Not a Java flame. Rather, a flame against incompetents, and the ludicrous employability of such.
  • Charles400 2008-11-25 16:57
    And you say it's the American government that sounds retarded?

  • Charles400 2008-11-25 17:01
    Morry:
    Is there NO ONE with a computer science degree anymore?


    Objection your honor: rhetorical.

    Sustained.
  • Lumberjack 2008-11-25 17:03
    Buddy:
    [...] but if the applicant [...] has experience only in XML, [...]


    Ok, it's time for me to ask this question because it has been bugging me for the longest time...

    What. The. F*ck. does that mean?

    Experience in XML? It's tags, people! Tags! As in <tag></tag>. What kind of "experience" are we talking about here? Knowing where to find the angle bracket on a keyboard?
  • Franz Kafka 2008-11-25 17:06
    Walleye:
    Raven Darke:
    JamesQMurphy:
    I'm still scratching my head... what does XML have to do with a queue, especially a non-persistable queue? Why would nine out of ten candidates recommend something like that?


    Because, to quote Abraham Maslow, "When the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem begins to resemble a nail."


    And when the only tool you have is C++, every problem begins to resemble a thumb.

    Let the language flame wars begin!


    Nah, when you've got C++, everything starts to look like your foot.
  • DKO 2008-11-25 17:14
    JamesQMurphy:
    I'm still scratching my head... what does XML have to do with a queue, especially a non-persistable queue? Why would nine out of ten candidates recommend something like that?


    My guess is that the dev manager was giving out answers to candidates since the beginning.
  • your name 2008-11-25 17:20
    Not only that, but if everyone was responding XML, perhaps the question should have been revised to be how to implement the queue WITHOUT using XML.
  • Buddy 2008-11-25 17:25
    Lumberjack:
    Buddy:
    [...] but if the applicant [...] has experience only in XML, [...]


    Ok, it's time for me to ask this question because it has been bugging me for the longest time...

    What. The. F*ck. does that mean?

    Experience in XML? It's tags, people! Tags! As in <tag></tag>. What kind of "experience" are we talking about here? Knowing where to find the angle bracket on a keyboard?


    Shorthand for a list of XML related technologies:

    XHTML, XML DOM, XSL (XSLT, XSL-FO, XPath), XQuery, DTD, XSD, XLink, XPointer, XForms, SOAP, WSDL, RDF, RSS, WAP, SMIL, SVG, etc.
  • Mark 2008-11-25 17:27
    Dirk Diggler:
    It would be a shame if you had to hire an American citizen and pay a living wage.


    *rolls eyes*

    Under what pretense is every job in this country supposed to pay a "living" wage? First of all, like "fair", it's a loaded if not meaningless term. Second, most idiots that use it tend to mean that a living wage should be able to pay all living expenses for the worker. That's a dangerous assumption. What about the 2nd income earner who only wants to help the family, but whose family is otherwise fine? What about the kid who just needs some side income to buy a car and get a cell phone?

    And most importantly, what about the work that isn't worth paying a "living" wage for? Oh yeah, those jobs would be wiped out. Thanks.

    I thought this country was supposed to be free and welcoming of immigrants. So what if a non-citizen has a job? What are you, xenophobic? Do you propose that every employer in this country first prove that they tried hiring a citizen before ever hiring a non-citizen? Under what authority?

    Whose job is it anyways? It's the employers; and they can damn well do with it as they please.

    Sorry if that rant wasn't "fair", whatever the hell that means.
  • Lumberjack 2008-11-25 17:42
    Buddy:
    XHTML, XML DOM, XSL (XSLT, XSL-FO, XPath), XQuery, DTD, XSD, XLink, XPointer, XForms, SOAP, WSDL, RDF, RSS, WAP, SMIL, SVG, etc.


    Thanks. Believe it or not, I really was not being disingenuous when I asked! (But, still. I feel that saying "XML technologies" if that is what is meant would be more correct.)
  • wee 2008-11-25 17:42
    Jo Bob:
    wee:

    Don't get me wrong, using print statements to "step" through code has uses, but if the code only has a simple typo, there are all manner of tools you can use as a first pass which can show you such errors in much less time that it takes to pop up an alert after each and every line of code. And then of course there are actual javascript debuggers that will let you set breakpoints, etc...


    How in the HELL is someone going to understand what an automated tool is doing, when they can't even learn to do the simple manual equivalent?


    Why the hell is anyone hiring a developer who doesn't know what tools exist for debugging? Why the hell would a company pay for the tedium of having a dev sit there for hours on end, adding print statements to his code, when a couple minutes in one of hundreds of tools could find a missing curly brace in seconds? Why in the hell is the person without the knowledge of these tools allowed to mentor junior developers?
  • Franz Kafka 2008-11-25 17:43
    Mark:
    Dirk Diggler:
    It would be a shame if you had to hire an American citizen and pay a living wage.


    *rolls eyes*

    Under what pretense is every job in this country supposed to pay a "living" wage? First of all, like "fair", it's a loaded if not meaningless term. Second, most idiots that use it tend to mean that a living wage should be able to pay all living expenses for the worker. That's a dangerous assumption. What about the 2nd income earner who only wants to help the family, but whose family is otherwise fine? What about the kid who just needs some side income to buy a car and get a cell phone?

    And most importantly, what about the work that isn't worth paying a "living" wage for? Oh yeah, those jobs would be wiped out. Thanks.

    I thought this country was supposed to be free and welcoming of immigrants. So what if a non-citizen has a job? What are you, xenophobic? Do you propose that every employer in this country first prove that they tried hiring a citizen before ever hiring a non-citizen? Under what authority?

    Whose job is it anyways? It's the employers; and they can damn well do with it as they please.

    Sorry if that rant wasn't "fair", whatever the hell that means.


    The pretense is that we don't want people starving; we can either mandate a minimum wage that you can survive on or implement the dole (ala germany) and remove minimum wage.

    To address your immigrant thing, a lot of companies don't like to pay the prevailing wage and prefer indentured servants that are stuck with limited bargaining power and a lower wage. It's not xenophobic to object to an abuse of the rules/law surrounding temporary visas.
  • anonymous 2008-11-25 17:45
    christian:
    Could bringing in people as "fillers" put the school in danger for a civil suit?

    They're intentionally misrepresenting the possibility of an employment opportunity, which wastes the candidate's time and money.


    And what of it? Government is *inherently* dishonest, why should an interviewing process for a school be any different?

    I keep thinking that some day everyone will wake up and start rejecting government forced solutions to everything. But no, inherent greed and the thought of "getting something for nothing" will mean lazy people always look for a government solution. And the allure of power will mean evil people will always look to control others.
  • Me 2008-11-25 17:51
    Mark:
    Dirk Diggler:
    It would be a shame if you had to hire an American citizen and pay a living wage.


    *rolls eyes*

    Under what pretense is every job in this country supposed to pay a "living" wage? First of all, like "fair", it's a loaded if not meaningless term. Second, most idiots that use it tend to mean that a living wage should be able to pay all living expenses for the worker. That's a dangerous assumption.


    That is *exactly* the attitude that most Corporate CEOs have about their companies. Companies always have enough money for them to make [bm]illions in salaries, and for them to give each up interest free loans, and bonuses. Then of course, lets not forget extravegant travel. First class is already bad enough, but then we have private jets. And what about vacations in exotic locales paid for by the company under the guise of calling it a sales meeting, retreat, or what not. Funny, how these need to be frugal with money only comes out when you start discussing the people in the corporation that actually work.
  • pink_fairy 2008-11-25 17:54
    anonymous:
    christian:
    Could bringing in people as "fillers" put the school in danger for a civil suit?

    They're intentionally misrepresenting the possibility of an employment opportunity, which wastes the candidate's time and money.


    And what of it? Government is *inherently* dishonest, why should an interviewing process for a school be any different?

    I keep thinking that some day everyone will wake up and start rejecting government forced solutions to everything. But no, inherent greed and the thought of "getting something for nothing" will mean lazy people always look for a government solution. And the allure of power will mean evil people will always look to control others.
    You need help. Or Sarah Palin. Or both.

    Badly.

    Alternatively, you could just read the Bible again (the Old Testament, presumably), and realise what a prat you are.

    I'd suggest Ecclesiastes I, although it's always worth giving the Psalms a reappraisal. If you're feeling naughty (and imagining Sarah Palin in a slightly soiled blue dress), there's always the Song of Solomon.

    Enjoy!
  • Asiago Chow 2008-11-25 17:57
    Under what pretense is every job in this country supposed to pay a "living" wage?


    Seconded with a side of "...and furthermore!"

    The idea that every single adult should be able to sell enough of their labor to support themselves and a family is, from both a historical and a sustainability perspective, a farce.

    From a sustainability perspective, if every worker can earn enough to support a family, multi-income families will get maybe 1.75 times what they need. That extra .75 translates directly into greater resource use. Paying everyone in the USA a living wage would mean more global warming, more starvation in the 3rd world, more wasteful spending, and more consumerism.

    Historically it took the labor of more than two people to sustain a household. Parents or kids were needed to maintain stability. Kids started contributing young, and multi-generation households were the norm. This provided not just economic stability but major social benefits.

