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I apologize, quux. This form of communication is not easy for me. Motivating others There are many ways to motivate people other than money. Emotion is the key. In fact, people for a long time have come up with lists trying to identify the most basic motivators. Here's one list: Justice, Fortitude, Temperance, Prudence, Faith, Hope, Charity Here's another: Pride, Wrath, Envy, Lust, Gluttony, Avarice, Sloth Money is such a great motivator because it is associated with many things in those lists. However, if you can associate things in those lists with something else, then you can use that as a motivator. Of course, you have to make sure that the things you choose are valued by the person you want to motivate. Who's doing the motivating? Good people, bad people, and everyone in between have used the method I've just described to motivate others. For me, the important thing is not taking money out of the equation or intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation, but it's the relationship between the people involved. For example, let's say someone is trying to get money from you by appealing to your sense of charity. If it comes from a cult leader, it's creepy. But if it comes from a five year old chasing after an ice cream truck, then it's nice. I don't know who you're trying to motivate, why, or what you want him or her to do, but I think it's more important to consider the relationships between people rather than the actual motivator itself. Does that person look at you as a hero, leader, parental figure, friend...? Or does that person look at you as a thief, cult leader, or worse, adverti...? Just kidding. :-) Once you understand the relationships between the people involved, their values and the perceived risks, you'll have a better chance of choosing the right motivator. I'm sure there are a bunch of other factors that must be considered in order to successfully motivate others, but for now, this is my limited understanding of the topic.
Toggle Commented Jun 22, 2010 on The Vast and Endless Sea at Coding Horror
Or, quux, you could post an ad like this: MEN WANTED: FOR HAZARDOUS JOURNEY. SMALL WAGES, BITTER COLD, LONG MONTHS OF COMPLETE DARKNESS, CONSTANT DANGER, SAFE RETURN DOUBTFUL. HONOUR AND RECOGNITION IN CASE OF SUCCESS. SIR ERNEST SHACKLETON One time in a forum, there was a confused op. I gave him a link and some suggestions on how to solve his problem. He thanked me as soon as possible, and it was great. But there was more. A few days or a few weeks later, he gave something back to the community. Well, at least I'd like to think he was the one who did that. Not only did I get direct recognition from him, but now there was this indirect recognition (recognition * ?). It was great... No, it is great, and unlike promises of high wages, he gave me something that no one can take away. I don't know where that op is now. I'm not sure if he even came back to read the forums. But I'd like to think he's on his adventure, trying to get better, and when he comes back, maybe he'll have some interesting things to share. Does that make sense to people? You have to nod, otherwise I can't tell. :-)
Toggle Commented Jun 14, 2010 on The Vast and Endless Sea at Coding Horror
I was just trying to figure out why words like "egghead", "algorithms", "compsci 301" and "memorization" were written in the comments. I thought that the choice of words lead people into thinking about LCM algorithms instead of just trying to solve the problem. My earlier comment was meant to show explanations of different terms in order of decreasing awesomeness, with the "simple algorithm" being the least awesome. I didn't mean to offend anyone. But if someone asks an unfamiliar question, then isn't that the best time to genuinely show off your other skills, like adaptability, communication, and business acumen? Ok, so you've never used the mod operator. How about int, fix, round, ipart, fpart, floor, ceil...? No? How about converting a number into a string and checking for a decimal point? Too WTFy? Fine. Write it calling imaginary functions called isFizz and isBuzz. They ask you to implement those functions? Maybe you can explain to them why you can't do this off the top of your head. Maybe you can ask, in a nice way, why it's so friggin important to them. Even if you disagree with their response, at least you've given yourself another chance to solve the problem: How to show them that you can program when their "simple" programming question is not so simple.
Toggle Commented Mar 15, 2010 on The Non-Programming Programmer at Coding Horror
Ah, I think I understand. Maybe fizzbuzz should use the word "divisible" or "divisor" instead of "multiple". Compare the explanations for divisor, multiple, and least common multiple. Oh, I get it! In mathematics, a divisor of an integer n, also called a factor of n, is an integer which evenly divides n without leaving a remainder. For example, 7 is a divisor of 42 because 42 / 7 = 6. Can you explain that again? In mathematics, a multiple is the product of any quantity by an integer. In other words, for the quantity a such as integer, real number, or complex number, b is a multiple of a if b = na for some integer n. The n is also called coefficient or multiplier. Additionally, if a is not zero, this is equivalent to saying that b / a is an integer with no remainder. Some said the multiple is the product of an integer by another integer so it is called integer multiple. When a and b are both integers, a is also called a factor of b. WT... err... Huh? A simple algorithm This method works as easily for finding the LCM of several integers. Let there be a finite sequence of positive integers X = (x1, x2, ..., xn), n > 1. The algorithm proceeds in steps as follows: on each step m it examines and updates the sequence X(m) = (x1(m), x2(m), ..., xn(m)), X(1) = X. The purpose of the examination is to pick up the least (perhaps, one of many) element of the sequence X(m). Assuming xk0(m) is the selected element, the sequence X(m+1) is defined as xk(m+1) = xk(m), k ≠ k0 xk0(m+1) = xk0(m) + xk0. In other words, the least element is increased by the corresponding x whereas the rest of the elements pass from X(m) to X(m+1) unchanged. The algorithm stops when all elements in sequence X(m) are equal. Their common value L is exactly LCM(X). (For a proof and an interactive simulation see reference below, Algorithm for Computing the LCM.)
Toggle Commented Mar 13, 2010 on The Non-Programming Programmer at Coding Horror
But you don't have to use fancy math (mod operator) to solve fizz buzz. Since it is based on a game children play, how would they solve this problem? I imagine they would use one hand to count up to three, and the other hand to count up to five. Every time one hand reaches three, they say fizz, and every time the other hand reaches five, they say buzz. No fancy math. Just counting. I apologize for butting in, but you guys just don't realize how good you have it. In order to practice their craft, people in other fields have to buy all kinds of equipment, parts and tools just to do something basic. For some, it takes years to accumulate those things. For others, they'll never be able to practice their craft outside of work or outside of a university. But you can practice your craft almost anywhere. Along with books and magazines, you can get your "parts" and "tools" from wikipedia, blogs, forums, etc. Professionals from major companies will even respond to nobodies like me in their blogs. Best of all, if you make a really bad mistake during your learning process, you can always do it over again by restarting your computer. And with all of these advantages, is it too much to ask that a college graduate with a degree in computer science be able to find a way to solve fizz buzz? Again, I apologize for butting in.
Toggle Commented Feb 26, 2010 on The Non-Programming Programmer at Coding Horror
Reminds me of this: "Lay hired new C.E.O. Jeffrey Skilling, a visionary joined Enron on the condition that they utilize mark-to-market accounting, which allowed the company to book potential profits on certain projects immediately after the deals were signed, whether or not those projects turned out to be successful."
Toggle Commented Feb 23, 2010 on Cultivate Teams, Not Ideas at Coding Horror
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Feb 23, 2010