Jeff Fisher

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since Jun 14, 2002
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Recent posts by Jeff Fisher

This all sounds perfectly backwards to me.

If you're experienced, you don't need a certification to show that you know your stuff - just point to your accomplishments. Answer questions about those accomplishments if people think you might be lying about your experience.

On the other hand, if you're a "fresher" with a certification, then the expectation would be that you're looking for a chance (as opposed to having absolutely NO chance - what if you might have talent? Is it in the industry's best interests to bar you from all opportunities?). It would be expected that you CURRENTLY might not be any good at design or architectural work. It would mean that you could CODE while the more experienced people - who get paid more - do the designs for you and give you the requirements. It would mean that you would offload coding work from the more experienced people, giving them more time to focus on design work.


But the overriding opinion seems to be that this is a terrible idea. Can someone please explain why?
16 years ago
I think a better translation would be "CONDEMN not, lest ye be CONDEMNED."

As thinking people, we make judgements all the time. And we can probably see flaws in others that we would like to avoid in ourselves. Conversely, we should also be able to find characteristics in others that we would like to emulate.

I wonder what it would feel like to throw the switch on a criminal in an electric chair. I imagine that if you thought it might deter other criminals and serve to protect innocent people in society, the action would be moral. But if you're thinking, "Fry, you bastard, you deserve this," then you might not be all that different from the criminal in the chair. He might have thought that his victims were fully deserving of what they got.
16 years ago
Helen Thomas wrote:
"As late as 1934 Einstein dismissed the idea that the equation would lead to atomic power. HE was proved wrong four yewars later when scientists in Germany split atoms of Uranium and released energy in accordance with Einstein's formula."

This is an interesting thread. I think Einstein was correct - I don't think the scientists and engineers who figured out how to build nuclear power plants and atomic bombs got any ideas from E=mc2. I think it's very likely those things would have been developed even if Einstein hadn't been around to explain the theoretical underpinnings.

Radiation was discovered as a source of energy, explained in terms of atomic models (heavy nucleii splitting into smaller nucleii), and the idea of a chain reaction in an atomic pile was devised, all without the need for the concept of mass-energy equivalence to explain the ultimate source of the energy.

This is something I've wondered about a lot - how much of technological progress is driven by science and mathematics vs. by engineers who see how things work and figure out ways to take advantage without necessarily understanding WHY things work? Did the theory of thermodynamics have to be developed before steam engines could be built?
17 years ago
Posted by Thomas Paul:

Have you seen Finding Nemo?

I think you may have inadvertently made Ernest's point, Thomas. Finding Nemo IS a good movie - it represents the best of what we have today. But I don't think it tops the average movie from the 40's or 50's for witty dialog. I just saw Bogart in The Maltese Falcon on Turner Classic Movies - you should rent this sometime if you haven't seen it (admittedly it's not an average movie).

Or compare the novels of today with Shakespeare or Dickens. In terms of the richness of expression, our use of language has become flat in comparison.

I saw a science fiction movie - I can't remember the name - where people would greet each other with a set phrase "Hi-how-are-you-I'm-fine-thank-you-very-much" rattled off quickly. We're becoming like that, I think.
17 years ago
NOW it makes sense! I'm used to a certain level of rudeness from women (sorry, ladies, no offense meant, but it's generally true). One day my young son was in a McDonald's playground when he got hurt and started crying in one of the overhanging tunnels. I crawled throught the tunnels and got him out - no big deal. But I remembered how strange the women at the playground acted after I did this this, smiling at me and even talking to me! I felt like I had turned into Elvis!
17 years ago
You guys are correct, I WAS being stupid. Somehow I had the idea that interfaces could have fields. But I just looked it up - they can only have constants and (implicitly abstract) methods.

My bad.

Thanks, Jeff

What you say in your last paragraph was what I was getting at. I'll take an example from Head First Java (chapter 7) where an inheritance tree is designed for an Animal simulation program. Class Animal has four methods: makeNoise(), eat(), sleep(), and roam(). According to the design, the only concrete method for the Animal class is sleep(), while the other methods can only be meaningfully implemented in the subclasses (Lion, Hippo, etc.).
What if someone later realizes that Lions sleep in the tall grass and Hippos sleep partially submerged in water, and that this information should be included in the simulation program? In other words, it is later decided that functionality should be added to sleep(), and the functionality will be different for each subclass, so that now sleep() becomes an abstract method like all the others. Then we would have an abstract class with no concrete methods.
Are you saying that the Animal class should then be turned into an interface?
I know that an interface could be used if there are no concrete methods. But what if you're trying to define an inheritance tree? It is my understanding that abstract classes are used to define inheritance trees while interfaces are thought of as not being tied to a particular inheritance tree.
I usually hear that abstract classes are to be used when some common functionality can be factored out of a set of classes. What if there is no common functionality, but you want to create a superclass for polymorphism? Would a good designer ever do this?

