Roy Tang

roytang.net

Programmer, engineer, scientist, critic, gamer, dreamer, and kid-at-heart.

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2016 June

  • Ice Candy

    I read an article recently about how we should encourage entrepreneurial spirit in kids from a very young age. It made think of a time when we were kids and we tried running a business It was a summer from years ago. Perhaps 1988 or 1989, or maybe a year or two earlier, I can't be sure. I was young, my brother was younger by a few years, my female cousin older by a few years. Back then our families live under the same roof, my grandfather's house We needed something to keep us occupied during the summer. We probably

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    Posted by under blog at #nostalgia

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  • Working with Testers

    I had my first taste with working with software testers during my first project where I was involved with porting an old system to a new version of the software. My first task involved porting reports which were to be generated by the users then printed out. The task wasnโ€™t too difficult: basically you took the source code of the report (it was some weird binary format recognized only by the particular reporting tool -- that was how it was done back in the day) and open it using the newer version of the tool, and the tool did some

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    Posted by under blog at #software-development

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  • Everyone is Biased

    Grammar note: "Biased" is an adjective. "Bias" is a noun. It is not appropriate to say that a person or an entity "is bias". Unless you are talking to like a prejudice elemental or something (takes note of that for hypothetical hipster RPG) In a (long-winded) discussion during the recent election period, someone told me that I "obviously had a bias" and my answer was "Of course I do! Everyone does!" People have different histories and backgrounds which means for any given topic they are likely to start from different points. These biases are perfectly okay and healthy and they're

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    Posted by under blog at #opinions

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  • In the modern era of online services and applications, it is getting more and more common to hear of databases and systems being hacked and user data being exposed. The most dangerous of this data is the user's password since it may allow access not only to your own service but to other services as well. As an application developer, the below is probably the bare minimum you need to know when handling user passwords: Never store passwords in plain text! This is the most important rule. It means that if your database is ever compromised, the password information will

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  • Password Security for Dummies

    Around the first week of June 2016, Mark Zuckerberg, well-known nerd and founder of Facebook, was hacked. If even the founder of the world's largest social network can be hacked, anybody can! So it might be a good idea to review how you manage and secure your online passwords Avoid using short, simple, or commonly-used passwords! These are subject to so-called "brute force" attacks where bad actors just try a whole lot of passwords until they find one that works. You don't actually have to use numbers or special characters (unless the service requires you to do so). What can

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    Posted by under blog at #tech-life

    Also on: twitter / 💬 2 1315 words

  • The Programming Application Process

    More stories from the early days. Evaluating someone's programming ability is hard, especially someone fresh out of college. A student's grades is in no way indicative of how well he can program after all. So most nontrivial programming jobs have some sort of complicated application process involved. I remember going in and taking an exam. Most application processes will have some sort of written exam to filter out people who look good on paper, but canโ€™t actually do anything. People graduate college all the time without being able to do anything so itโ€™s a fairly good idea I was expecting

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    Posted by under blog at #software-development

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  • Immortality

    "Do you know what's there, waiting beyond that beach? Immortality! Take it! It's yours!" -- Achilles, Troy Each person has a different view of what their life's purpose is, but I've found more often than not it relates to some form of immortality. Usually that means leaving something behind, some trace of yourself so that the world remembers you, something that says "I was here, I existed." For many people that means offspring, for others it may mean some other legacy: children taught, people helped, ideas expounded, inventions created, companies founded, and so on For me, I wouldn't mind actual

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    Posted by under blog at #opinions

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  • You Are Not Your Code

    I once had to advise someone who found himself irritated at receiving lots of comments during code review. I think my response was good enough to quote verbatim: Remember: You are not your code. You are not the hundred or so lines of C or Java or JavaScript or whatever that you wrote today. This problem arises because you are too attached to your code. Your ego is associated with the code you write and you feel that any comments or defects found reflect upon you as a person. You are not perfect. You will not write perfect software, and

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    Posted by under blog at #software-development

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