Tag Archives: computer science

Episode 43: Encyclopedia Littau

We’re back after a few illnesses.

We promise not to get you sick.

We have a lively discussion about whether or not everyone should learn to code. And should computer science be a required part of the K-12 curriculum?

We also discuss how CNN, Fox News and other outlets botched the Affordable Care Act decision. What’s the value in being first and wrong?

We also have a tribute to one of Jeremy’s favorite authors, Donald J. Sobol, creator of Encyclopedia Brown, who just passed away.

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Episode 35: Our computer setups

This is my current setup (although my office has some new toys). It’s a Mac Mini hooked up to dual 22-inch monitors, Bluetooth Apple keyboard and mouse, external hard drive, Harman-Kardon Soundsticks and more.

We discuss my upcoming computer setup for grad school and look back at what computing was like 10 years ago when I began my undergraduate education.

What was your computing setup like when you were in school?

Speaking of school, the University of Florida doesn’t think highly of computer science anymore.

Listen to this week’s show:


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The best advice ever for would-be programmers, err don’t call yourself that

This is great advice for young or would-be software engineers (or anyone without an MBA):

Don’t call yourself a programmer: “Programmer” sounds like “anomalously high-cost peon who types some mumbo-jumbo into some other mumbo-jumbo.”  If you call yourself a programmer, someone is already working on a way to get you fired.  You know Salesforce, widely perceived among engineers to be a Software as a Services company?  Their motto and sales point is “No Software”, which conveys to their actual customers “You know those programmers you have working on your internal systems?  If you used Salesforce, you could fire half of them and pocket part of the difference in your bonus.”  (There’s nothing wrong with this, by the way.  You’re in the business of unemploying people.  If you think that is unfair, go back to school and study something that doesn’t matter.)

Profit Centers are the part of an organization that bring in the bacon: partners at law firms, sales at enterprise software companies, “masters of the universe” on Wall Street, etc etc.  Cost Centers are, well, everybody else.  You really want to be attached to Profit Centers because it will bring you higher wages, more respect, and greater opportunities for everything of value to you.  It isn’t hard: a bright high schooler, given a paragraph-long description of a business, can usually identify where the Profit Center is.  If you want to work there, work for that.  If you can’t, either a) work elsewhere or b) engineer your transfer after joining the company.

Engineers in particular are usually very highly paid Cost Centers, which sets MBA’s optimization antennae to twitching.