Gig – What I do is

AUTOMOBILE PARTS SPECIALIST
What I do is I sit behind a counter and I sell parts, just Honda parts for Honda cars. I get a salary and a little commission for each sale.

COMPUTER CHIP LAYOUT DESIGNER
What I do is translate this technical information into the way the chip will actually look – how all this information will be contained in this tiny space. I draw it out using a computer program.

A&R EXECUTIVE
What I do is go out and see bands or listen to their tapes, and if I like them enough, I sign them, and then as long as they’re with the company, I kind of work with them on all aspects of their career.

PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANY SALES REPRESENTATIVE
What I do is visit practices and try to influence the physicians’ prescribing habits versus other products they might use. So I talk about Eli Lilly’s product versus Pfizer’s product, versus SmithKline Beecham, versus, you know, all our various competitors’ products— and I try to explain how our medication has better features and advantages over theirs.

from Gig: Americans Talk About Their Jobs

How to write unmaintainable code

In the interests of creating employment opportunities in the Java programming field, I am passing on these tips from the masters on how to write code that is so difficult to maintain, that the people who come after you will take years to make even the simplest changes. Further, if you follow all these rules religiously, you will even guarantee yourself a lifetime of employment, since no one but you has a hope in hell of maintaining the code. Then again, if you followed all these rules religiously, even you wouldn’t be able to maintain the code!

To foil the maintenance programmer, you have to understand how he thinks. He has your giant program. He has no time to read it all, much less understand it. He wants to rapidly find the place to make his change, make it and get out and have no unexpected side effects from the change.

He views your code through a toilet paper tube. He can only see a tiny piece of your program at a time. You want to make sure he can never get at the big picture from doing that. You want to make it as hard as possible for him to find the code he is looking for. But even more important, you want to make it as awkward as possible for him to safely ignore anything.

Programmers are lulled into complacency by conventions. But every once in a while, by subtly violating convention, you force him to read every line of your code with a magnifying glass.

You might get the idea that every language feature makes code unmaintainable — not so, only if properly misused.

Roedy Green, Canadian Mind Products
@ github

Fast Food labor market

NY TIMES article on the need for employees in the food service industry.

From the article:

Mr. Kaplow has tried everything he can think of to find workers, placing Craigslist ads, asking other franchisees for referrals, seeking to hire people from Subways that have closed.

From the comments:

I’m 65 and would like to work part-time because I don’t want to fully retire yet. I have applied at a few places that clearly hire older workers, but they want to pay me ten dollars an hour or less. I don’t expect to be paid what I was paid on my last job, but my first job out of college in 1977 paid about ten dollars an hour.

I’ll do volunteer work before accepting ten dollars an hour. Employers are insulting my intelligence and a lifetime of experience by offering such low wages. They are also insulting the young people who, unfortunately, need vast amounts of money to go to college now. My tuition and fees (not including room and board) at a very respectable New Jersey university were $235 a semester from 1973 to 1977. Yes, $235 a semester — thats all. Today, that same university charges about $14,000 for tuition and fees, plus another $12,000 or so for room and board.