    The real kicker, though, is found in the annals modern medical research. A growing body of evidence shows that humans, social creatures that we are, are less happy, and less healty, when we live alone or in very small social groups. People living alone are more depressed, more likely to suffer health issues, less happy, and more likely to die early, than their cohabitating and more social peers. This brings into stark relief the true cost of so-called "living wages"... far from living, they enable lifestyles which science shows correlate directly with early mortality and reduced happiness in life. The so-called living wage kills, kills in large numbers, by alowing people to live self-destructively solo lifestyles.
  • Mark 2008-11-25 17:59
    Franz Kafka:
    Mark:
    Dirk Diggler:
    It would be a shame if you had to hire an American citizen and pay a living wage.


    *rolls eyes*

    Under what pretense is every job in this country supposed to pay a "living" wage? First of all, like "fair", it's a loaded if not meaningless term. Second, most idiots that use it tend to mean that a living wage should be able to pay all living expenses for the worker. That's a dangerous assumption. What about the 2nd income earner who only wants to help the family, but whose family is otherwise fine? What about the kid who just needs some side income to buy a car and get a cell phone?

    And most importantly, what about the work that isn't worth paying a "living" wage for? Oh yeah, those jobs would be wiped out. Thanks.

    I thought this country was supposed to be free and welcoming of immigrants. So what if a non-citizen has a job? What are you, xenophobic? Do you propose that every employer in this country first prove that they tried hiring a citizen before ever hiring a non-citizen? Under what authority?

    Whose job is it anyways? It's the employers; and they can damn well do with it as they please.

    Sorry if that rant wasn't "fair", whatever the hell that means.


    The pretense is that we don't want people starving; we can either mandate a minimum wage that you can survive on or implement the dole (ala germany) and remove minimum wage.

    To address your immigrant thing, a lot of companies don't like to pay the prevailing wage and prefer indentured servants that are stuck with limited bargaining power and a lower wage. It's not xenophobic to object to an abuse of the rules/law surrounding temporary visas.


    So, you have the same goal as everyone else: "we don't want people starving".

    Your proposed solutions:
    1) mandate a minimum wage that you can survive on
    2) implement the dole (ala germany) and remove minimum wage [I'm assuming you're talking about welfare?]

    Both your proposals make you sound like a lover of The State. Ever consider any alternatives? So basically your only answer is to use governmental force to either disrupt freedom of contract or redistribute wealth. Neither sound particularly tasty to me kind sir. Perhaps you'd prefer taking a time machine to 1970 to Hungary, Poland, or to their motherland, the USSR? What fun you'd have as a partisan!

    Your other point: "companies don't like to pay the prevailing wage". Last I checked, no company wants to pay more than it has to. Same goes for employees, they don't want to work for less than they have to. Somewhere in the middle is where a rate is set and a job is filled. That's how it works in a free country. Voluntarily. No government force needed. No force or fraud used by either party.

    "It's not xenophobic to object to an abuse of the rules/law surrounding temporary visas."
    No, it's not xenophobic. It's also not too bright to expect to make it rich when you have no leverage. When you come to America with a Visa that stipulates work status, then you have little leverage over your employer. So? That's the game.

    "indentured servants that are stuck with limited bargaining power"
    Once again, those immigrants know they will come here with less leverage than their American counterparts. That's what they signed up for. If they didn't know how things would work out, I don't blame it on the employers. I feel bad for the immigrants in those situations, but they should've done their due diligence.
  • Mark 2008-11-25 18:02
    Me:
    Mark:
    Dirk Diggler:
    It would be a shame if you had to hire an American citizen and pay a living wage.


    *rolls eyes*

    Under what pretense is every job in this country supposed to pay a "living" wage? First of all, like "fair", it's a loaded if not meaningless term. Second, most idiots that use it tend to mean that a living wage should be able to pay all living expenses for the worker. That's a dangerous assumption.


    That is *exactly* the attitude that most Corporate CEOs have about their companies. Companies always have enough money for them to make [bm]illions in salaries, and for them to give each up interest free loans, and bonuses. Then of course, lets not forget extravegant travel. First class is already bad enough, but then we have private jets. And what about vacations in exotic locales paid for by the company under the guise of calling it a sales meeting, retreat, or what not. Funny, how these need to be frugal with money only comes out when you start discussing the people in the corporation that actually work.


    Aside from your diatribe about wealth envy, do you have a point? You and Jesse Jackson would make great friends.

    Last I checked, people making more money than you, regardless of how much more, are not inherently evil.
  • SomeCoder 2008-11-25 18:03
    pink_fairy:
    You need help. Or Sarah Palin. Or both.

    Badly.

    Alternatively, you could just read the Bible again (the Old Testament, presumably), and realise what a prat you are.

    I'd suggest Ecclesiastes I, although it's always worth giving the Psalms a reappraisal. If you're feeling naughty (and imagining Sarah Palin in a slightly soiled blue dress), there's always the Song of Solomon.

    Enjoy!



    What... the.... f*ck??

    This post is the real WTF
  • Mark 2008-11-25 18:05
    Asiago Chow:
    Under what pretense is every job in this country supposed to pay a "living" wage?


    Seconded with a side of "...and furthermore!"

    The idea that every single adult should be able to sell enough of their labor to support themselves and a family is, from both a historical and a sustainability perspective, a farce.

    From a sustainability perspective, if every worker can earn enough to support a family, multi-income families will get maybe 1.75 times what they need. That extra .75 translates directly into greater resource use. Paying everyone in the USA a living wage would mean more global warming, more starvation in the 3rd world, more wasteful spending, and more consumerism.

    Historically it took the labor of more than two people to sustain a household. Parents or kids were needed to maintain stability. Kids started contributing young, and multi-generation households were the norm. This provided not just economic stability but major social benefits.

    The real kicker, though, is found in the annals modern medical research. A growing body of evidence shows that humans, social creatures that we are, are less happy, and less healty, when we live alone or in very small social groups. People living alone are more depressed, more likely to suffer health issues, less happy, and more likely to die early, than their cohabitating and more social peers. This brings into stark relief the true cost of so-called "living wages"... far from living, they enable lifestyles which science shows correlate directly with early mortality and reduced happiness in life. The so-called living wage kills, kills in large numbers, by alowing people to live self-destructively solo lifestyles.


    Your satire would make Jonathan Swift proud.

    I bow to you sir.
  • Son of Kafka 2008-11-25 18:05
    Me:
    That is *exactly* the attitude that most Corporate CEOs have about their companies. Companies always have enough money for them to make [bm]illions in salaries, and for them to give each up interest free loans, and bonuses. ... Funny, how these need to be frugal with money only comes out when you start discussing the people in the corporation that actually work.


    Were the government not so wrapped around large corporations, and vice versa, perhaps this wouldn't be as much of a problem as it is. The answer is not to bail out companies, and maybe when this financial debacle is over, investors will remain leary of golden parachutes and disproportionate salaries.

    Nah... won't happen. You people voted in the idiot Republicans *and* Democrats that caused all this.

    Also, it's kind of arrogant and ignorant to suggests that CEOs don't work. Most of them got where they are by working 60-80 hour weeks.
  • ShatteredArm 2008-11-25 18:06
    Franz Kafka:
    Mark:
    Dirk Diggler:
    It would be a shame if you had to hire an American citizen and pay a living wage.


    *rolls eyes*

    Under what pretense is every job in this country supposed to pay a "living" wage? First of all, like "fair", it's a loaded if not meaningless term. Second, most idiots that use it tend to mean that a living wage should be able to pay all living expenses for the worker. That's a dangerous assumption. What about the 2nd income earner who only wants to help the family, but whose family is otherwise fine? What about the kid who just needs some side income to buy a car and get a cell phone?

    And most importantly, what about the work that isn't worth paying a "living" wage for? Oh yeah, those jobs would be wiped out. Thanks.

    I thought this country was supposed to be free and welcoming of immigrants. So what if a non-citizen has a job? What are you, xenophobic? Do you propose that every employer in this country first prove that they tried hiring a citizen before ever hiring a non-citizen? Under what authority?

    Whose job is it anyways? It's the employers; and they can damn well do with it as they please.

    Sorry if that rant wasn't "fair", whatever the hell that means.


    The pretense is that we don't want people starving; we can either mandate a minimum wage that you can survive on or implement the dole (ala germany) and remove minimum wage.

    To address your immigrant thing, a lot of companies don't like to pay the prevailing wage and prefer indentured servants that are stuck with limited bargaining power and a lower wage. It's not xenophobic to object to an abuse of the rules/law surrounding temporary visas.


    If you pay everybody a living wage, the cost of living will just rise. Then you'd have to pay everybody more so they could have a living wage!

    Do a little research on an obscure subject (to most Americans and certainly our government) known as "price theory" or just "prices", and maybe it'll make it a little more clear that making sure everyone has a living wage is an exercise in futility that works to the overall detriment of society.

    (Captcha: sino -- prefix meaning Chinese)
  • Asiago Chow 2008-11-25 18:10
    then we have private jets


    Hmm... are you referring to the automaker CEO private jet "controversy" recently manufactured?

    Let's think about this... a CEO doesn't fly alone. He flies with a staff of 10+ people.

    These hearings were short notice. Last time I bought an airline ticket on short notice I paid about $650 for coach. When I was able to buy the same ticket on a month's notice it cost about $230. So let's say $6,500 to fly the CEO and his staff to DC.

    What does it cost to fly a private jet? I don't know exactly. I don't own a jet. However, I can tell you that it isn't going to be that much. It's less than an hour of flying time at maybe $4000 an hour wet with pilot. So, figure round trip at $8000, vs $6500 for coach... we're having a national debate over $1500????

