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2016 July

  • Evaluation of programmer performance is notoriously hard. You want to be accurate and at the same time fair such that all programmers on your staff are evaluated in the same matter. However, there are no good, objective, universally accepted standard metrics. It follows from the fact that there are no good, objective, universally accepted standard metrics for program size. Typically each programmer in a team will not be doing the same task or even the same type of task, so in order to produce fair evaluations you will need some standard metric of program size to normalize any evaluation. For

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  • When blogging and social media started to explode in popularity, it held a great promise: it would give a voice to the masses. Where previously there were gatekeepers in traditional media channels who controlled whose opinions could be published or broadcast, the internet meant that anyone with an internet connection could publish and voice out their thoughts and people would be all smart and there would be lots of intelligent discussion and it would be great. And that did kind of happen -- there was now a wealth of information and opinions and discussions online -- but people being people

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    Tue, July 26, 2016, 9:30 a.m. / / blog / #opinions / Syndicated: twitter / 554 words
  • ****Since I wasn’t a graduate of computer science, there were many concepts of software development I really only got exposed to when I started working. One of those was the concept of a relational database, and hence SQL. The company I worked at gave all new hires a training regimen that started with about a week of SQL. Despite not knowing anything about it beforehand, I took to it like a mouse takes to cheese. At the end of the week, they give you an exam to see how well you understood the material, and my batchmate who I took

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  • I found this draft blog post that I had written back in 2010. I'm not sure why I never published it, though it does end on a dire note and seems a bit incomplete. Perhaps I had some further thoughts percolating in my brain back then that never came forward. I am also not sure if I wrote this before reading about The Great Filter. I figured I'd just publish it now without further comment: I was thinking about all the stupid things humans do, and the fact that there are still so many stupid humans about, and because of

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    Tue, July 19, 2016, 9:30 a.m. / / blog / #opinions / Syndicated: twitter / 468 words
  • I never really put much stock in certifications. I felt that they were no guarantee of knowledge or expertise, and that many people who did have knowledge or expertise wouldn’t necessarily have a certification to say so. Add to that it often seem overpriced to even apply for the certifications, so I didn’t have a high opinion of them. That being said, I have had the opportunity to take professional certification exams twice in my life (both luckily paid for by my employer at that time). The first was the JITSE -- the Japanese IT Standards Examinations. This was back

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  • During my the first semester of my second year in University, I failed four out of five classes I was taking due to slacking off a lot. Those same classes were only available during the first semester of each year, which meant I could not retake them during the second semester or over the summer to catch up. So effectively, I had fallen one year behind everyone I knew. When I got the news, it was devastating. Up until that time I had always been a pretty good student and I felt like I had always made my parents proud

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  • A friend of mine had an informal consultation with me the other day (read: asked me questions over FB messenger) about what their IT staff was telling them about a file upload vulnerability that had been recently exploited in one of their applications. Obviously it was difficult for me to judge given that I didn't know all the details, but for me it was most likely a vulnerability introduced in the application code itself. If you're not familiar with file upload vulnerability, the simplest type of attack goes something like this: the user (or attacker in this case) uploads a

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  • During my adult life, I've tried to learn or at least expose myself to one new skill or programming language every year. For example, over the past year or so I've been studying, dabbling, or trying out the following: game development using Unity, technical analysis of stocks, Spanish, driving a car, and even some simple cooking! I've also been regularly practicing to improve my skills in writing and sketching. I probably even forgot a few things I've tried to learn. I also have a backlog of programming languages and frameworks I've been wanting to learn and/or try out. There can

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    Tue, July 5, 2016, 9:30 a.m. / / blog / #opinions / Syndicated: twitter / 495 words