As Data Needs Increase, R Shows Slow, Steady Growth

Posted In Looking in Tech
'R' Logo
By Orla O’Sullivan Although R is riding the waves of Big Data and open source, plus benefiting from a swell of startups who use it as an inexpensive yet effective tool, opportunities that rely on skills with the statistical analysis language remain modest. That’s an odd dynamic, given that the program is widely taught and free in a space where competitors can cost thousands of dollars a year to license. Developed by statisticians rather than programmers, R is known as… continue…

Can Hacker Schools Provide the Training You Need?

Posted In Looking in Tech
Programming Training Iron Yard
An alternative is rising for people who want to develop new technical skills: Hacker schools, which are billed as quick, cheap alternatives to traditional educational approaches. The schools are cropping up across the country, especially in tech-heavy areas like San Francisco, New York and Boston. They’re not cheap, though. A program at the Iron Yard, based in South Carolina, takes three months and costs $9,000. A two-month program at Atlanta’s Tech Talent South runs $6,250 for full-time students and $4,250… continue…

These 2 Things Drive Coders Crazy

Posted In Living in Tech
Frustrated Businessman
It’s become something of an article of faith that the best developers love programming so much that it’s all they want to do. But Business Insider’s Julie Bort is wondering if that’s the real case. It’s a good time to be a coder — employers can’t find as many as they need and pay is healthy — but Bort says their life is made difficult by two things: a nagging sense that they’re not as good as they should be,… continue…

How to Write a Game Runner Program

I wrote the runsevens game runner program to automate the running of the Tournament of Sevens programming challenge, and it was an interesting little project. It’s designed to do the following: Maintain a ladder of players. Run games of Sevens for a number of players by executing standalone exes. Update the ladder with games’ results. That’s a fairly high-level view. Running each game of Sevens also requires shuffling a deck of cards, dealing them to the players and tracking card… continue…

5 Techniques to Increase Your Programming Productivity

Women working at computer
Every programmer has his or her techniques for being more productive and writing more code. Having been on a three month contract where I wrote and debugged 5,000 lines of code in two weeks, I thought I’d share some of mine. Get Into the Zone It’s not always easy to get into the zone and it often takes about an hour to get there. Research suggests that after every interruption, it takes at least 30 minutes to get back into… continue…

F# Dramatically Gains in Popularity

F# Logo
The Microsoft-backed F# functional programming language is quickly gaining popularity, according to the Tiobe Programming Community Index. Ranked No. 69 on the index a year ago, F# has soared to the No. 12 spot this month and is headed for the top 10. Microsoft calls F# “simple and pragmatic” and says it has “particular strengths in data-oriented programming, parallel I/O programming, parallel CPU programming, scripting, and algorithmic development.” Functional-first programming languages are particularly suited to analytical work such as calculation… continue…

How One Line of Code Forced a Full OS Release

Posted In C++/C#, iOS, Working in Tech
iPhone Update
It’s not often that Apple ‘fesses up about a bug, but the release iOS 7.0.6 came about because somehow an extra line of code got added to a function and broke it. Normally a bug would probably not warrant a complete release, but unfortunately this one-liner broke SSL connection verification. This is the code that checks that the connection is talking to the correct destination and uses SSL and TLS to verify it. You can take a look at the… continue…

How to Tell If an Employer Takes Training Seriously

Posted In Looking in Tech
Software engineers, architects, programmers and project managers are often left to their own devices when it comes to training. If they’re interested in learning new programming languages or updating certifications, the work often gets done on their own time. But according to Edmond Freiermuth, a Los Angeles-based management consultant, there’s a link between training and corporate culture. Companies that want to train their people, he contends, generally pursue a longer-term commitment to their workers, one that translates to the employee’s… continue…

3 Stories on Computer Science Degrees

Posted In Looking in Tech
Employers like computer science graduates because of their innate smarts, but some shy away from hiring them because of their lack of business and real-world development skills. To help put your degree in context, here are three stories to bear in mind as you transition from the academic world to the workplace. 5 Things to Learn About Computer Science Degrees Computer science degrees come with a common misconception, which often discourages students from pursuing those studies: They’ll turn you into… continue…

A Look at Microsoft’s PCL for SQLite

Posted In C++/C#, Working in Tech
Having grown up in a world where the concept was anathema to Microsoft, it seems strange to think of them now on the side of open source. In 2002, for instance, there was public debate about the GPL with Microsoft taking a stand against it. Now, there’s a part of Microsoft that’s pushing out open source, “Building bridges between Microsoft and non-Microsoft technologies.” Now it has to be said that this does not come from sheer altruism. Microsoft has come… continue…