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  Ask Bill Gates Anything: Being a Billionaire is Strange, Microsoft Co-Founder Tells Students


How’s the life of a billionaire? “Quite strange,” says Bill Gates, who fielded questions from University of Washington students on Thursday evening as part of a lecture on the future of computing.Gates’ talk, at a packed hall in the UW’s computer science building, focused on some areas where he thinks cheap, powerful computing will have a major impact on society, including education, disease, and robotics.Gates recalled spending time on the UW campus as a young man, back...

   Bill Gate,Billionare,Rich,Advice,UW,Computing     2011-10-28 10:38:34


  Walking through doorways causes forgetting, new research shows


We’ve all experienced it: The frustration of entering a room and forgetting what we were going to do. Or get. Or find.New research from University of Notre Dame Psychology ProfessorGabriel Radvansky suggests that passing through doorways is the cause of these memory lapses.“Entering or exiting through a doorway serves as an ‘event boundary’ in the mind, which separates episodes of activity and files them away,” Radvansky explains.“Recalling the decision or activity that was made...

   Memory loss,Doorway,Forget,Advice     2011-11-21 10:11:19


  How Can Android Win Over Developers?


We’ve heard a lot about Android’s popularity; it’s a machine that’s clearly outpacing its rivals like Apple’s iOS… in market share. It seems that, although Android is super popular and great at attracting customers, it loses support from other parties that are vital to the success of the OS, like developers. Why does Android have such a hard time winning over developers? More importantly, how can they win over the developers? Well, let’s take a quick look at the state of Android f...

   Android,Developer,Attraction,iOS,HTC     2011-08-07 23:34:50


  Making Your Tech Conference Presentation, and Experience, Not Suck


Tech conferences are incredibly expensive, and not just in dollars. Even free conferences like BarCamps incur the expense of the attendee’s time. Taking time off from work or family is a hassle at the very least, and it’s time that isn’t billable. The draw of the conference boils down to those 45 minute sessions, and speaker and attendee alike should make the most of it. Speakers often start off by wasting time. They front-load the presentation with worthless information. If you are a...

   Soft skill,Tech presentation,Advice,Highlight     2011-12-20 08:50:00


  Test-Driven Development? Give me a break...


Update: At the bottom of this post, I've linked to two large and quite different discussions of this post, both of which are worth reading... Update 2: If the contents of this post make you angry, okay. It was written somewhat brashly. But, if the title alone makes you angry, and you decide this is an article about "Why Testing Code Sucks" without having read it, you've missed the point. Or I explained it badly :-)Some things programmers say can be massive red flags. When I h...

   Test driven,Application design,tool     2011-10-17 10:19:16


  Designing Great API Docs


Writing documentation is one of those things that is dreaded by many developers. It takes a lot of effort and time to get right. And too often, people take shortcuts. This is sad, because well designed documentation is the key to getting people excited about your project, whether it's open source or a developer focused product. In fact, I argue that the most important piece of UX for a developer product isn't the homepage or the sign up process or the SDK download. It's the API documentati...

   API docs,Design API docs,Advice     2012-03-09 23:15:00


  How I Became a Programmer


I posted a very brief response to a post on HackerNews yesterday challenging the notion that 8 weeks of guided tutelage on Ruby on Rails is not going to produce someone who you might consider a "junior RoR developer." It did not garner many upvotes so I figured that like most conversation on the Internet it faded into the general ambient chatter. Imagine my surprise when I woke up to couple handfuls' worth of emails from around the world asking me what I did, how I did it, an...

   Programmer,Advice,Method,Study     2011-11-24 09:14:50


  Program Or Be Programmed


On Thursday night I gave a talk at NYU Poly and in the Q&A a young man asked me for advice for "those who aren't technical". I said he should try to get technical. The next morning I met with a bunch of Sloan Business School students doing a trek through NYC. A young woman asked me the same question. I gave her the same answer.I don't mean that everyone should become a software engineer. I do mean that everyone should understand software engineering (or whatever technical...

   Program,Technical,Basic knowledge     2011-11-10 10:31:02


  Siri in Practice


Some quick comments on using Siri in practice—for things other than asking it to open the pod bay doors. Siri’s voice recognition is very impressive, and the scope of what it understands is very good given the difficulty of what it’s doing. But it has a lot of trouble with certain sorts of names—Irish names, for example, which often are not written as pronounced. For example there are a lot of people in Ireland named “Aoife”—it’s a very popular girl’s name, pronounced “Eee-fa...

   Siri,Apple,Practice,Artificial Intelligence,AI     2011-10-15 15:01:13


  PHP sucks (but, some frameworks don't)


I started web development with PHP, and I've decided I've had enough. Why? Keep reading.PHP (the language) sucks. There, I said it. 1029380128301928301823 GlobalsObject system hacked onC extension system sucksDocumentation sucks (read more; no, I'm not drunk)Has a terrible communityAll in all, designed by total idiots. You've probably heard this a ton of times before, but, here it is again. THERE ARE JUST WAY TOO MANY GLOBALS. Why in the world does md5() need to be global? Do you serio...

   PHP,Sucks,Framework,Good,Bad Design     2011-11-20 07:08:16