Thanks, Jeff
I'm a COBOL/DataStage programmer who was recently offered an opportunity to join the Java team at my work. I feel fortunate to enter the field during the "Head First" era.
I definitely feel the choice should be C. He's got the same look on his face that I've gotten many times while reading Head First Java. It's the "Oh!" look. The "Aha! Now that makes sense" look. The pre-Eureka look that Archimedes got in his bathtub when his mind first grasped the buoyancy principle, right before he ran down the street naked in his exuberance. That's when he got the pained, teeth-chattering dang-it's-cold-out-here look.
The goal of the book's authors is to plaster that look on the faces of Java developers across the land. By using the "Oh!" guy on the cover, you will advertise the book's purpose. You will show the reader what they will look like after reading it. "Begin with the end in mind" - I think I read that on a fortune cookie somewhere.
But please don't use A:Flower Girl. We guys need to be able to concentrate.
17 years ago
To Axel,
No, I don't think most conservatives in the USA feel persecuted. However, there are more sensitive ones like me who probably let their feelings get hurt too easily. Conventional wisdom has it that consevatives are both evil and stupid - knuckle-dragging bigots, that sort of thing.
But my worry about the future of this country has a greater emotional impact than any feelings of persecution.
18 years ago
As a consevative I know that my beliefs are under a much higher level of scrutiny than conventional wisdom. We conservatives must always offer a much higher standard of proof in order not to be dismissed entirely. Therefore, I continually investigate any claims that conservative beliefs have been proven to be incorrect. That's why I clicked on this thread when I saw it.
Saying "more immediate threat" has a different meaning than "immediate threat" without the qualifying "more." Although this may sound like arguing about what the meaning of the word "is" is (which many of you don't have a problem with), it really isn't.
Take the phrase "immediate need," for example. If some people suddenly found themselves shipwrecked on an island, their needs would be food, water, and shelter. However, as long as the weather was nice, their "most immediate need" would be water, and one of them could say this even if none of them were thirsty at the time. On the other hand, if they were dying of thirst, then water would become an "immediate need" without the "more."
Yes, Rumsfeld was squirming, but not because he was caught in a lie. The administration HAS been embarrassed by faulty intelligence (at least that is APPARENTLY the case. It took us a lot longer than one would have expected to find Saddam. During the months we couldn't find HIM, no one was stupid enough to suggest that that meant he never existed). But people have to realize that intelligence gathering cannot be an exact science. We had intelligence that said that Hitler was working hard to produce an atomic weapon, and after the war that turned out not to be true. So were the people who produced the intelligence reports about Hitler "liars?"
What we DO know is that Saddam was killing his own people off by the thousands while TRYING to obtain weapons of mass destruction. Now we've closed the mass graves, shut down the torture chambers, and put a stop to his efforts that might have eventually succeeded. Now Saddam will have no more terrorist training camps and will no longer give money to the families of suicide bombers.
That some people find this to be a bad thing alternately saddens, angers, and scares me.
18 years ago
I've been quite stunned for some time reading the various discussions about the value of certification in this forum. It appears that many people don't understand the potential value of certification. The "potential" could become real if more people (especially hiring managers) would buy into the concept.
It may come as a surprise to many of you that it's still possible to make a living as a COBOL programmer. That's what I do now. I have no degree in Computer Science or I.T. (I majored in EE), but I took a COBOL programming course at a community college in the late 90's when concern about the Y2K problem was running high. I got a COBOL programming job at a consulting company that had what they called a "Resource Development Program" (RDP). I was hired at low pay as someone who had no experience but who DID have some knowledge of COBOL that I was able to demonstate by taking a test. In order to become a mainframe developer, COBOL is just the tip of the iceberg, and I had to learn the rest (JCL, ISPF, CA7, CICS, DB2, and so on) while on the job. As I learned the employer was able to offload simple coding assignments to me, thus freeing the more experienced developers to do higher-level design work. It turned out to be a win-win scenario for everyone involved. I turned out to be a fairly decent programmer and I now have a much bigger paycheck. I took a temporary pay cut when I decided to become a programmer, but the risk was worth it.
Many others in the RDP program were also successful, but those who either did not have the talent or the desire to become programmers dropped out with little harm to anyone.
