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# Masters

I've heard from many people that the time to go to school is in a bum market. This seems like a bum market, doesn't it? Relatively it is of course, but will it get worse?

So the question is: should I get a masters in software engineering slash computer science? There are a few unresolved points:

1. I will have to pay for it completely by myself, which means a bank loan.
2. It will take another 16? months of university. That doesn't seem like long, but consider I will already have 12 semesters under my belt by the time I graduate in December, or a total of 6 and 1/3 years all told with co-op.
3. Which reminds me, no co-op program. (Why? Strange, isn't it?) This doesn't help point #1.
4. I don't want to be known as an "academic". School doesn't leave a lot of time for "real world" projects. Of course, neither does work.
5. I will probably have to TA. Ugh.
6. I have no idea what I would do for a master's thesis.
7. My grades (B+) are ok but aren't spectacular by any means.

1. I won't have to find a job in this less than ideal market.
2. I will presumably be paid more with a Masters.
3. I'll have a Masters. How cool is that?
4. Even higher education. Classes on specialized software subjects.

Maybe I should ask the co-op office if they'd make an exception for me ...

posted at March 31, 2003 at 04:06 AM EST
last updated December 4-, 2005 at 15: 1 PM EST

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# Articles

Too lazy to make comments about them, but I read some good articles today:

Part 2 of the inteview with Mike Davidson of ESPN
Understanding the Psychology of Programming
Permanet, Nearlynet and Wireless Data

posted at March 29, 2003 at 06:10 PM EST
last updated December 4-, 2005 at 15: 1 PM EST

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# Scott Trappe on Quality

Ask Slashdot has a great interview with Scott Trappe. One of the main things he emphasizes is pair programming and code inspections and I couldn't agree more.

If you pair an expert programmer with a novice programmer, obviously the novice will learn more. But the expert will learn as well because the novice will undoubtedly ask a lot of "why" questions, reinforcing what the expert knows.

As well, it provides code inspections while you write -- assuming the pair isn't collectively out to write bad code. The idea is that two heads are less lazy than one.

Pair programming, however, is usually only something that can work when developers are close to each other. Open source projects are somewhat immune to this because they allow everyone to see the code, including users. Thus open source programmers usually write good code because they don't want to be known as bad coders. Their pair is the little angel on their shoulder. :) Commercial developers are generally anonymous and don't have to worry about bad code directly affecting their reputation -- they still get paid either way.

posted at March 27, 2003 at 10:54 PM EST
last updated December 4-, 2005 at 15: 1 PM EST

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# d'oh

Sorry about the lack of posts lately, due mainly to the fact that I now have zero free time. Group work will trickle into April but then it should be all over until exams later in the month. Hang in there.

posted at March 24, 2003 at 11:57 AM EST
last updated December 4-, 2005 at 15: 1 PM EST

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# Browser Standards

A great interview with Mike Davidson of ESPN.com going over the web site's switch from tables-based pages to standards-based.

posted at March 24, 2003 at 11:55 AM EST
last updated December 4-, 2005 at 15: 1 PM EST

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# Going to War

A few short comments on the coming war:

1) I'm glad the Canadian government wants no part of it.
2) I'm not really surprised that some Americans are pulling an about-face on their opinions about the war now that it's actually going to happen. France (especially), Germany and Russia were not anti-American on this issue, they were anti-War.
3) Everyone knows that this is about a dictator having too much control over a very valuable resource. Nothing was proven by inspections and the Iraqi military was destroying weapons. Apparently not quickly enough.
4) If one or two countries can go off by themselves without the support of the UN and start a war this seriously weakens the UN. What country is the next target without reason? North Korea? China? Canada? The United States? Americans arguing that a war like this protects their freedom forget that they live with other countries on this planet and those countries as a collective can kick their ass.
5) We don't need a bully (or two) to handle Iraq. A lot of powerful countries were part of the disarming process and they are a lot closer to Iraq geographically than North Americans are. Hmmm, do you think maybe that's why they don't want to go to war?

This war is going to happen and Americans** will once again sit in their living rooms wondering why the International community derides them so. Poor guys. If only you cared about someone other than yourselves.

** I know I'm stereotyping and I mean the majority. A lot of Americans were against the war and I commend them for speaking out. My advice to them is to try to enlighten the majority that revenge is not always the best solution.

posted at March 19, 2003 at 04:06 PM EST
last updated December 4-, 2005 at 15: 1 PM EST

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# Goings On

Been busy with school stuff. Midterms, group work and the fourth year project. We are going to make a release soon probably but until then I'll just leave you in suspense. :)

posted at March 15, 2003 at 08:37 PM EST
last updated December 4-, 2005 at 15: 1 PM EST

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# Top 25

Update 12:40am I generate this list from iTunes, the Mac OS X MP3 player. It keeps track of play counts and when I make this list I reset the counts again.

Name                                           Artist            Play Count
Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want  The Smiths        30
This Charming Man                              The Smiths        19
Poetic Tragedy                                 The Used          16
What Difference Does It Make?                  The Smiths        15
The Boy With The Thorn In His Side             The Smiths        13
What You Are                                   Audioslave        9
Back To You                                    John Mayer        9
Show Me How To Live                            Audioslave        8
Shadow Of The Sun                              Audioslave        8
I Am The Highway                               Audioslave        8
Talk With Me, Dance With Me                    Hot Hot Heat      8
A Box Full Of Sharp Objects                    The Used          8
I Ran Away                                     Coldplay          7
In Da Club                                     50 Cent           6
Superman                                       Eminem            6
Neon                                           John Mayer        6
3x5                                            John Mayer        6
Gasoline                                       Audioslave        5
Like A Stone                                   Audioslave        5
Exploder                                       Audioslave        5
Save Us S.O.S.                                 Hot Hot Heat      5
In Cairo                                       Hot Hot Heat      5
St. Patrick's Day                              John Mayer        5
The Taste of Ink                               The Used          5
Buried Myself Alive                            The Used          5
Noise and Kisses                               The Used          5
On My Own                                      The Used          5
posted at March 04, 2003 at 05:57 PM EST
last updated December 4-, 2005 at 15: 1 PM EST

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