Old Farts Know How to Code

Old Farts Know How to Code:

Nick Bradbury:

“Old farts” are often excluded from that culture, not because we’re lousy coders but because we won’t put up with that shit. We have lives, we have families, we have other things that are important to us.

In addition to the sexism that has been discussed a lot recently, software engineering suffers from extreme ageism and workaholism.

I’m about to turn 30, I’m married, and we just had a baby. This will implicitly (and illegally, of course) disqualify me from working at almost any startup.

∞ Permalink

[Well it doesn’t preclude them all, but you do have to know how to pick ’em. And the classic startup does fall into the above criteria. More’s the pity, as I know lots of “older” folks with lots to share…]

Source: Marco.org

Here’s The Inside Story Of What Happened On The Facebook IPO

Here’s The Inside Story Of What Happened On The Facebook IPO:

The estimate cut, moreover, was followed by three additional pieces of information that were interpreted negatively by some institutional investors:
1) The price range for the deal was increased, which made the deal even less attractive in light of the estimate cut,
2) The size of the deal was increased, which meant that more stock would be sold, and
3) Many smart institutional Facebook shareholders like Goldman Sachs decided to sell more stock on the deal—the “smart money,” in other words, was cashing out.

[snip -ed]

In the meantime, it’s hard to conclude anything other than this:
In one of the biggest IPOs in history, in which a huge amount of stock was sold to small investors, privileged Wall Street insiders once again got top-notch information…and individuals got the shaft.

[Mote and more I think this company is infected with sleaze. If not, they have a lot of work to do to convince me otherwise.]

What Eduardo Saverin Owes America (Hint: Nearly Everything)

What Eduardo Saverin Owes America (Hint: Nearly Everything) | PandoDaily:

As an immigrant myself, I’ve got no patience for the argument that he should keep all of it. Pretty much everything in my life that I enjoy wouldn’t have happened without my being in the United States. My education, my job, my wife and family, the fact that I’m not persecuted for my race or religion (I was born in South Africa), the fact that I can sometimes forget to lock my doors at night and not end up killed by marauding bands—I hate paying taxes as much as the next guy, but when I think about all the ways that the United States has been integral to everything in my life, taxes seem like a tiny price.

Now, remember that the tax rate on long-term capital gains is only 15 percent. In other words, Saverin gets to keep 85 percent of everything he’s making from Facebook’s IPO. Given how much of his wealth depends on the government, that’s more than fair.

[Right on. The low level cheesiness surrounding Facebook and its founders is remarkably high. It may be time to toss my account.]

The Loop on Blogging

The Loop on Blogging:

Blogging is not a thing, it’s an attitude:

Blogging is not about being stiff and rigid in your writing, but being flexible and flowing with ideas. It doesn’t matter if everyone agrees with your thoughts. In fact, that would be really boring — but you write it anyway.

If large media companies want their writers to be bloggers, they need to let them go. Bloggers need to feel free to express themselves and their opinions. There are plenty of great bloggers on the Internet — many of them came from these large organizations, but weren’t allowed to post their thoughts.

Blogging is also about trust. If you’re readers know that you are writing from your heart, they will listen. They will engage you, and in the process you will learn something new. That, in turn, will help shape your opinions.

Blogging doesn’t have an agenda, other than expressing your true thoughts on a subject.

[The last point is, at the very least, poorly written. Of course blogging is about an agenda. It’s just a personal one, not a corporate one.]

Source: inessential.com

Uncle Glenn and The Choice of Buying Organic

Uncle Glenn and The Choice of Buying Organic:

To Glenn, a farmer’s job is to produce as much food as he possibly can, because people tend to need more food than they have. Developing and improving chemicals that increase yields is one way the farm industry keeps up with ever-increasing demand. We tend to look at the environmental damages caused by industrial farm runoff—not to be understated—and we associate the pollution with corporate greed. It’s easy to forget that without these chemicals, we’d perhaps have less food. The cost/benefit analysis here is tied inextricably to the ones that motivate our individual consumption, and it’s even harder to balance.

