Many programmers' careers were launched by playing an innovative computer game called Robot Odyssey. [more inside]
"Tired of arguing with climate change deniers in 140 character quips, [programmer Nigel Leck] wrote a script to do it for him. Chatbot @AI_AGW scans Twitter every five minutes searching for hundreds of phrases that fit the usual denier argument paradigm. Then it serves them up some science." (via by way of via)
What real-life bad habits has programming given you? "This has actually really happened to me. I was trying to hang a glass picture frame on the wall and accidentally dropped it. And in the shock of the moment, I loudly yelled 'Control Z!' Then the glass hit the floor and smashed."
It's hardly the case today (unless you live in Iran), but once upon a time, all computer programmers were female. While the (male) engineers who built ENIAC, the world's first modern computer, became famous and lauded, the six women who actually programmed ENIAC have been largely overlooked. Now a team of researchers and programmers is trying to raise money to tell the story of these pioneering women in a new documentary, before it's too late. [more inside]
The head of a small company may still choose to be a tyrant; a large organization is compelled by its structure to be one
In an artificial world, only extremists live naturally. Or: You weren't meant to have a boss. On the other hand, maybe you are.
Dadhacker started his game programming career, like many people, by making a freeware knockoff of a popular arcade game. This got the attention of Atari, who hired him to do the official conversion of Donkey Kong, then Super Pac-Man. After the crash of 1983, he survived a round of layoffs, and was pushed into the development of the Atari ST along with a group of programmers and executives from Commodore.
"How I Became A Programmer" veers between linear biography and brain dump. The piece meanders through its theme, stopping along the way to flirt with word origins, family politics, the senior prom, Japan, airlines and military recruitment. Reading it, I felt trapped inside inside an extremely quirky -- yet recognizable (in a too-close-for-comfort way) -- mind. About half the time I yearned to tell him that he needs an editor; the other half, I was grateful that he didn't have one. Mostly, I'm amazed he HAD a date to the senior prom!
Dzone is digg for programmers and web developers.
Register article on Greek arrest of well known programmer I'ved been watching this story since it surfaced at the rixstep.com page here and here; also covered at Techdirt.com in a couple of threads. Worth a look.
A Dutchman at Google. His blog has some gems: a glimpse into life as an Google engineer, and a brief history of searching (going a short way into the future). Some of his projects are neat: Google talks, Google tells you the best time to visit any place. And he has a little Google joke: type "bush's foreign friends" into Google and click [I'm Feeling Lucky]
"This is getting ridiculous!" complained one veteran programmer on USENET a bit over two years ago... after being out of the workforce for a while, he was having trouble getting back in the door. While there's no way to put yourself in his prospective employers shoes and make a real judgement, it looks like he had the chops. Wonder how he's doing today...general conditions don't seem good, and I know several people with the same problem. The longer a period of unemployment goes, the worse your resume looks, and the harder it is to get a job. How do you break the cycle (from either a policy or a jobseeker standpoint)?