Friday, August 14, 2009

What is the best and worst end of project reward you've ever received?

asked on

The most memorable reward I've received for completing a project was a move to an office (I'm a little claustrophobic), in talking with other IT people, it's usually not monetary rewards that we value the most, it the feeling of successfully delivering something. What was the most important/motivational reward you've received and the least (the least important to me was a trophy). Perhaps the smart managers will find this list and use it.


My response:

My best reward - one time I asked Ross Quinlan "Why didn't you just make a relational version of decison trees instead of making a relational version of decision lists" since he is a well known expert on decision trees.
He didn't seem to come up with a good answer, so I did that as a personal project.
I got a trip to Sydney Australia ... met an incredibly beautiful and charming Yugoslavian woman there who begged me "Please don't forget me " ... got invited to Jason Catlett's house for dinner where Stuart Russell entertained us with jazz piano ... and had possibly the worst restaurant meal in my life with Haym Hirsh (African food) with the best company ... now THAT was probably the best reward for a project completed :)
I can't even remember her name, but I still remember the way she looked.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The limit of OOP Paradigm in really complex system?

Asked on Stack overflow:

I asked a question previously about Dataset vs Business Objects
and I want to generalize the question here: where is the proof that OOP is really suitable for very complex problems ? Let's take a MMO Game Engine for example. I'm not specialist at all but as I read this article, it clearly stands that OOP is far from being enough:
It concludes: Programming well with Entity Systems is very close to programming with a Relational Database. It would not be unreasonable to call ES’s a form of “Relation Oriented Programming”.
So isn't OOP trying to get rid off something that is here to stay ?
OOP is non-linear, Relational is linear, both are necessary depending on the part of a system so why try to eliminate Relational just because it isn't "pure" Object. Is OOP an end by itself ?


My response:

There is really no limit to what OOP can deal with - just as there is no real limit to what C can deal with, or assembler for that matter. All are Turing-complete, which is all you really need.
OOP simply gives you a higher-level way of breaking down the program, just as C is a higher-level than assembler.
The article about entity systems does not say that OO cannot do this - in fact, it sounds like they are using OOP to implement their Entities, Components, etc. In any complex domain there will be different ways of breaking it down, and using OOP you can break it down to the object/class level at some point. This does not preclude having higher-level conceptual frameworks which are used to design the OOP system.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Letter to a friend

I'm working for Musket Melburn, a trucking company in Mississauga Ontario. I spent about 8 years as manager of the artificial intelligence group for Bank of New York Mellon, but it was not a great experience. Instead of biking to work at Jetform and having a daily aerobics class, I commuted 45 min by car, had free breakfast, and if working late, free fast food order-in. I developed type 2 diabetes within the year.

I have an ex-wife in Princeton, an ex-gf and a child in Philadelphia, but in the end I think it was worth it because I did find a lot about myself and now am on track to find the things I really want in life. My current job involves programming VB .NET (neither of which I knew when I was hired) so every day is programming and learning. I realized that I studied computer science because I like programming, not because I like managing a programming team.

My ex-wife is one of my best friends now, and my children are all doing well. I enjoy my work and am able to work from home (4 computers there) and recently met someone very special. For me, life isn't about fame, money, or reputation - it's about happiness. I can't say about the future, but today I am happier than I have ever been in my life.