    Oh, but it doesn't end there. It takes at least 3 hours to fly anywhere by commercial airline and much of that is spent in public areas where business discussions are not possible, so we have 30 hours of very high paid senior staff sitting on their thumbs and listening to ipods vs 10 hours of them actually working in a private conference area. That's a 40 hour difference, or maybe $5000 in lost wages. In fact you can bet the delta is higher because high profile people flying on airlines need more security and those security people need tickets too.

    So not only is the whole "controversy" silly on its face, but the alternative, using standard airlines, would likely cost GM or equivalent over $3500 MORE than using a private jet.

    THINK -- it's not just an IBM slogan
  • Someone 2008-11-25 18:13
    As someone who works in government education, and who has been involved in the interviewing process, I can say this: sometimes the 'filler' is such a standout improvement over the incumbent that they get the job. There is a reason we do it this way.
  • Mark 2008-11-25 18:19
    SomeCoder:
    pink_fairy:
    You need help. Or Sarah Palin. Or both.

    Badly.

    Alternatively, you could just read the Bible again (the Old Testament, presumably), and realise what a prat you are.

    I'd suggest Ecclesiastes I, although it's always worth giving the Psalms a reappraisal. If you're feeling naughty (and imagining Sarah Palin in a slightly soiled blue dress), there's always the Song of Solomon.

    Enjoy!



    What... the.... f*ck??

    This post is the real WTF


    Yeah, last I checked we're not a theocracy. All good intentions from the Bible aside, I sure as hell don't want the US Government based on any religious dogma. If it happens to coincide, so be it.
  • Mark 2008-11-25 18:21
    Son of Kafka:
    Me:
    That is *exactly* the attitude that most Corporate CEOs have about their companies. Companies always have enough money for them to make [bm]illions in salaries, and for them to give each up interest free loans, and bonuses. ... Funny, how these need to be frugal with money only comes out when you start discussing the people in the corporation that actually work.


    Were the government not so wrapped around large corporations, and vice versa, perhaps this wouldn't be as much of a problem as it is. The answer is not to bail out companies, and maybe when this financial debacle is over, investors will remain leary of golden parachutes and disproportionate salaries.

    Nah... won't happen. You people voted in the idiot Republicans *and* Democrats that caused all this.

    Also, it's kind of arrogant and ignorant to suggests that CEOs don't work. Most of them got where they are by working 60-80 hour weeks.


    No, CEOs got to where they are because they're "winners of life's lottery". Former Democrat Senator Tom Daschle told me that.
  • Fnord Prefect 2008-11-25 18:29
    me:
    In many cases, I am sure the persons at the agencies just don't even UNDERSTAND the requirements they were given. Thus, even if they wanted, they cannot do it.


    A friend of mine was rejected by a headhunter because, even though his resume listed experience in building local area networks, it didn't explicitly list "LAN experience".

    Stupid headhunters.
  • Fnord Prefect 2008-11-25 18:35
    In one job interview I had (which was related to ISP billing), I was asked what I would do if an error was found that meant that a customer was being overcharged; in effect, would I lie to the customer in order to avoid having to give them a refund. I stumbled a bit and basically said, no I wouldn't - that's management's job.

    I still got the job (without the lying to customers bit).
  • chrismcb 2008-11-25 18:36
    Mark:

    I thought this country was supposed to be free and welcoming of immigrants. So what if a non-citizen has a job? What are you, xenophobic? Do you propose that every employer in this country first prove that they tried hiring a citizen before ever hiring a non-citizen? Under what authority?

    Whose job is it anyways? It's the employers; and they can damn well do with it as they please.

    Sorry if that rant wasn't "fair", whatever the hell that means.


    Well generally non citizens aren't allowed to work in this country. They have to get permission from the government to work here, and the employer is responsible for trying to hire citizens before non citizens. Sure they employer can damn well do with it as they please, but what happens when your employee is deported and the employer is fined for not following the law?
  • Anon 2008-11-25 18:40
    Asiago Chow:
    The real kicker, though, is found in the annals modern medical research. A growing body of evidence shows that humans, social creatures that we are, are less happy, and less healty, when we live alone or in very small social groups. People living alone are more depressed, more likely to suffer health issues, less happy, and more likely to die early, than their cohabitating and more social peers. This brings into stark relief the true cost of so-called "living wages"... far from living, they enable lifestyles which science shows correlate directly with early mortality and reduced happiness in life. The so-called living wage kills, kills in large numbers, by alowing people to live self-destructively solo lifestyles.


    What in the holy hell kind of pseudoscientific garbage have you been getting your hands on? A living wage "kills in large numbers"? Do you even read what you wrote before posting?

    The very thought that people _must_ make less than the minimum amount to survive to protect them from the horrors of being single is sickening. In any other context, for example saying that ugly people are more likely to be single and therefore live self-destructive lives, you would be vilified and ousted from the community.

    I voluntarily choose to be childless and single, and I make a decent living. It is no business of yours to make moral judgements about my "self-destructive solo lifestyle" since I harm precisely no one.
  • Son of Kafka 2008-11-25 18:51
    Mark:
    No, CEOs got to where they are because they're "winners of life's lottery". Former Democrat Senator Tom Daschle told me that.


    I can't tell if that's humor or not. I hope so.

    Q. How do you know when politicians are lying?
    A. When their mouths move.

    All hail the New Religion under the New Regime of Hope. We tear down those who have achieved in society and redistribute the wealth. We can then reap their fruits whilst we sit on our Free Riding Thumbs.
  • jcs 2008-11-25 18:53
    I used to work for a company that calculated the cost of various modes of transportation. A private jet that seats 6 costs the typical flight department about $2700/hour to fly (after staff costs, depreciation, and other tax accounting tricks.)

    I don't the figures for a jet that seats 10, but your estimate of $4000 sounds reasonable.
  • ShatteredArm 2008-11-25 18:54
    Anon:

    What in the holy hell kind of pseudoscientific garbage have you been getting your hands on? A living wage "kills in large numbers"? Do you even read what you wrote before posting?

    The very thought that people _must_ make less than the minimum amount to survive to protect them from the horrors of being single is sickening. In any other context, for example saying that ugly people are more likely to be single and therefore live self-destructive lives, you would be vilified and ousted from the community.

    I voluntarily choose to be childless and single, and I make a decent living. It is no business of yours to make moral judgements about my "self-destructive solo lifestyle" since I harm precisely no one.


    I think you missed the entire point.

    Also, if you're egalitarian enough that you believe in a living wage for everybody, it would follow that you are, indeed, harming others, because any amount you're making above a living wage is money that should go to people who aren't. But I get it, you want *other* people to pay for that.
  • Heron 2008-11-25 19:13
    Asiago Chow:
    If you were in IT your job was to answer "yes that would work" or "no that wouldn't work." Your opinion of another deparment's priorities really have no merit or bearing.


    I happen to have worked as a programmer on the team in question, so I had quite a bit more knowledge of the situation than your typical IT guy would have, and because this is such a small company I find myself dealing with various aspects of every team, not just the IT issues. For example, I had a significant role in designing the next copy protection scheme for our software products. I'm also the person who "gets" to install 64-bit operating systems on the computers in question, and I have enough on my plate that if they can't even *compile* the 64-bit version of the program, I don't want to try to squeeze some OS installations into my schedule.

    If my only responsibility in the company were "fix the computers when they break", then I would agree with you that my comments were out of line, but my responsibilities extend quite a bit further than that.
  • TopCod3rsBottom 2008-11-25 19:32
    ShatteredArm:
    Also, if you're egalitarian enough that you believe in a living wage for everybody, it would follow that you are, indeed, harming others, because any amount you're making above a living wage is money that should go to people who aren't.
    No, it doesn't follow, and you are a moron for suggesting such.

    Now, how about we talk about coding?
  • The Fake WTF 2008-11-25 22:03
    Michael:
    Ha ha ha ha! I took a combined 6 years of Italian through junior high and high school. All I retained was: mi piace le tue tette!

    Captcha: tristique. A mystifying trisquit?


    And this is how they punish those who are completely honest on their resumes.

    If anyone asks, I have many years of programming experience, counting the decade or so where I knew nothing more than 10 PRINT "YOU STINK!" 20 GOTO 10.
  • Mark 2008-11-25 22:38
    Anon:
    Asiago Chow:
    The real kicker, though, is found in the annals modern medical research. A growing body of evidence shows that humans, social creatures that we are, are less happy, and less healty, when we live alone or in very small social groups. People living alone are more depressed, more likely to suffer health issues, less happy, and more likely to die early, than their cohabitating and more social peers. This brings into stark relief the true cost of so-called "living wages"... far from living, they enable lifestyles which science shows correlate directly with early mortality and reduced happiness in life. The so-called living wage kills, kills in large numbers, by alowing people to live self-destructively solo lifestyles.


    What in the holy hell kind of pseudoscientific garbage have you been getting your hands on? A living wage "kills in large numbers"? Do you even read what you wrote before posting?

    The very thought that people _must_ make less than the minimum amount to survive to protect them from the horrors of being single is sickening. In any other context, for example saying that ugly people are more likely to be single and therefore live self-destructive lives, you would be vilified and ousted from the community.

    I voluntarily choose to be childless and single, and I make a decent living. It is no business of yours to make moral judgements about my "self-destructive solo lifestyle" since I harm precisely no one.


    I thought we agreed to stop feeding the trolls.
  • Mark 2008-11-25 22:43
    TopCod3rsBottom:
    Now, how about we talk about coding?


