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 Post subject: For discussion...
PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 9:01 am 
SON OF A GUN
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How about a general thread about programming related type discussion that doesn't focus around a particular problem or language etc?

For example:
Episode #2 from here: http://www.pbs.org/cringely/nerdtv/shows/
Max Levchin wrote:
But I think there's a huge benefit to knowing what it is you're working for. And there's definitely - one of the typical pitfalls in the world of engineering - and I don't mean to slight my fellow engineers, but - is this dichotomy of hard versus valuable. And lots of engineers mistake hard for valuable.

And the inverse is certainly true. Most things in the world that are valuable are pretty hard to do. So doing something like Microsoft or eBay or Google is pretty hard to execute, invent, to create, etc., and therefore it's valuable. And that's why these people make so much money, and that's why the company is worth so much on the market.

But if you just pick something really difficult, like breaking _____________ with your thought, it wouldn't necessarily be valuable. And so I think this notion of being an engineer who thinks about the business issues is a projection of this part where I need to make sure that what I'm doing is actually valuable and not just hard.

And I think in college I used to stay up all night a lot because I was doing things that were hard. And in the morning I would be like ah, I have _____________ 80 cycles off this MIPS assembly thing on a made-up processor that will never be used by anyone. And these days I stay up all night thinking if I do this, I might get my user conversion coefficient up by 10 percent, which will be really valuable.
(source)

Hard vs Valuable...

/discuss


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 Post subject: Re: For discussion...
PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 9:33 am 
Bitchin' Fast 3D Z8000
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I suffer from the problem of hard vs. valuable. I've been trying to come up with a project (on my own time) and all of the projects I keep coming up are hard (in the literal sense that single-handedly implementing it is diffcult) but none of it are valuable. So either the project fails or I give up writing it.

At work, I had to make the conscious decision of re-writing a piece of software by myself. It took 8 consultants to build the original software system and I'm doing it by myself which is hard. However, it's also valuable because as a hospital, we use it to track unusual occurrences. It's valuable to the organization, and it's valuable to our quality team. I also had to bite smaller projects that are easy, but valuable.


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 Post subject: Re: For discussion...
PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 10:47 am 
Java Junkie
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So, this is the middle-aged divorcee question?


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 Post subject: Re: For discussion...
PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 6:03 pm 
SON OF A GUN
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Jipstyle wrote:
So, this is the middle-aged divorcee question?


>_<


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 Post subject: Re: For discussion...
PostPosted: Sun Aug 15, 2010 12:24 am 
Bitchin' Fast 3D Z8000*
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This topic runs the risk of being overly subjective unless we make some effort at quantifying "hard" and "valuable". Also, are we limiting the domain of discourse to professional project, personal projects or both?


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 Post subject: Re: For discussion...
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 4:16 am 
SON OF A GUN
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Everything that concerns a level of difficulty or of value is subjective.

I think value is most often associated with business, but I can see this applying to personal projects. Sure you could do something really hard and get no value from it.


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 Post subject: Re: For discussion...
PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 12:06 am 
Bitchin' Fast 3D Z8000*
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CrashTECH wrote:
Everything that concerns a level of difficulty or of value is subjective.

I think value is most often associated with business, but I can see this applying to personal projects. Sure you could do something really hard and get no value from it.

Well, presumably you would get SOME form of value from it or you probably wouldn't do it at all, right?

And that is kind of what I was getting at by saying this runs the risk of being "overly subjective". What I may consider to be a value oriented proposition, you might find to be a waste of time.

Edit: Fixed the quoting.


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 Post subject: Re: For discussion...
PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 5:06 am 
SON OF A GUN
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Which is exactly the point, eh?

Your use of Lisp is a waste of time :)


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 Post subject: Re: For discussion...
PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 8:06 pm 
Bitchin' Fast 3D Z8000*
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CrashTECH wrote:
Which is exactly the point, eh?

Your use of Lisp is a waste of time :)

You can't imagine how tempting it was for me not to replace "your" and "Lisp" with something else right? =)

If anything, using Lisp has saved me considerable time on a few projects while allowing me to expand my tookit of programming techniques beyond just learning a new flavor/syntax of OOP. I'm going to spend a bit of time using Prolog here pretty soon. It'll be interesting to see how it compares to SQL and LINK as a "query language".


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 Post subject: Re: For discussion...
PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 8:23 am 
SON OF A GUN
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Just demonstrating your point of subjectiveness :)


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 Post subject: Re: For discussion...
PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:23 pm 
Bitchin' Fast 3D Z8000*
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CrashTECH wrote:
Just demonstrating your point of subjectiveness :)

If we were able to "quantify" things a bit more, then we could create an algorithm and... =)


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 Post subject: Re: For discussion...
PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 7:07 am 
SON OF A GUN
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Gadget wrote:
CrashTECH wrote:
Just demonstrating your point of subjectiveness :)

If we were able to "quantify" things a bit more, then we could create an algorithm and... =)

Profit?


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 Post subject: Re: For discussion...
PostPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 7:22 pm 
Bitchin' Fast 3D Z8000*
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CrashTECH wrote:
Gadget wrote:
CrashTECH wrote:
Just demonstrating your point of subjectiveness :)

If we were able to "quantify" things a bit more, then we could create an algorithm and... =)

Profit?

Determine which projects are the most desirable to work on... =)


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