That's the whole idea behind certification: to give a talented beginner a way to get his or her "foot in the door." A person with desire but no experience can buy a computer and learn at home (or take a course or whatever), get certified to show that they at least have SOME knowledge even if they are not yet ready to be a lead software architect, get hired at less pay than an experienced developer, and learn on the job while providing value to the employer doing low-level tasks. People who are lucky enough to get this kind of opportunity (as opposed to being completely barred from the profession) can get more pay and more responsibility as their increasing skills warrant. Win-win. It's been proven to work.
If the Sun exams are too easy, then make them harder! I believe they are doing that right now with the SCWCD exam. All people should have opportunities, not just those who went to prestigious universities.
18 years ago
Hi, Rob. I get the same type of error message (java.lang.ClassFormatError) whether I use Netscape or Internet Explorer. I wasn't really aware of the issue of browser plug-ins before looking around in this forum.
In Netscape, when I choose menu option Help followed by About Plug-ins, it says that the "Java Virtual Machine for Netscape" is enabled. It lists file names and includes the heading "Java Plug-in 1.4.2_02 for Netscape Navigator (DLL Helper)." This plug-in must have been installed as part of the JDK installation process - I know I didn't install it myself.
I don't see a similar "About Plug-ins" menu option in IE, but when I view the Java console in IE it says "Microsoft (R) VM for Java (tm), 4.0 Release" And under Tools, Internet Options, Advanced tab, a box is checked that says "Use Java 2 v1.4.2_02 for <applet> (requires restart)."
I did try to use the -source compiler directive for the "Blink" demo applet (javac -source 1.4 The compile went OK, and the Blink applet still works in appletviewer, but I still get the same error when I try to run the applet in either Netscape or IE.
My PC is about 5 years old, and it's been my experience that weird things can happen on obsolete computers. I'm thinking about buying a new PC, but everything else still seems to work, and I'm not sure I can blame this problem on my current machine.
I appreciate your time with this. Happy Holidays, Jeff
18 years ago
When I first began to learn Java I used Programming With Java by John R. Hubbard. This book is part of the Shaum's Outline Series, which are study aids for several different subjects, including math, science, business, and computer programming. These books give numerous solved examples, with the philosophy that you learn by DOING rather than just reading. I worked all the problems from each chapter, and this gave me a strong "feel" for the language. It also helped me to retain the information, so I didn't have the problem of forgetting information from earlier chapters as I went along.
This book gives a solid foundation for the language, but certainly doesn't cover all you need to know. I used the Mughal and Rasmussen book ( A Programmer's Guide to Java Certification) to prepare for certification. This book would be difficult reading for someone completely unfamiliar with Java, but after I got such a good background from the Schaum's book it was not hard to go through Mughal and Rasmussen.
18 years ago
I am currently unable to bring up any of the SDK demo applets on my PC's browser. I remember that I was able to do this when I first began to learn Java a couple of years ago. About a year ago I noticed that I needed to run appletviewer to see the demo applets, but that didn't bother me. Now, however, I have installed Tomcat and am trying to learn JSP. I can move from an HTML form to a JSP and back again, which indicates to me that Tomcat is working, but none of the Java code on the JSP works. I know this is not a JSP forum, but I supect that my problem with viewing applets in my browser is related.
I use Windows 98. One of the first things I tried was to reinstall Java. I currently have Java SDK version 1.4.2_02 installed. After reinstalling the SDK didn't work, I tried installing the same version of the JRE (alongside the JDK), even though it is my understanding that the functionality in the SDK is a superset of the JRE functionality. In Internet Explorer, under the Internet Options Advanced tab, I have all the options for Java checked, including "Use Java 2 v1.4.2_02 for <applet>."
When I try to run a demo applet in IE by clicking on the associated HTML file, I get a ClassNotFoundException that shows up in the Java Console (it looks like IE is trying to use the MSJVM - is evil Microsoft causing this problem?). However, when I try to use Netscape, I get a different error message: "ClassFormatError: Bad major version number." In both cases I can tell that I've clicked on the correct HTML file (the proper heading shows up, along with a link to "The source." Also, I've checked the HTML file using Notepad). Again, I can use appletviewer and the applets work just fine - the problem only occurs within a browser.
Can somebody help me with this?
Thanks very much, Jeff
18 years ago