    I'd love to. But for some reason people keep insisting that what I earn in my paycheck each week isn't mine. Not so long as other people need it. Also, apparently I'm supposed to "give back". Last I checked, I never stole anything so I don't need to return anything to anyone. Every thing I have taken, I paid for or otherwise compensated the other party.
  • David Short 2008-11-25 22:59
    i still remember some italian:
    Michael:
    Ha ha ha ha! I took a combined 6 years of Italian through junior high and high school. All I retained was: mi piace le tue tette!


    should have studied more...it's mi piaciano le tue tette.

    You too. It's “mi piacciono le tue tette”.

    (I was going to let the first mistake slide, but then...)
  • kevin 2008-11-26 00:17
    > If you did teach yourself, keep it TO yourself. Self-taught coders have tons of bad habits.

    I resent that statement.
  • Franz Kafka 2008-11-26 00:41
    Mark:
    Franz Kafka:

    The pretense is that we don't want people starving; we can either mandate a minimum wage that you can survive on or implement the dole (ala germany) and remove minimum wage.

    To address your immigrant thing, a lot of companies don't like to pay the prevailing wage and prefer indentured servants that are stuck with limited bargaining power and a lower wage. It's not xenophobic to object to an abuse of the rules/law surrounding temporary visas.


    So, you have the same goal as everyone else: "we don't want people starving".

    Your proposed solutions:
    1) mandate a minimum wage that you can survive on
    2) implement the dole (ala germany) and remove minimum wage [I'm assuming you're talking about welfare?]

    Both your proposals make you sound like a lover of The State. Ever consider any alternatives? So basically your only answer is to use governmental force to either disrupt freedom of contract or redistribute wealth. Neither sound particularly tasty to me kind sir. Perhaps you'd prefer taking a time machine to 1970 to Hungary, Poland, or to their motherland, the USSR? What fun you'd have as a partisan!

    Your other point: "companies don't like to pay the prevailing wage". Last I checked, no company wants to pay more than it has to. Same goes for employees, they don't want to work for less than they have to. Somewhere in the middle is where a rate is set and a job is filled. That's how it works in a free country. Voluntarily. No government force needed. No force or fraud used by either party.

    "It's not xenophobic to object to an abuse of the rules/law surrounding temporary visas."
    No, it's not xenophobic. It's also not too bright to expect to make it rich when you have no leverage. When you come to America with a Visa that stipulates work status, then you have little leverage over your employer. So? That's the game.

    "indentured servants that are stuck with limited bargaining power"
    Once again, those immigrants know they will come here with less leverage than their American counterparts. That's what they signed up for. If they didn't know how things would work out, I don't blame it on the employers. I feel bad for the immigrants in those situations, but they should've done their due diligence.


    I suppose I could explain a bit more: I don't want people starving because poor people on the dole watching cable because they have no drive to better themselves is a lot cheaper than waiting for them to get desperate and stupid and end up in jail or a trauma ward. Also safer for the ones paying for it.

    I'm glad you recognize the conditions of a work visa; know that I oppose them for the vast majority of purposes, as they depress properly set wages and give employers virtual slaves. See arguments against living wages in light of corporations who games the system so they don't have to pay a competitive wage and see if you don't change your mind a bit.
  • Franz Kafka 2008-11-26 00:42
    David Short:
    i still remember some italian:
    Michael:
    Ha ha ha ha! I took a combined 6 years of Italian through junior high and high school. All I retained was: mi piace le tue tette!


    should have studied more...it's mi piaciano le tue tette.

    You too. It's “mi piacciono le tue tette”.

    (I was going to let the first mistake slide, but then...)


    My favorite is "l'etat c'est moi'. Sure, it's french, but they're both very latinish languages.
  • Franz Kafka 2008-11-26 00:49
    ShatteredArm:

    I think you missed the entire point.

    Also, if you're egalitarian enough that you believe in a living wage for everybody, it would follow that you are, indeed, harming others, because any amount you're making above a living wage is money that should go to people who aren't. But I get it, you want *other* people to pay for that.


    That's a stupid thing to say and you're stupid for saying it (insert snark emoticon).

    The idea of a living wage is that someone who's worth employing is worth paying enough that they aren't eternally a hair's breadth from starvation. This doesn't mean that they have a glamorous life on minimum wage, but they do get enough to eat, a safe place to sleep, and some money left over that can be used for some sort of luxury - going out a couple times per month or something like that. Nowhere in there is the notion that money above subsistence + epsilon should be taken and given to others, just that starving masses are a bad idea all round.
  • mitschke 2008-11-26 02:37
    There is always the same WTF in the Tales:

    Stupid interviewers who think they are so smart and can tell if a person would be a capable candidate by asking them a question that has zero bandwith. Such questions will only show whether a person has a specific knowledge. Knowledge that casn be easily learned within 5 minutes. And then they write Alex an Email and we all laugh... WTF?!?

  • Herby 2008-11-26 02:55
    On "relevant experience":

    Once I was shopping my resume around at a job fair. Nicely formatted and all that. I included both my High School, and College locations just to be through. At one desk, an HR drone took one look at my resume and rejected it by saying "we only accept college graduates". I then pointed out that I in fact had graduated, and pointed it out in the resume. What a dolt. I had the good fortune to NOT work at that location.

    Another instance was in a want-ad (back when they were used) that expressed a need for "5 years experience with Java". Unfortunately Java was only about 3 years old at the time. It was typical of the time.
  • bjolling 2008-11-26 03:46
    Mark:

    So basically your only answer is to use governmental force to either disrupt freedom of contract or redistribute wealth. Neither sound particularly tasty to me kind sir. Perhaps you'd prefer taking a time machine to 1970 to Hungary, Poland, or to their motherland, the USSR? What fun you'd have as a partisan!

    It always amuses me that Americans don't seem to understand the difference between socialism (as implemented in most Western European countries) and communism. Here the system is referred to as a "socially corrected liberalism"
    Mark:

    Once again, those immigrants know they will come here with less leverage than their American counterparts. That's what they signed up for. If they didn't know how things would work out, I don't blame it on the employers. I feel bad for the immigrants in those situations, but they should've done their due diligence.

    They usually don't know what will happen do them. Immigrants are promised a golden future in a rich, civilized country. They blow all their life savings on getting here only to realize they are bottom of the pile.
  • Never watched Lost 2008-11-26 05:25
    What kind of a tree?

    If I asked that question I would expect something like a Fibonacci heap as the best answer.
    To much theoretic?
  • Gerhard 2008-11-26 05:35
    kevin:
    > If you did teach yourself, keep it TO yourself. Self-taught coders have tons of bad habits.

    I resent that statement.


    So do I. One of the best programmers I've ever worked with was self taught. Strangely enough he gets rejected for jobs because they think hes too old (mid 40s) to be a good programmer.
  • Non-serious coder 2008-11-26 05:40
    Shush! Dont tell them how to sort out the serious (i.e "all I want in life is to code!") coders from the non-serious (i.e "I like coding, but i also like other things").. ;)

    Us non-serious coders need jobs as well.

    I got a MsC and 4-5 years of coding experience, but I dont consider myself a "serious" coder as i dont spend every waking moment thinking of coding or reading books on the subject.

    If all coders have to be super-serious, being a developer isnt a job anymore, its either a hobby or a LIFE.
  • grumble 2008-11-26 06:33
    After finishing my degree I worked in the teaching lab at my university part time while trying to find a real job. Jobs were thin on the ground for recent graduates in my home town and I was applying for anything even remotely related to my degree and went through about 100 job applications and 20 interviews before a very similar permanent job to my part time job came up at another university. I applied, quietly confident that I would get it.

    The interview went swimmingly and I had all the skills and experience they were looking for and more (and it was a rather long and detailed list). I got on really well with the interviewer and the other people working in that area that I would be working with if I got the job. I thought I was a total shoo in for the role.

    I was a little shocked to finally get some feedback almost 2 weeks later that I hadn't made it through to the 2nd round of interviews. After asking for feedback on why I didn't get through when I was such a good fit for the role I was totally stonewalled. It really knocked my confidence that I couldn't even get a 2nd interview for a job that sounded like it was almost created for me it was such a great fit. Sure I didn't get a bunch of other jobs that were only tenuously related to my skills but this job should have been in the bag.

    Months later I found out from a friend who knew the interviewer that the job was filled before it was even advertised with an internal person and the job advertisement and interviews were a charade for the mandatory process to advertise jobs externally. They were pretty shocked that the custom written job spec aimed at the guy they had already chosen fitted me even better than him. They were required to interview me since I had all the skills and experience they needed but had no intention of giving me the job. They also couldn't tell me I had no chance to get the job because I could have some sort of legal recourse if they did.

    Looking back years later it is kind of funny but at the time it made me wonder if I would ever get a real job. I did and am now quite successful and happy in my career but that was one hell of a speed bump back then.

  • WOLA 2008-11-26 06:44
    Bar the discussion about US financial politics I'm quite interested in the priorityqueue, especially since I have no formal education dealing with patterns etc.

    Given a defined set of priorities wouldn't some sort of tree-based queue or container-based queue where each root defines a priority be a faster way to traverse than reindexing an array?
  • SenTree 2008-11-26 07:29
    Gerhard:
    kevin:
    > If you did teach yourself, keep it TO yourself. Self-taught coders have tons of bad habits.

    I resent that statement.


    So do I. One of the best programmers I've ever worked with was self taught. Strangely enough he gets rejected for jobs because they think hes too old (mid 40s) to be a good programmer.


