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Thread: The decline of programmers in the U.S.

  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by truly View Post
    I'm a software project manager and work with people around the world. Things sure have changed....and pretty quickly. I have to say that I've had pretty good luck with offshore technicians and QA folks. We still keep our business analysts and PMs onshore.
    Also a software project manager here - I've sort of missed out on the whole offshore controversy as I'm in a domain (aerospace) that must use US citizens, so we don't even get into that. All our programmers, techs and QA are local. And we've found the youngsters coming out of college with CS and AE degrees to be very sharp, very innovative.

  2. #22
    Senior Member TomRL's Avatar
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    For any of the younger CCers thinking programming might be for them, what language would you start with? I am assuming COBOL, Fortran and Applesoft are a bit old.
    Tom

    "Blessed are the pessimists, for they hath made backups." Exasperated 20:12

  3. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by TomRL View Post
    For any of the younger CCers thinking programming might be for them, what language would you start with? I am assuming COBOL, Fortran and Applesoft are a bit old.
    Depends on what sort of industry you're interested in.

    COBOL is alive and well in the financial industry (banking, credit systems, etc).

    Fortran is likewise in the scientific community.

    Applesoft you can have :-).

    In my business, we're looking for C, C++ and Ada programmers (no, I'm not joking), but that's because legacy and testability are more important to us than cutting edge-ness.

  4. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by hlh View Post
    My Dad used to say that a desk top PC these days has more computer power then existed in the ENTIRE WORLD, when he started programming. Something like that..... Crazy.....
    Noways you could replace desk top PC with mobile phones as having more computer power than existed in the entire world back then. I know mine has more than my first computer I bought in college back around '98.
    Most everything I say is

  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Katja View Post
    Also a software project manager here - I've sort of missed out on the whole offshore controversy as I'm in a domain (aerospace) that must use US citizens, so we don't even get into that. All our programmers, techs and QA are local. And we've found the youngsters coming out of college with CS and AE degrees to be very sharp, very innovative.
    A lot of colleges and universities accept computer languages as meeting their foreign language requirement. I certainly would have done that if I had the chance.
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  6. #26
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    in the field of science i'm in, python, perl, java and c are the ones you need to be fluent in. i've only seen one person use fortran... and it was a joke. his programs NEVER worked.

    i have friends that work with amazon and that's perl intensive. ruby seems to be gaining more popularity but we'll see
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  7. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by crypticgimp View Post
    in the field of science i'm in, python, perl, java and c are the ones you need to be fluent in. i've only seen one person use fortran... and it was a joke. his programs NEVER worked.
    When I worked at NCAR, we scripted in python, perl, etc...but the climate forecasting codes are all written in Fortran (running on supercomputers).

  8. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by TomRL View Post
    For any of the younger CCers thinking programming might be for them, what language would you start with? I am assuming COBOL, Fortran and Applesoft are a bit old.
    C++ and Java. I would start with Java then move to C++

  9. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by willingtocope View Post
    With all due respect in return, do your job any way you see fit.

    As to knowing what I'm talking about...I've worked both sides of the table. I've been a consultant and an in house manager. My projects have been succesful. But I've watched others fail, and in almost all cases, the failures have been caused by poorly conceived requirements, miscommunicated to "rockstars" who are more enthralled with the shiny new hardware/software than with understanding the needs of the client.

    I've seen companies get involved in the "too big to fail" project, where they've already spent millions on out-sourced or off-shored "talent" that throwing a couple more million at it to try another outside company seems logical because the fault lies with the parade of managers who think the guy before them just didn't "manage" the project right, when, in truth, the fault is in the design.

    A successful project needs ONE "super programmer" in the Yourdan/Constatine definition, and a cast of support staff to fill in the blanks. Sometimes, you can make that work with the super programmer as your employee and an outside support staff, but, once the project is done, you'll need somebody to maintain it. That's where the entry level trainees come in.
    I love talking about how to manage software projects. This is not a good format to have that conversation. One comment on your post, it looks to me like you work on large established projects in big companies. The software I am currently working on has no "client", isn't installed on any machines outside our firewall and the most glorious part is our company has no marketing or sales people. It is software heaven.

    I have been in a couple startups, one went from 5 programmers to where I had a product dev group of 120 people. How you manage 5 people (you don't manage at the size you collaborate), how you manage 30, 60, 100+ are all very different and the transition is hard and often painful.

    Anyway, too complex a topic to discuss in the format. Too bad we aren't local it would be fun to have a cup of coffee and discuss the various theories of how to build software.

  10. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Katja View Post
    When I worked at NCAR, we scripted in python, perl, etc...but the climate forecasting codes are all written in Fortran (running on supercomputers).
    When I was a fresh out of college my first job was at NASA-Ames working on a large FORTRAN code base. I was talking to one of the old timers there about how I need to solve a heat transfer problem where the heat transfer co-efficient of the material varied with temperature, which took the problem from an ordinary differential equation to a partial differential equation. The guy was like "no problem, I have code for that I will bring it in tomorrow". Foolish me I was expecting some sort of floppy disk. Guy shows up with a shoe box of punch cards! I may be old, but I am not that old. I cracked up and asked him what the hell am I going to do with that? Took me a couple days but I actually found an old card reader hooked up to a VAX in another branch and got it all loaded.

    I miss those days.

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