Monday, February 19, 2007

Programmers and Coders

It sounds like people really liked my post on Friday, so I'm glad that I was able to turn my frustration into something fruitful! My whole weekend was kind of living in the shadow of sadness for some reason, can't pin it to one thing. I'm fine though; nothing I can't get over. I'm sorry that today's topic isn't quite so provocative, but I think it's a worthwhile thing to talk about (though I know I've touched on it once before a while back). While the line is very thing, there is a line between programmers and coders: programmers are the higher level engineers and the coders are, well, code monkeys. That's the more common usage of the term "coder" at least, though I typically say "software engineer" rather than programmer to make it denote that they do more design work. That post I linked is a slightly biased source since it is a guy in India (at least it seems so), but I think the trend he points out is pretty real: Indians (in India, that is) are being used pretty much as if they were assembly line workers for code, and they're tired of it. Naturally, it sounds like technological slavery, so of course they're not going to be satisfied because they can't have the ambition that we have here. Not only that, but Indian culture kicks someone else's butt again! Having a nice job title for their biodata is becoming a big thing, which is funny because it's totally true how you have to kind of sell yourself to get married. I don't know why Indian culture is still that way, I really don't. Do people really think that kind of stuff works? Personality is much bigger than your career choice. Anyway, what boggles my mind is that these guys don't try to startup companies of there own. Surely, there are VCs in other countries who see the potential for startups in India. Unless they're doing this and failing miserably? Anyway, back to the main topic: no one wants to become a coder (unless they lack ambition completely), so I wish the best to these guys in India.

It seemed like everyone read this post over the weekend from a guy who interned at Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo (or rather works at Yahoo now), and he just remarked at what their work environments are like. It sounds like all three are real winners, though I know people who have gone to places like Amazon and then Microsoft and then preferred Amazon. I have an Amazon next week, so I'm definitely hoping that it is a cool place to work at and that I do get an offer.

Back to Google: their radio advertising service, dMarc, isn't working out too well. The issue is that it's better tailored for bigger companies whereas radio advertising is used more by small, local businesses than anything else. Plus, radio stations aren't too crazy about the concept of bidding for commercial slots. I'm going to call this a flop unless something drastic happens (especially since the founders left), any disagreement?

In other radio news, it looks like the stage is set for XM and Sirius to merge, which I think is great news. Granted, it kind of creates a monopoly in satellite radio, unless they drastically increase prices or something, I don't think anyone would complain about the wide expansion in their radio plan. Plus, it's not like someone with better programming couldn't still come around and compete; I don't imagine that the barriers to entry are really that big.

As for as audio online, we all know that the legal kind is plagued with DRM. So how to explain the evils of DRM to someone who's not quite so educated/opinionated on the issue? This Wired editorial does a pretty good job of explaining prime examples of where DRM is evil. To me, the most irritating is the restriction of Internet access solely on irregular packet activity, which could be the transfer of totally legal content.

Does it pay to leave your computer on all day? Coding Horror had an article about it a long time ago, but I just didn't see it until now. It sounds like if you follow his tips (which I actually had already been doing), you can really cut down on your energy bill, so it's a totally worthwhile read.

The winner in the box office this weekend was Ghost Rider with over $44 million (I guess because it was an extended weekend for a lot of people), despite a fairly cold reception from critics. It's a shame because I was a fan of the comics and can't muster up the interest to see this one. Bridge to Terabithia, a film that many many more critics liked and seemed to be a pretty good fantasy movie for kids had to settle for second place with less than half the box office returns. Ouch. Oh, and Hannibal Rising had the biggest drop, 60% to go from #2 to #6, which reflects its horrible reviews.

We finally have a trailer for The Simpsons movie that doesn't suck, and it's actually rather funny. I like it. It kind of reaches back to the series' roots for comedic value, I just hope the plot doesn't suck.

A little while ago, there were rumblings that a prequel and a sequel may be produced for The Departed, but the writer has batted away such claims. He claims that there's not enough material for good sequels, and that he could get more working on a different crime movie. Fair enough; I was never in support of a sequel for the sake of more money anyway.

Lastly, here's the supposed final poster for Grind House:

Now for some Monday Madness (as if this Monday isn't crazy enough):

From sleeping mermaid:
If you could rewrite one pivotal moment in history, good or
bad, to make a change, which moment would that be AND what are some of
the consequences that you believe might come from that change?

Are you kidding me? It's Monday night, I'm not about to think back on history! Alright, well I guess maybe change the decision to go into Vietnam? We wouldn't have lost so many lives for nothing then. I really don't know, a question like this takes a lot of deep thought because changing any event in history could have drastic impacts on the rest of how history has played out since.

From beth:
What's the most unusual hobby you have? How did you get started with it?

I wouldn't say any of my hobbies are that unusual. I guess strangest would be Latin dancing given that I'm Indian, and I got started in the summer while at TI since a couple of my friends there knew how to salsa and it looked like a lot of fun when we checked out a salsa club one night.

From shelly:
Name one thing for each of the following: Favorite smell, texture, view, sound, taste.

Smell: a heater in the winter
Texture: the lines in our hands because our hands or so smooth but when you drag your nails over them you can can feel the ridges
View: high up in the RLM where you can see so much of Austin and the hill country
Sound: classical guitar
Taste: chocolate

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