    Help ! I'm self-taught and mid-50s; I guess I'd better give up now. I mainly code in C, on embedded platforms, and Delphi; luckily these are simple enough for my aging brain cells.

    Regarding 'bad habits', I'm aware I may have some and strive to eliminate them. Since I'm self-taught mainly from studying other people's code, from whom do I get my bad habits ?
  • Anonymous 2008-11-26 08:14
    Buddy:
    wee:


    So your "debug skills" essentially amount to a bunch of print statements? People are failing to sprinkle alert()s throughout their code and you're getting on their case for not knowing how to properly debug? Uh...

    Don't get me wrong, using print statements to "step" through code has uses, but if the code only has a simple typo, there are all manner of tools you can use as a first pass which can show you such errors in much less time that it takes to pop up an alert after each and every line of code. And then of course there are actual javascript debuggers that will let you set breakpoints, etc...


    I can guarantee, this was not a guy you'd want to show advanced tools to, dear God, no. Stick to alert for this guy.


    I know plenty of developers who I wouldn't consider the sharpest tool in the shed. However, most of them are capable of and willing to learn. I have found that most of the cases where they aren't is because of the person teaching them. Not everyone learns or understands things the same way you do. It's called situational leadership... You have to adjust your leadership and teaching to each person's style not just try to brute force them into learning the same way that you might. But from the sound of your arrogance, I'm sure you're the mostest awesomest teacher in your opinion. I'm sure that couldn't have had anything to do with it and everyone else is just stupid.
  • galgorah 2008-11-26 08:19
    Chris:

    We're also going to need XML, Webservices, PHP, a neural net, and some assembly sprinkled in (to make it very fast).


    I call dibs on writing the nueral net code and I'll be sure to do it in assembly. Is this for an arm, intel, or other chip?
  • Krupuk 2008-11-26 09:22
    Addison:
    Wow the American government sounds retarded. The worst we have it here in Canada is the fact that the government I work for is bilingual, so everyone who's hired full time (unless they just work off in a corner) has to know both English and French. Since almost no English person ever bothers to learn French (unless they want a government job :P) 60% of my co-workers are French even though the city I live in is only about 10% French.


    I live in Luxembourg where every government hiree has to know French, German, English and Luxembourgish. TRWFT is that correspondance is done in French, press statements in German and conversations in Luxembourgish. Websites are mostly in French and/or German and some informational brochures are even in Portuguese. Government computers have the operating system in English, the office suite in French and other programs (browser, mail client...) in German. Applying updates, security fixes etc. is sometimes a nightmare if they aren't multilingual.
  • Code Dependent 2008-11-26 09:38
    pink_fairy:
    If you're feeling naughty (and imagining Sarah Palin in a slightly soiled blue dress), there's always the Song of Solomon.
    Well, I don't know that her breath is as the fragrance of apples, but I'd consider climbing the palm tree to take hold of her date stalks.
  • pbhj 2008-11-26 09:52
    hikari:
    SysKoll:
    So what you are saying is that you don't reward honesty in résumés. You just want another carefully weasel-worded, buzzword-compliant, boring résumé.

    That'd be TRWTF.


    Well if you read as far as something that says "I don't know how to use interfaces" and more or less says "and I can't be bothered to learn them" [...] I'd hate to work on even a moderately sized project with someone who didn't know how to use them.


    I think you're missing the real situation here. The guy obviously can learn programming stuff, but it seems like he's self taught. If you know enough to tell him how interfaces work then I reckon he'd be a goer. If you don't know enough about it yourself, stay away.

    I'd call and ask if he's willing to learn, despite what the resume says.

    Honesty is worth a lot IMO.
  • Jay 2008-11-26 10:15
    KenW:
    The fact that they "acted bored" isn't admissible evidence.


    Oh, really? Under what Rule would you object to that testimony, Mr. Hot Shot? I'm referring, of course, to the Federal Rules of Evidence which govern admissibility of evidence and with which you are so thoroughly familiar.
  • SCB 2008-11-26 10:22
    David Short:
    i still remember some italian:
    Michael:
    Ha ha ha ha! I took a combined 6 years of Italian through junior high and high school. All I retained was: mi piace le tue tette!


    should have studied more...it's mi piaciano le tue tette.

    You too. It's “mi piacciono le tue tette”.

    (I was going to let the first mistake slide, but then...)


    So... is this some Italian version of Muphry's law?
  • Asiago Chow 2008-11-26 10:59
    Anon:
    Asiago Chow:
    The real kicker, though, is found in the annals modern medical research. A growing body of evidence shows that humans, social creatures that we are, are less happy, and less healty, when we live alone or in very small social groups. People living alone are more depressed, more likely to suffer health issues, less happy, and more likely to die early, than their cohabitating and more social peers. This brings into stark relief the true cost of so-called "living wages"... far from living, they enable lifestyles which science shows correlate directly with early mortality and reduced happiness in life. The so-called living wage kills, kills in large numbers, by alowing people to live self-destructively solo lifestyles.


    What in the holy hell kind of pseudoscientific garbage have you been getting your hands on? A living wage "kills in large numbers"? Do you even read what you wrote before posting?


    There are many studies. Look up Berkman and Syme 1979, Lonergan 1991, and do your own googling for many more.


    The very thought that people _must_ make less than the minimum amount to survive to protect them from the horrors of being single is sickening. In any other context, for example saying that ugly people are more likely to be single and therefore live self-destructive lives, you would be vilified and ousted from the community.

    I voluntarily choose to be childless and single, and I make a decent living. It is no business of yours to make moral judgements about my "self-destructive solo lifestyle" since I harm precisely no one.


    I hear the same thing from smokers. "It's no business of yours if I am willing to accept lung cancer." Same thing from people who don't wear seatbelts. "It's no busienss of yours if I'm willing to be launched trough my car windshield and die on the road." Same thing from people who visit prostitutes, "It's no business of yours if I get HPV or HIV." Same thing from pot smokers, "It's no business of yours if I whoa that's a cool shirt it has buttons can I press them?!" Same thing from alcohol drinkers, "It's no business of yours if I want to damage my liver."

    Living alone is just another vice. It has known mortality implications. You can deny those risks. A smoker can deny her risk of lung cancer. Denial does not reduce risks.

    As a society we have clearly decided that it IS our business. We tax alcohol and cigarettes prohibitively. We criminalzie drugs. We ticket drivers who don't wear seatbelts. We criminalize or severly restrict prostitution. We penalize people who engage in vice.

    The US income tax code charges higher rates for singles than for heads of household or married groups. It would make no sense for one arm of government to penalize a particular vice while another encourages the same behavior. That's what living wage regulations would do.

    There is only one US political party that supports the idea that you have a right to engage in vice so long as it doesn't hurt anyone else. That's the Libertarian Party. They are a bunch of losers. If they are lucky they get 2% of the vote. Unless you are willing to join the Libertarian Party and actually vote Libertarian you are nothing but a hypocrite for thinking that your particular vice is OK and should be supported while allowing your politicians to penalize other vices.
  • SuperousOxide 2008-11-26 11:06
    Asiago Chow:

    Historically it took the labor of more than two people to sustain a household. Parents or kids were needed to maintain stability. Kids started contributing young, and multi-generation households were the norm. This provided not just economic stability but major social benefits.


    Have there been no technological improvements since the days when everyone lived on the farm and everyone worked all day just to provide for themselves? It does not take as much work as it used to to produce the basic needs of a person.
  • Worthstream 2008-11-26 11:15
    Michael:
    Ha ha ha ha! I took a combined 6 years of Italian through junior high and high school. All I retained was: mi piace le tue tette!


    And even that is not correct. The plural form of "like" is "piacciono" and when referring to female secondary sexual attributes you should use the plural, as they are a pair.
  • Logician 2008-11-26 11:24

    I hear the same thing from smokers. "It's no business of yours if I am willing to accept lung cancer." Same thing from people who don't wear seatbelts. "It's no busienss of yours if I'm willing to be launched trough my car windshield and die on the road." Same thing from people who visit prostitutes, "It's no business of yours if I get HPV or HIV." Same thing from pot smokers, "It's no business of yours if I whoa that's a cool shirt it has buttons can I press them?!" Same thing from alcohol drinkers, "It's no business of yours if I want to damage my liver."

    Living alone is just another vice. It has known mortality implications. You can deny those risks. A smoker can deny her risk of lung cancer. Denial does not reduce risks.

    As a society we have clearly decided that it IS our business. We tax alcohol and cigarettes prohibitively. We criminalzie drugs. We ticket drivers who don't wear seatbelts. We criminalize or severly restrict prostitution. We penalize people who engage in vice.

    The US income tax code charges higher rates for singles than for heads of household or married groups. It would make no sense for one arm of government to penalize a particular vice while another encourages the same behavior. That's what living wage regulations would do.

    There is only one US political party that supports the idea that you have a right to engage in vice so long as it doesn't hurt anyone else. That's the Libertarian Party. They are a bunch of losers. If they are lucky they get 2% of the vote. Unless you are willing to join the Libertarian Party and actually vote Libertarian you are nothing but a hypocrite for thinking that your particular vice is OK and should be supported while allowing your politicians to penalize other vices.


    You've commited every logical fallacy that exists. I just wanted to congratulate you on that.
  • Asiago Chow 2008-11-26 11:45
    SuperousOxide:
    Asiago Chow:

    Historically it took the labor of more than two people to sustain a household. Parents or kids were needed to maintain stability. Kids started contributing young, and multi-generation households were the norm. This provided not just economic stability but major social benefits.


