The Internet, IP

Male, 37

I've worked at multiple Internet startups of different shapes, sizes and ambitions. Now I'm the CTO (Chief Technical Officer) of another small company with big dreams. I look nothing like the picture above.

If you copy and paste your homework question in here, I will answer with something that will, at best, get you an F on your project, and at worst, will get you kicked out of school. You have been warned.

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76 Questions


Last Answer on September 07, 2015

Best Rated

I totally get why "hacking" would be fun, but what's the motivation of hackers who do evil shit?

Asked by Salt-of-the-mirth almost 12 years ago

The same as the motivation of someone who does evil shit without a computer. They get something of value in return, or they're bored and want to make trouble, or they see what they're doing as good or at least justifiable.

What's your opinion on all of this "brogrammer" BS?

Asked by Maestro757 almost 12 years ago

There are people who take it seriously?

Not to say they don't exist, but have you ever known any really good FEMALE programmers?

Asked by The Taxman almost 12 years ago

Absolutely, and I've had the pleasure of working alongside a few too. Since you brought it up, yes, almost all professional programmers are men, and that's one of the things I dislike about this industry. Partly it offends my sense of fairness (since, for reasons I mentioned above, programming is a good field to be in, and why shouldn't women get the benefits of being in it as well?), and partly because I've always enjoyed the company of women and wish there were more of them around at work. Why are there so few female programmers? It didn't used to be like this: back in the very early days of programming (the late 1940s and the 1950s) IBM made a point of recruiting women to work as programmers. It's probably not a coincidence that, at the time, programming was not seen as particularly important or prestigious, and didn't pay very much. So where did they all go? I think the redoubtable Zach Weiner sums up the answer perfectly in this cartoon (which is down at the moment but hopefully will be back up soon): In short, girls learn early on that computers are "for boys," and that being smart is uncool and unfeminine. In the meantime, boys are hacking away merrily. If, a few years later, the girl turned into a young woman decides that programming sounds good after all, she's lost a few crucial years' head start, and getting started at all becomes much tougher. That's just one aspect and one opinion, though. This is one of the classic questions of the field and the debate about it is still quite lively.

What types of projects does it make sense to outsource to cheaper places like India? Or is that always a bad idea in that you'll 'get what you pay for'?

Asked by stephan almost 12 years ago

I don't have a lot of personal experience with outsourcing, but based on what I've seen, I'd consider doing it for a prototype, or for an auxiliary project that wasn't critical to the business (but then why are you building it in the first place?).

Can an application created on C++ be able to run and be hosted on the cloud.

Asked by sihle over 11 years ago

There's no such thing as "the cloud" as a single monolithic service. It's a term invented by marketers, and you know how much engineers love marketers and their terminology (*). So let's dig a little deeper. What all cloud services have in common is that they're remotely hosted, run on virtual machines, and are billed on a commodity or pay-as-you-go basis. One class of services here is virtual servers, something like you'd get from Amazon EC2 or Rackspace Cloud Services. This is a virtual machine running Linux, or Windows if you're masochistic, and as far as this machine can tell it's a real computer with all the capabilities of one. You have full root access to this "computer," and can install and run whatever software you like on it. So the short answer is yes, there are some "cloud" services that will allow you to run an application written in C++--or C, or Ruby, or Perl, or OCaml, or Haskell, or... (*) As a rule, not enough to piss on them if they were on fire.

How many programmers does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

Asked by mstrkrft almost 12 years ago

The basic answer: "None, that's a hardware problem." The Microsoft answer: "None, we just define darkness as a new standard." The Apple answer: "Just take it to the Genius Bar and we can replace the lightbulb for you in 3-5 days." The Linux answer: "One. I just did it myself."

Are most programmers generally pro- or anti- "Anonymous?"

Asked by SimonD33 almost 12 years ago

It's hard to generalize about programmers' political beliefs: they range from far left to far right, with an annoyingly large contingent of libertarians.