Showing posts from December, 2014

Chemical Reactions

Thus far on this little experiment, I've:

Overslept by 1 hour.Completely lost track of time innumerable occasions.Discovered an odd blurring & vibration in my vision.  Generally, it feels like I'm looking through a tunnel or a straw at the world.Had insatiable cravings for caffeine and sugar.Hyperfocused on assembly language programming and exercism.Generally feel like I got hit by a truck--slow, plodding, etc. On the bright side: Mood is much better.Sleep is much better.Laughed more (that is, some!) The next 2-6 weeks look to be rocky, but we'll see.  Some things have to change, and my brain chemistry's going to have to come along for the ride.

Fun with Assembly

I still remember an interview I had around February 2001, in which +Ron Garnett talked about how his team wrote code:
We write stuff in Assembler, because we're too lazy to write stuff in C. Wait...what?  I thought the whole purpose of C was to have portable Assembly, so you could control the bare metal correctly.  I did get an inkling if you were that good, assembly could be seductive in your ability to do whatever you want.

This came to mind again when +Seth Moore posed a similar question on Facebook the other night:
Pop quiz:When you run this, what prints out? 

int i = 5;
int j = 10;
while (--j) { printf("%d %d\n", i, j); } while (--i); Basically, the above is a quiz to determine if you understand loops, expressions -v- statements, and the pre-decrement operator (--).  Pre-decrement specifies that the lvalue of the expression is the current value minus one and the post-state of that variable is assigned that decremented value.  Post-decrement has the same result (decremen…

Rant: Stacked Ranking at Yahoo...yet another failure

From this article:

Mayer also favored a system of quarterly performance reviews, or Q.P.R.s, that required every Yahoo employee, on every team, be ranked from 1 to 5. The system was meant to encourage hard work and weed out underperformers, but it soon produced the exact opposite. Because only so many 4s and 5s could be allotted, talented people no longer wanted to work together; strategic goals were sacrificed, as employees did not want to change projects and leave themselves open to a lower score. One of the uglier parts of the process was a series of quarterly “calibration meetings,” in which managers would gather with their bosses and review all the employees under their supervision. In practice, the managers would use these meetings to conjure reasons that certain staff members should get negative reviews. Sometimes the reason would be political or superficial. 
If anyone believes Vitality Ranking works, especially with knowledge workers, you're sadly mistaken.  The system br…