    Have there been no technological improvements since the days when everyone lived on the farm and everyone worked all day just to provide for themselves? It does not take as much work as it used to to produce the basic needs of a person.


    You are on the right track.

    Historically life was hard work. Now we have technology to do most of that work. Great, right? Except... We spent the last 100,000 years adapting to a type of existence that involved a lot of work. Agriculture and hunting/gathering were hard. 100 years of work-reducing technology simply cannot overcome 100,000 of evolution. My great grandparents and earlier ancestors were farmers and fisherfolk, they probably burned 4000-8000 calories a day just living normal lives. Over the last 3 generations that has shifted until now I sit in front of a computer and probably burn 1500 ... but my body carries that 100,000 years of adaptation to a 6000 calorie existence. It needs fake work to remain healty. We had to invent "exercise" because of the gap between evolution and technical revolution. My body thinks it is starving if I eat what I need. Again, evolution hasn't caught up with technology.

    I'm not arguing that we cannot evolve into individualists who thrive in a social vacuum and live longest when we live alone. I'm not arguing that after such an evolutionary change a living wage would be a social good. I'm arguing that we have 100,000 years or more (a lot more... look at most primates; very social... we grew from them) of evolution as social creatures and until we change at that low level a living wage just encourages lifestyles that kill us. It's no different than offering incentives for developing and selling fatty foods. 100 years ago that was a great idea. People could starve while filling their bellies three times a day because you just couldn't pack enough calories into a meal without fat. Problems change with technology.

    The living wage is no different. It's a good idea that is very bad for humans. Not because it's innately bad but because we haven't evolved to live full lives in the conditions it supports.
  • Asiago Chow 2008-11-26 11:46
    Logician:

    You've commited every logical fallacy that exists. I just wanted to congratulate you on that.


    :)
  • Anonymous 2008-11-26 11:52
    Asiago Chow:
    ...snip...

    I don't see why so many people are taking the flame bait here - this guy is obviously Chinese and we all know how important reproduction (read: available child labour) is to the Chinese. That is why they suffer from rampant overpopulation which just happens to be a major contributing factor to high mortality rates and societal malaise. Only a complete idiot would take lessons in effective social structures from the Chinese - they are so dysfunctional that they actually need LAWS to prevent them from reproducing FFS!!!
  • Code Dependent 2008-11-26 12:41
    Anonymous:
    Asiago Chow:
    ...snip...
    - this guy is obviously Chinese
    Yes, it's as obvious that he's Chinese as it is that I'm codependent.
  • Asiago Chow 2008-11-26 12:44
    For the record: My posts were not flame bait. Nor were they trolling. I was exposing a core question that should be part of any dialog about ANY change in our social structure: will the change do harm?

    Will it cause unhappiness? Will it shorten life? Will it make us a more divided people? Will it enable negative outcomes that, however unintended, must be counted against the positives no matter how well intended the change?

    It is convenient to think something like a living wage is only positive. It is wrong. There are positives, yes, but there are also changes to the shape of our society. Changes that cause real harm. Lives cut short, happiness reduced, social bonds weakend, all in measurable ways.

    This isn't about economics or "welfare states". Yes, those are important factors to consider...but they are abstractions. We as humans are real, concrete, organic beings with a concrete evolutionary history. We have needs. We have vulnerabilities. At the end of the day those needs and vunlerabilities trump any talk about the merits of a particular economic policy or the likelihood of inflationary pressures or raised costs. Social changes that push us farther from our evolutionary history will expose our weaknesses and leave us unhealthy, unhappy, and dead. The intentions don't matter at that point.

    I can smile at "logical fallacy" comments because I was aiming for populist appeal. That means fallacious. Fallacious doesn't mean wrong.
  • Jay 2008-11-26 12:48
    wee:
    Jo Bob:
    wee:

    Don't get me wrong, using print statements to "step" through code has uses, but if the code only has a simple typo, there are all manner of tools you can use as a first pass which can show you such errors in much less time that it takes to pop up an alert after each and every line of code. And then of course there are actual javascript debuggers that will let you set breakpoints, etc...


    How in the HELL is someone going to understand what an automated tool is doing, when they can't even learn to do the simple manual equivalent?


    Why the hell is anyone hiring a developer who doesn't know what tools exist for debugging? Why the hell would a company pay for the tedium of having a dev sit there for hours on end, adding print statements to his code, when a couple minutes in one of hundreds of tools could find a missing curly brace in seconds? Why in the hell is the person without the knowledge of these tools allowed to mentor junior developers?


    Finding a missing brace is not what I would call "debugging". That is "reading the error messages from the compiler". And yes, sure, there are plenty of programmer's editors that can find matching braces and would help you fix this problem very quickly.

    By "debugging" we normally mean "finding logic problems in code that runs but produces incorrect results". I agree with the original poster: A few well-placed print statements are usually far more effective than any debugging tool I have ever used. Every now and then I try spending a few hours stepping through code line by line, or setting breakpoints and watch variables, etc etc. And I've almost always found it to be a very inefficient way to debug. An intelligent programmer can usually quickly spot the places in a program where a crucial test is made or value is set, insert a print statement to tell him what the value is or which branch the program took, and find out what's wrong. Yes, occasionally I come across a bug where I just can't figure out where the problem is, and I'm force to sigh and resigned single-step through the code until I see where it is giving unexpected results. But this is a once-a-year phenomenon. For day to day problems, I prefer print statements.
  • Code Dependent 2008-11-26 12:48
    Asiago Chow:
    Living alone is just another vice.
    Not according to the apostle Paul. 1 Corinthians 7:7 -- "I would like everyone to be unmarried, like I am."
  • Frost 2008-11-26 13:43
    joe:
    Not sure if I'm missing something, Frost, but you're aware that a heap is a special case of a tree, which happens to have the nice property of being easy to store in an array? (left-balanced, root at element 1, child of n at 2n and 2n+1, etc.)


    Yeah, I was being pedantic.
  • Duke of New York 2008-11-26 13:57
    Asiago Chow:
    For the record: My posts were not flame bait. Nor were they trolling. I was exposing a core question that should be part of any dialog about ANY change in our social structure: will the change do harm?

    stop posting
  • Fast Eddie 2008-11-26 14:05
    Jo Bob:
    wee:

    Don't get me wrong, using print statements to "step" through code has uses, but if the code only has a simple typo, there are all manner of tools you can use as a first pass which can show you such errors in much less time that it takes to pop up an alert after each and every line of code. And then of course there are actual javascript debuggers that will let you set breakpoints, etc...


    How in the HELL is someone going to understand what an automated tool is doing, when they can't even learn to do the simple manual equivalent?


    So because you don't know how to tell time by judging the angle of the sun, you shouldn't use a wristwatch?

    I'm just sayin'...

  • Jo Bob 2008-11-26 14:47
    Fast Eddie:
    Jo Bob:


    How in the HELL is someone going to understand what an automated tool is doing, when they can't even learn to do the simple manual equivalent?


    So because you don't know how to tell time by judging the angle of the sun, you shouldn't use a wristwatch?

    I'm just sayin'...


    Nope, but if the concept of Sun coming up = Morning; Sun overhead ~ Noon; Sun going down = evening is lost on someone, then the arbitrary division of hours/ minutes/ seconds ain't going to make it any easier.

    Just sayin' too... ;-)
  • Asiago Chow 2008-11-26 14:53
    Code Dependent:
    Asiago Chow:
    Living alone is just another vice.
    Not according to the apostle Paul. 1 Corinthians 7:7 -- "I would like everyone to be unmarried, like I am."


    I'm not sure what qualifications Paul had to discuss human needs...none as far as I know...but his likes do not define vice. Anyway, unmarried does not mean alone. He may have lived with 50 guys for all any of us know.

  • TopCod3rsBottom 2008-11-26 15:05
    Non-serious coder:
    Shush! Dont tell them how to sort out the serious (i.e "all I want in life is to code!") coders from the non-serious (i.e "I like coding, but i also like other things").. ;)
    Uh, "serious coder" doesn't mean "likes to code more than anything else". It means, "knows that finding an item in a hash table is O(1), finding in a balanced tree is O(ln n), and finding in a linked list is O(n)". It means a whole lot more as well, but that's a good start, given my experiences interviewing developers.
  • asdfasf 2008-11-26 15:08
    Reminder to self: Don't skip to page 4 from page 1 unless you want to be totally confused.
  • Jo Bob 2008-11-26 16:01
    asdfasf:
    Reminder to self: Don't skip to page 4 from page 1 unless you want to be totally confused.

    The title did say the "The Mandatory Three", people just took that to mean three (wildly diverging) threads running at once. ;-)
  • Code Dependent 2008-11-26 16:27
    Asiago Chow:
    I'm not sure what qualifications Paul had to discuss human needs...none as far as I know...but his likes do not define vice.
    Theoretically (or perhaps, theologically), his qualifications would be due to having been anointed by holy spirit, and thereby having special knowledge given him by the creator of humankind. Me being agnostic, I don't insist upon the factualness of that belief; but some folks do, and Paul's authority overrides their own. I was curious to see your reaction.

