Archive for the ‘ Software ’ Category

Being Happy is Making Lots of Money

Coursera – top jobs for happy computer scientists

I worked with these guys in Silicon Valley, in the Nineties – and saw how immoral (and incompetent) they were.

Perhaps conditions have improved there, and programmers can now find satisfaction in doing a good job.

These MOOCs are taught by Universities in the U.S. mainly. None of them are taught by Universities in Latin America. These are hopelessly out of date, unlikely to recover – and can’t understand why. They were left behind by the Industrial Revolution – and are being left behind by the Computer Revolution.

They are also some of the most violent countries in the world – frustration and violence often go together.

What Microsoft is Doing Right

I am doing the Visual Studio IDE feature tour. You might check it out.

This needs to be updated badly, but I can see what great things this combination can do – the Visual Studio IDE, the .net frameworks, and the C# language.

I was just talking to a friend of mine yesterday, whose son is looking for a career in Computers. Having no idea of what is involved. He just thinks it would be easy money.

The Computer companies are hard at work, making this skill easier to learn – but no matter how easy they make it – Software Development takes a lot of thinking. And people who cannot think will not make it there.

The person doing the thinking has to decide – what kind of app he wants to make. And there are a lot of different kinds of apps (and a lot of different frameworks) to chose from. You have to chose the framework – it will not chose you. Once you make the choice, it will do a lot of the grunt work for you. But it still needs a smart person to work with – to make all the smart decisions that remain.

The American dream – that all it takes is the right person, to get ahead – no longer works. You need to be with the right people, with the right stuff.

Microsoft Software, the Good and the Bad

When you are mixing with the Software crowd, you are mixing with the Good and the Bad, all mixed in together. And it is hard to separate the truth from the lies.

I have decided to reacquaint myself with the latest in Software Development – and my first decision was “Who do I want to get in bed with?” I’m going to be had, no matter what – but who will give me the best experience? Got the picture?

Microsoft is no guardian angel – it’s more like the other kind. But it has blundered into a position of market dominance. And has gradually realized that it has to help all the software developers, who are writing software, for everyone else to consume. Their users can barely count to ten, without using their fingers – and they need software to help them.

There are two classes of people in the world – those that produce content, and those that consume it. And the gap between them is huge. I have decided to be on the side of the producers – but not make too big a deal of it. I’m getting in bed, and doing what people do there – but doing it quietly.

I am taking Microsoft’s Visual Studio series of courses – for free. Using Visual Studio 2017 Community – the free version. You should be able to use it, right out of the box – but first you have to customize it, which isn’t too hard – but you have to do this, before you can take the courses.

These show you how to use the .net framework – a huge thing that Microsoft developed for its developers – and decided to make it available for everyone. And use the C# language – another big thing, that does everything – including everything Java does. Another big thing by a competitor, Oracle.

You must have noticed that I am using the word big here a lot. Software is the elephant in the living room – everyone is ignoring, even while it shits all over them.

I have decided to be on the side that does the shitting.

Building systems that help humans

O’Reilly Radar

Building systems that help humans, designing better tools through user studies, and balancing the demands of shipping software with security

This gal is on a software high – a drug trip that doesn’t damage her brain. I am reading about a drug trip of another kind in How to Murder Your Life: A Memoir.

I’m not doing either one. My only drug is caffeine – and I can’t understand the latest stuff in software – a weird mix of brilliant ideas, and bad products.

You can quote me on that.

What “Being Social” Now Means

There are now social apps that have redefined what this means – Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. All of them make us helpless, stupid, and immoral. They assume, correctly – we are already this way, and they want to help us – stay this way.

There are also a lot of devices and services that are defective – in little or big ways. I downloaded Visual Studio 20017 only few days ago, as soon as it was released. And ran into lots of trouble. To do anything with it, you have to beef it up to perform the kinds of things you want it to do with it.

Something you have to find out for yourself. Each of these specializations introduce their own quirks. You are left wandering in the desert – without anyone to guide you. Microsoft is busy doing bigger things – not people things.

Enter Reid Hoffman

BackChannel

This is about money in high places – at Microsoft, whose place has been slipping lately.

Who is this guy, Reid Hoffman?

He’s the quintessential nice guy. A few years ago, I called up entrepreneurs to ask them about Hoffman for a profile that never ran. Serial entrepreneur Bret Taylor told me, “He spent so much time just being a nice guy, and it made me think I have to be that way, too.”

At the time, I asked Peter Thiel what made Hoffman tick. “Once years ago, the question came up about the meaning of life,” Thiel told me then. “He said he thought it had something to do with the relationships you build along the way.”

Here I am, in faraway Costa Rica, letting Microsoft teach me how to use Visual Studio and .NET – in other words, learning how to do things the Microsoft Way.

I belong to LinkedIn, but I do not participate in it. Most of the people who want me to know them on LinkedIn want to be considered professional in something or other. I have a cousin who is an office manager, for example – and wants to be considered a professional.

What People Have Used the Computer For

This is an easy question – they have used the computer to make money.

Or, to put this another way – to create a global economy.

Let’s begin with a consideration of money – that very handy stuff everybody wants more of. What the heck is it?

My definition would be – a unit of trading value. The basis of any economy is Trade. And money is whatever people accept in their trades with other people. At one time, Venetian glass-makers manufactured colorful trade beads that Africans would accept for the goods Europeans wanted – such as ivory. Gradually, they learned to accept gold or silver coins – and eventually paper money. And to sell slaves for money also.

America fought a Civil War over trading slaves for money – and this issue was not resolved until the 1960s.

Now, everything is paper money – based on nothing but promises, that can be broken, all too easily. As the Financial Crisis of 2008, showed. Money is based on human valuations, on human emotions – that are unstable.

Huge efforts have been made to overcome this – to base money on something else, but if people lose confidence in their economy, it contracts. And there is no way around this.

We have a global economy, without much of a global way of regulating it.


How does the Computer, or actually Computer Software – deal with this tricky subject?

It has created the concept of objects – things that have properties (such as color and weight, that can be quantified) and functions (operations it can perform on these properties).

Object Oriented Programming (OOP) took the software world by storm in the Nineties – and is still the basis for much programming. And our new concepts of money – as something that can be quantified, and can operate on its own.

As it certainly can – and this is the basis for Capitalism – a very big deal!