[Puff piece? You decide. But I think the answer is in distributed growing rather than in counting on “specialists” (farmers) for everything. There was a time when everyone was a “farmer” for themselves. What if stopped growing lawns (I don’t) and started vegetable gardens? Don’t you think that improve things for everyone? I do.]

Source: Simple Blog

Better than an “email vacation”

Better than an “email vacation”:

Much like inbox bankruptcy, simply running away from email overload doesn’t solve the problem. What does work is to engage email as described in Bit Literacy (free Kindle ebook, free iBookstore ebook). To summarize: move your action items to a todo list, and archive or delete everything else. The inbox should be empty at least once a day.

[Mark’s been talking about this for as long as I’ve known him. Just do it already. You can thank me later. BTW, the email client I’ve been using for work has an setting that shows only unread mail. Very useful.]

Source: Creative Good

In war for talent, ‘brogrammers’ will be losers

In war for talent, ‘brogrammers’ will be losers:

The tech industry’s testosterone level can make the thickest-skinned women consider a different career. But the rise of the brogrammer joke and its ensuing backlash has some benefits: It helps talented women choose worthy employers, it gives a name and face to a problem that plagues the industry and it publicly shames some of the most sexist offenders.

Gina Trapani
In 1999, Google’s Marissa Mayer almost didn’t take the job at the all-male start-up because there were more women at another firm that made her an offer. If Mayer had just graduated from college today with offers from two equally compelling start-ups — one all-male and one not — it’s clear which one she would choose.
If you write software for a living and you’re located in Silicon Valley, you have your pick of employment options at an array of tech start-ups — yes, even in this economy. When a recruiter’s pitch is: “Wanna bro down and crush some code?” — like San Francisco-based Klout’s was — you get a sense of what that company is looking for. If you’re a woman, it’s not you.

[If you even consider thinking about yourself in context of such a ridiculous term, you’ve already lost.]

You are standing on the thing you seek to criticize

You are standing on the thing you seek to criticize:

I personally criticize the social nature of science — where popular ideas get funded and unpopular ones get shunned, and sometimes it takes a generation dying to get closer to the truth. I hate the herd mentality and the activist scientist. I think they cause harm to science itself. But many take the human vulnerabilities of science to make a case that science is itself mostly worthless — that everything in the world is just a matter of belief. They say that believing in gravity is much the same as believing in divine providence.

Everything is not the same. Bedrock principles are not there by blind luck. We’ve tried other ideas and they didn’t work at all. This is an extremely important thing to know. We have learned a lot about how to allow humans to live, love, and have a meaningful life over the past several centuries. Picking out principles for having a dynamic economy or a vibrant scientific community isn’t like choosing a flavor of ice-cream at a dinner buffet. Yet vast swaths of people — people with six-figure incomes and college debts — think it is. They haven’t been taught the critical thinking skills or given the testicular fortitude to make cultural value decisions. And so here we are.

What Would the End of Football Look Like?

What Would the End of Football Look Like?:

I think the only way the game survives, long-term, is if the rules change dramatically to something like flag football — to a sport that resembles basketball in terms of athleticism, pace of play, and violence. Me? I think I might enjoy watching such a football very much. But I don’t think most NFL fans would. Too many NFL fans are in it for the violent hits, not despite them.

[I don’t think this is true. I think a lot of folks don’t care about the hard hits. In fact these days, I see them making more people quest than anything else. BTW, the same applies to hockey. The big hits and fighting degrade, atmo, two beautiful sports. I’ve played them both in my own bush league way… but I’ve enjoyed standing on the ice with real players (NHL) I’ve played football with guys who were going to the combines, and not quite making it etc. I know how gifted these guys are. Change the rules, give them a chance to adjust, and we can all enjoy the power, speed and beauty of watching people play at that level without the stuff that is killing people.]

Source: Daring Fireball