    Noting that everything I've quoted above applies to you, I'll tip my hat and bow out now... I'm within minutes of embarking on a four-day weekend, and I'm too content to wrestle with inanities.
  • JJ 2008-11-26 16:46
    Franz Kafka:
    The idea of a living wage is that someone who's worth employing is worth paying enough that they aren't eternally a hair's breadth from starvation. This doesn't mean that they have a glamorous life on minimum wage, but they do get enough to eat, a safe place to sleep, and some money left over that can be used for some sort of luxury - going out a couple times per month or something like that. Nowhere in there is the notion that money above subsistence + epsilon should be taken and given to others, just that starving masses are a bad idea all round.


    It's a forced, government solution that creates as many problems as it purports to solve. It's also inappropriate for many positions: do teenagers and elderly looking for supplemental income really need a "living wage?" Who determines what it is? Why not make it $50 per hour? Should it include enough to survive on, or enough to survive on plus cable TV and a tricked-up Honda CRX? Where does it end?

    There's way too much hubris in suggesting that government could actually do a good job in this area, based on lots and lots of past experience. The best thing for all concerned would be for government to get out of the welfare business, and put humans back into the equation. Were the government not to suck up to 40% of income (and then spend a tiny fraction of that on the people who really need it), I warrant many of us would do much more than tithe to the truly needy. Cut out the middleman! Especially when the middleman is a greedy, crooked, power-hungry enterprise/system like the government.
  • Georgy Porgy 2008-11-26 18:35
    Well don't skim over the fact that it was a "dyanamic" intranet site. It surely had interactive links and/or animated GIF's.
  • Shill 2008-11-26 19:22
    Heron:
    Jay Jay:
    Seeing as how it just generated function stubs, I told him that, according to the requirements I had been given, it was a waste of time. Useful for spec'ing out a project, but absolute crap as far as generating code. I gave it a failing grade, once again based upon what had been requested of me.

    Turns out that he had preemptively purchased a corporate license and just needed a positive recommendation for his boss (a member of VERY high management) to sign off on it. My failing grade made it (and him) look bad.


    I'm in charge of IT at my company now, but I used to work on a programming team. I parted from that team on bad terms with the my former manager (he fired me, a story for another time). He e-mailed me three months ago asking whether a particular 4GB kit of RAM (OCZ Fatal1ty) would be appropriate for three of his development machines.

    I responded that because our software did not even compile in 64-bit, and we weren't currently running 64-bit OSes on two of the machines, it would not be useful to get extra RAM, and that getting our software actually <i>compiling</i> in 64-bit (a task that, three months later, is not even close to completion) is a higher priority than buying more RAM.

    The response I got was perhaps the rudest e-mail I've ever received, and I'll reproduce it here in its brief entirety:

    We are working on a 64-bit version. I don't care if you think I am wasting "my teams money". Tell me if either of these items of RAM would be appropriate for my, John and Blair's computers. I don't want your opinion about whether or not it is the right purchase or the right time.


    I'm not sure why he put the phrase "my teams money" in quotes, because I never mentioned its price at all (perhaps he already knew the RAM was more expensive than necessary?). In any case, what I think is funny is that he says "tell me if they're appropriate" and "I don't want your opinion" back-to-back. Isn't whether the RAM is useful integral to whether the RAM is appropriate for the machines?

    This particular manager has a habit of being extremely rude unless his subordinates (or people he views as subordinates) do exactly as he wishes, even if what he wants is useless or even counterproductive.

    Oh, ironically, he bought the RAM anyway, and it doesn't even work in one of the machines (bluescreens galore). As a result, my opinion carries more weight right now than it used to...


    In other words, if you had done your job instead of trying to do his, he wouldn't have wasted money on equipment that doesn't work.
  • blunder 2008-11-26 19:38
    Lumberjack:
    Experience in XML? It's tags, people! Tags! As in <tag></tag>. What kind of "experience" are we talking about here? Knowing where to find the angle bracket on a keyboard?


    I really hope that when the time comes for you to use XML, you actually take the time to learn about things like the DTD, rather than hard code some god-awful mess of angle brackets.
  • Asiago Chow 2008-11-26 19:45
    Code Dependent:
    Theoretically (or perhaps, theologically), [Paul's] qualifications would be due to having been anointed by holy spirit, and thereby having special knowledge given him by the creator of humankind. Me being agnostic, I don't insist upon the factualness of that belief; but some folks do, and Paul's authority overrides their own. I was curious to see your reaction.


    Huh. Well, being an atheist myself I don't have much truck with anointment by mythical agencies...but I guess some do. Such is life.


    Noting that everything I've quoted above applies to you, I'll tip my hat and bow out now... I'm within minutes of embarking on a four-day weekend, and I'm too content to wrestle with inanities.


    Enjoy your weekend! But I will offer this parting shot: I'm not saying I dislike living wages, living alone, or anything else I've mentioned. I'm certainly not saying that I'm any sort of authority whose likes should control the behavior of others. I'm saying that certain things cause harm, the harm can be (and has been) measured, and ethically we are have a responsibility to minimize harm and maximize happiness. A living wage does neither. Your attempt to equate my statements with the likes or dislikes of Paul are incorrect because paul wasn't saying "we've done research and our research shows that, statistically, people who get married are worse off than people who are single like me so everyone should stay single." Had he done that research his findings would have been just the opposite -- marriage increases happiness, lifespan, and wealth. We as a society have done the research and our policy should be based on our best knowledge...not on some fuzzy feel good or religious ideal.

    The "Living Wage" is not based on our best knowledge. It is based on a quasi-religious "fairness" ideal. Idealism has its place but NOT in public policy.
  • Spudd86 2008-11-26 19:48
    Two weeks for a Priority Queue? more like a few hours...
  • Code Dependent 2008-11-26 20:56
    Asiago Chow:
    I'm saying that certain things cause harm, the harm can be (and has been) measured, and ethically we are have a responsibility to minimize harm and maximize happiness.
    I've seen the reports from the studies. I've been married twice and lived with three other women besides. I'm at a fairly ripe semi-old age, and I assure you, my happiest days, and years, have been those when I lived alone. Reports and statistics change. Coffee used to be bad for you; now it's good for you. Sugar, butter... same thing. Statistically, black people used to be dumber then whites; statistically, women used to be dumber than men. Atheist, put your faith in those statistics.

    I'm not female, but a couple of females summed up my position very well. In a paraphrase of Katherine Hepburn, K.T. Oslin sang:

    I love ya baby
    I like your company
    You make me laugh, You never make me cry
    I think you're sexy
    I like to kiss ya
    Even my dog thinks you're quite a guy

    I'm not looking for a husband
    Found out the hard way that doesn't work for me
    I need a friend
    I want a lover
    I have to be alone occasionally

    So live close by, visit often
    That'll work, that'll work for me
    Live close by, visit often
    Save us both a lot of misery

    You fix me breakfast
    I'll buy you dinner
    We'll hit a movie on Wednesday night
    You go to your place
    I'll go to my place
    Sounds like our plan is gonna work just right

    It could be rough
    It could be easy
    It might be hell, might be heavenly
    How do you feel?
    How does it strike ya?
    Could you be happy with a woman like me?

    Why don't ya? Why don't ya
    Live close by, visit often
    That'll work, that'll work for me
    Live close by, visit often
    Save us both a lot of misery
  • Jonathan Wilson 2008-11-26 22:04
    The question is, why do IT companies bother with agencies in the first place. What do these recruitment firms do that the company with the available position is unable to do themselves?
  • Shinobu 2008-11-26 23:39
    Ooh... I know how to solve the filler applicants thing! Just let the filling of all such vacancies be overseen by specially appointed 15-head strong committees from the Department of Administrative Affairs. What could possibly go wrong?

    On a different note... ‘Fallacious doesn't mean wrong.’ It means the reasoning behind it is wrong. Granted, sometimes people arrive at the right answer by accident, but most of the time they don't. Asiago Chow, you appear to have no relevant subject knowledge anyway, but even if you had, your disrespect for logical reasoning would still make your opinions as useless to me as the outcome of a diceroll.
  • dv 2008-11-27 11:38
    Come on... give the guy a standing chance and point the fallacies in his argument out for the dumber of us. Pretty please. The only (hardly invalidating) fallacy I can see in his argument is the non sequitur here and there, but the main argument is solid.
    Also please note that he didn't try to ad hominem you, or anyone else, for that matter;-)
  • asdfasf 2008-11-27 19:09
    blunder:
    Lumberjack:
    Experience in XML? It's tags, people! Tags! As in <tag></tag>. What kind of "experience" are we talking about here? Knowing where to find the angle bracket on a keyboard?


    I really hope that when the time comes for you to use XML, you actually take the time to learn about things like the DTD, rather than hard code some god-awful mess of angle brackets.
    Yes, because making a DTD requires a PHD. Or even more than, say, four brain cells.
  • akappa 2008-11-27 19:52
    It's sad that the only thing you retained is also wrong: "Mi piacciono le tue tette"!
  • Cookie 2008-11-28 03:08
    Experience in XML? It's tags, people! Tags! As in <tag></tag>. What kind of "experience" are we talking about here? Knowing where to find the angle bracket on a keyboard?


    You haven't lived until you got stuck in a project creating an interface to a database using XML. Inside of base64. Inside SOAP. Inside XML (again). Then the usual http, tcp, ip, etc.

