Please Don’t Annoy the Warehouse Guy

Disgruntled guy.

40+216 Faces” by bark | Licensed under CC BY 2.0

The old adage holds true – when you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail. The past ten+ years of the programming industry have demonstrated that in a most unfortunate way. We dynamically allocate everything.

One disclaimer before I begin: Dynamic allocation is an earth-shatteringly vital tool, without which most feats of programming would be at best impractical, and at worst impossible. Do not throw the baby out with the bathwater. If you’re writing any sort of serious software, you will have to dynamically allocate something at some point. The key is knowing, not if, but when to use dynamic allocation.

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Beware the Trendites

drinkingcoffee_mfI was involved in a discussion recently regarding the relevance of C in modern programming, and I found one person’s comment both intriguing and alarming.

“Please don’t tell people to learn C. It’s our grandfather’s language.”

He wasn’t the first person I’ve encountered to make this argument, and I know he won’t be the last. It reveals a dangerous attitude which is increasingly prevalent in the programming industry, and I’m not the first to notice it.

Oh lookie, a new entry for The Field Guide to Common Nerds!

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Now with TWICE the obviousness!

The Black Hood, Top-Notch Comics #9. October 1940. Apologies to superheroes everywhere.

After he retired from superhero work, defeating criminals with crushingly obvious statements, Captain Obvious settled down and got a job in marketing. I know this because of a statement he wrote on a jar of peanut butter.

I think that actually says something about me, when I can go from peanut butter to retired superheroes by association. I wonder what ol’ Freud would have to say about that.

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Fastball (Short Story)

Picture by Stephen Nakatani

Picture by Stephen Nakatani

by Jason C. McDonald

Lefty McCorsky was quite possibly the best pitcher in minor league baseball. In fact, he might be the best pitcher in the history of baseball altogether, but none of the statisticians were ever present at our games to prove it.

As popular legend has it around here, before a batter has a chance to react to one of Lefty’s pitches, his curveball has already come around and smacked them in the back of the head.

Lefty was really the only redeeming element of our local team, the Thompsonville Pluckers. We didn’t have any stats on our team because, as it turns out, a zero-win record makes for difficult number crunching. Apparently you can’t divide by zero – at least, according to the local bookkeeper, the only person in Thompsonville to remember anything from math past basic multiplication. Of course, there are the rumors that he’s just avoiding doing the math, because he’s part owner of the team, and looking at the numbers depresses him.

Skills aside, we were a baseball town. You could find us in the stands every Friday night. The hot peanuts were worth the humiliation of our perfect losing record, and anyway, there wasn’t much else to do on a Friday night.

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The Cake Is a Lie

Kiev_cake_sliceAllow me to turn your world on its ear for a moment – programming is not a science. Sure, we call it computer science, but there is nothing inherently scientific about the process.

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How to Bomb a Job Interview in 8 Easy Steps.

trash can

It has been an interesting experience for me to get used to job interviews as the interviewer instead of as the interviewee. It isn’t that I haven’t had to interview for a job before, but I’ve spent more time on the boss’ side of the table than anything.

In the process, I’ve learned something: articles and classes on how to nail a job interview are crap. Guess what, ya’ll? Interviewers read those too. We know when you’re putting on an act.

So I would like to present to you the truth about job interviews from a different angle. Here’s a handy guide on how to tick me off during the hiring process and ensure you DON’T get hired.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Of Beauty and Rage

Of Beauty and Rage (RED) album coverI’ve been playing the living daylights out of this CD since it was released late February, and even more so since it arrived in the mail. I don’t normally review albums, but this isn’t a normal album review.

“Of Beauty and Rage” releases almost coincidentally with some life events that I feel are worth sharing, and it touches on themes that have been quite prevalent in the events of the past few months. To be honest, based on interviews, I don’t know if RED realizes what they’ve tapped into at times, but that’s not really uncommon for Christian artists in any field. Case in point, I’m still discovering lessons and truths tucked into some of my books that I had somehow missed before. God is good.

So, this is more than just an album review. I’m going to try and outline what truths seem to be hidden in these songs. Just give me a second to start the album over for the fifth time today…

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Excuse My Nostalgia, I Think I Can Be Considered “Old” Now

Unplugged computerfogey gap (n): the amount of time passing between feeling “with it” and catching yourself saying “kids these days”, thereby being designating as a “fogey” by the current generation.

Okay, yes, I made that up, but perhaps someone should have beat me to the punch, because the fogey gap is getting shorter. How do I know? It’s simple: I think I recently landed on the other side of said gap.

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The Lady in Red

If you were in elementary school during the 1990s, you more than likely have chased your share of villains around the world, ultimately pursuing one in particular.

If you haven’t filled in the blank yet, you might as well stop reading. Otherwise, Rockapella just started singing in your mind.

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Ubuntu, Why You’d Love It, and How To Install It

Things went a bit haywire for me recently. I pressed the wrong button on an OS repair and wiped out my hard drive. I managed (thanks to Testdisk on Linux) to get 80% of my files back.

With my files salvaged, I decided to rethink my computer setup. I’m not going to lie, I hate Windows 8, which I call “Windows Ape” (big, ugly, hairy, and takes up a lot of space). I’ve had an on-again-off-again relationship with a version of Linux called Ubuntu. Finally, I decided to give it the reins on my computer.

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