    Best thing? The "documentation" conveniently forgot to mention at least a layer and a half of that little stack of horrors --the base64 requirement showed up as an unexplained inner bit of example message painted green in a clarification pdf (at request, originally word), and I'm not even mentioning encoding failures like

    <items>
    <name>...</name><value>...</value>
    <name>...</name><value>...</value>
    [and so on]
    </items>

    XML is turd polish on top of general inability to design feasible protocols. Yes, you can make perfectly feasible protocols with it, but you can do as well and more efficiently so without. What it tries to do is shuffle the need for protocol design skills under the carpet. No, it's not working. Whodathot?
  • Cookie 2008-11-28 03:19
    My experience with recruiters is that they don't have much ability to understand what's mentioned in the CV, including those who "specialise" in the IT field, and don't actually know what they're looking at beyond some vgreping. Doesn't help they see far too many CVs each day, many of which are chock full of buzzwords but with enough spelling errors and technical conflict to scream "fake" to anybody with a modicum of actual skill, of course.

    I've had one complain I have "not enough unix" on my CV. My explanation that FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, and various flavours of linux should count just as much as hp-ux, AIX, and Solaris fell on deaf ears. The verdict remained "not enough unix" and that was that.
  • parris 2008-11-28 21:47
    So what you are saying is that you don't reward honesty in résumés. You just want another carefully weasel-worded, buzzword-compliant, boring résumé.

    That'd be TRWTF.
    Amen!
  • furlong 2008-11-29 17:00
    And it's not even right. In Italian you'd say "Mi piacciono le tue tette" (plural form of the verb).
  • furlong 2008-11-29 17:00
    furlong:
    And it's not even right. In Italian you'd say "Mi piacciono le tue tette" (plural form of the verb).


    And it's not even right. In Italian you'd say "Mi piacciono le tue tette" (plural form of the verb).
  • Will 2008-11-30 04:52
    As someone who's hired and fired before, I can say that honesty is appreciated; if I had time, I might hang out with the guy. But better to be honest that you shouldn't be given a job than pretend that you're qualified and fake it till you (don't) make it.

    Unqualified people will get fired eventually anyway.
  • Bel'moki 2008-12-02 07:47
    furlong:
    furlong:
    And it's not even right. In Italian you'd say "Mi piacciono le tue tette" (plural form of the verb).


    And it's not even right. In Italian you'd say "Mi piacciono le tue tette" (plural form of the verb).


    Hmm, shouldn't that be:

    "In Italia" or "An Italian"
  • anny 2008-12-03 17:43
    Asiago Chow:
    then we have private jets


    Hmm... are you referring to the automaker CEO private jet "controversy" recently manufactured?

    Let's think about this... a CEO doesn't fly alone. He flies with a staff of 10+ people.

    These hearings were short notice. Last time I bought an airline ticket on short notice I paid about $650 for coach. When I was able to buy the same ticket on a month's notice it cost about $230. So let's say $6,500 to fly the CEO and his staff to DC.

    What does it cost to fly a private jet? I don't know exactly. I don't own a jet. However, I can tell you that it isn't going to be that much. It's less than an hour of flying time at maybe $4000 an hour wet with pilot. So, figure round trip at $8000, vs $6500 for coach... we're having a national debate over $1500????

    Oh, but it doesn't end there. It takes at least 3 hours to fly anywhere by commercial airline and much of that is spent in public areas where business discussions are not possible, so we have 30 hours of very high paid senior staff sitting on their thumbs and listening to ipods vs 10 hours of them actually working in a private conference area. That's a 40 hour difference, or maybe $5000 in lost wages. In fact you can bet the delta is higher because high profile people flying on airlines need more security and those security people need tickets too.

    So not only is the whole "controversy" silly on its face, but the alternative, using standard airlines, would likely cost GM or equivalent over $3500 MORE than using a private jet.

    THINK -- it's not just an IBM slogan


    Well - you're off by an order of magnitude (on the low side) in your estimate on how much it costs to fly on a private jet, but don't let that get in the way of your rant.
  • Intern 2008-12-26 09:15
    Hey!

    That last resumé was mine! :'(
  • sfsad 2009-01-21 23:46
  • huojia 2009-03-02 01:13
    &nbsp;&nbsp;
    货架racking.&nbsp;&nbsp; 仓储货架
    南京货架设备要产品包括:重型货架
    ,阁楼货架,超市Shelf,重量型货架,横梁式货架,驶入式货架... 仓储笼
    货架的形式与材料 · 立体仓库 · 货架厂
    物流规划设计的步骤与程序(货架的设计... 中国物流行业呈现三足鼎立抢市场 · 亚洲第三方物流的现状和发展 ... 托盘
    抽出式货架系列 · 重力式 货架/推入式货架钢托盘
    移动式货架 · 阁楼式货架 · 悬臂式货架
    系列 长件物料储存货架&nbsp;货架公司
  • hoodaticus 2009-03-25 02:32
    Jo Bob:
    How in the HELL is someone going to understand what an automated tool is doing, when they can't even learn to do the simple manual equivalent?


    Dude, it's just a clicky-little breakpoint-icon thingy and a few clicky-menu thingies in the IDE thingy.
  • Duke Ganote 2009-04-18 15:32
    "Make the solution as complicated as possible" You mean like those corporate "rock stars" at
    PEDANT? :)
  • few 2009-05-19 07:01


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  • wm 2009-07-06 05:19
  • Reginal Plinkman 2010-08-21 08:25
    There is a special place in hell for academics that put poor smucks through this travesty. I recently has a similar experience, had to take two days off from work to go through this ridculously involved interview process, only to find that it was just a formatility so the director could hire someone they already wanted. Two days of sitting around with 7 or 8 degreed people looking at their watches, now I know why I am not giving any more money or support to university systems.
  • Prism 2011-07-12 03:01
    Lumberjack:
    Buddy:
    [...] but if the applicant [...] has experience only in XML, [...]


    Ok, it's time for me to ask this question because it has been bugging me for the longest time...

    What. The. F*ck. does that mean?

    Experience in XML? It's tags, people! Tags! As in <tag></tag>. What kind of "experience" are we talking about here? Knowing where to find the angle bracket on a keyboard?


    "Its ones and zeros people! What kind of experience are we talking about here? Knowing how to tell the difference between a 1 and a 0??"

    First, there is the particular Xml library on your platform -- do you know it, or do you build all your xml with strings?

    Then, there is the DB end. Do you know how to interface with XML in T-SQL? Do you know how to query a T-SQL XML object? Know how to break it into RDB tables? (have fun with that)

    Then, there is the architectural matters, and XML performance limitations.

    Then, there is things like Xpath, and XQuery. Are you familiar and competent enough to compose statements in those syntaxs?

    Then there are namespaces, schema definition and validation.

    Do we need to get into applications, XSLT, and all the tools out there to help you deal with XML?

    I smell a troll.
  • Prism 2011-07-12 03:24
    Asiago Chow:
    Anon:
    Asiago Chow:
    The real kicker, though, is found in the annals modern medical research. A growing body of evidence shows that humans, social creatures that we are, are less happy, and less healty, when we live alone or in very small social groups. People living alone are more depressed, more likely to suffer health issues, less happy, and more likely to die early, than their cohabitating and more social peers. This brings into stark relief the true cost of so-called "living wages"... far from living, they enable lifestyles which science shows correlate directly with early mortality and reduced happiness in life. The so-called living wage kills, kills in large numbers, by alowing people to live self-destructively solo lifestyles.


    What in the holy hell kind of pseudoscientific garbage have you been getting your hands on? A living wage "kills in large numbers"? Do you even read what you wrote before posting?


    There are many studies. Look up Berkman and Syme 1979, Lonergan 1991, and do your own googling for many more.


    The very thought that people _must_ make less than the minimum amount to survive to protect them from the horrors of being single is sickening. In any other context, for example saying that ugly people are more likely to be single and therefore live self-destructive lives, you would be vilified and ousted from the community.

    I voluntarily choose to be childless and single, and I make a decent living. It is no business of yours to make moral judgements about my "self-destructive solo lifestyle" since I harm precisely no one.


    I hear the same thing from smokers. "It's no business of yours if I am willing to accept lung cancer." Same thing from people who don't wear seatbelts. "It's no busienss of yours if I'm willing to be launched trough my car windshield and die on the road." Same thing from people who visit prostitutes, "It's no business of yours if I get HPV or HIV." Same thing from pot smokers, "It's no business of yours if I whoa that's a cool shirt it has buttons can I press them?!" Same thing from alcohol drinkers, "It's no business of yours if I want to damage my liver."

    Living alone is just another vice. It has known mortality implications. You can deny those risks. A smoker can deny her risk of lung cancer. Denial does not reduce risks.

    As a society we have clearly decided that it IS our business. We tax alcohol and cigarettes prohibitively. We criminalzie drugs. We ticket drivers who don't wear seatbelts. We criminalize or severly restrict prostitution. We penalize people who engage in vice.

    The US income tax code charges higher rates for singles than for heads of household or married groups. It would make no sense for one arm of government to penalize a particular vice while another encourages the same behavior. That's what living wage regulations would do.

    There is only one US political party that supports the idea that you have a right to engage in vice so long as it doesn't hurt anyone else. That's the Libertarian Party. They are a bunch of losers. If they are lucky they get 2% of the vote. Unless you are willing to join the Libertarian Party and actually vote Libertarian you are nothing but a hypocrite for thinking that your particular vice is OK and should be supported while allowing your politicians to penalize other vices.


    Gotta love how we Americans believe in freedom right up until the moment comes to gang up and tell other people what to do. Just watch our chests puff out all filled with pride as we exercise our "democratic rights".

    One big self-delusional fuckin joke.

    At least admit you don't actually believe in freedom, it's the least you can do.