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Proficient users can do: depends on the kind of work you do, if you have to process images or video data or compile large projects, run data analysis tools on large amounts of data then you will need a fast computer. But for everyday work this is right, I can set up a decent enough Linux + browser + text editor and a few more tools on a very low level machine.

Casual users need a good computer: Maybe, but the problems described do not disappear with a better computer. If you crap a small or medium machine, it will only take a bit longer until you messed up a better machine too.

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It makes as much sense (maybe even more) as talking about a "Code Guru" (guru being in fact a religious teacher) or "Code Ninja" (or "C++ Ninja, Database Guru or whatever combination). Language is something flowing and changing. The term "hacker" made it's way into everyday language, partly in the misunderstood way of something illegal, partly in the more correct way of somebody with great knowledge and creativity about something. In my view it was always part of the hacker culture to use this word to show respect towards any kind of great achievement, especially technically related, but I would even accept a great musician to be called a "music hacker". Movies, Comics and SciFi stories have done their own part to made it known (and in parts misunderstood)) widely and all the media hype about Nerds we have seen the last decade or so.

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and gets even worse if you bring variables into the game.

a = 5

b = 3

everybody from nearly every programming language would expect that after

c = a-b

you will find c to be 2 not nil (or throwing an exception or whatever)

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I never pack my code like that without whitespace, as doing so is only readable when you have single-letter variables, which is not very common.

I agree with the OP. CamelCase and underscores are both scourges.

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I've always found code without spaces around these symbols to be very undreadable.

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Yes, but in this case it's not about readability, but about extremely significant whitespace. Forgetting a space and your code has a totally different meaning.

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Whitespace is already extremely significant in programming. "foo[1]" vs "foo [1]" for example.

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Depends on language, in Ruby those statements would be identical. But anyway, that's no reason to make things even worse.

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In Ruby those statements are the same when foo is bound to an array, but they are different when foo is bound to a function...

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And I have found the opposite. Horses for courses.

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If you don't have enough experts, hire smart guys and train them. Problem solved.

If you are looking for three months without success, in the same time a good programmer with some web experience could have already become a great Rails programmer. Another three months in a team with great people and he will write any code you want.

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Companies are lucky if I use AdBlock, because my personal "Rule of 7" states that company adds I see more than 7 times make this company an automatic member of the "annoying company list" (Adds that blink or play sound (hear me coka cola?)) are immediate candidates.

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cute. though it hangs sometimes.

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probably the hacker news traffic load

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As swGooF said: Write a blog.

I Googled your name and found quite a lot of your books for download, but not much more info (did not search very long).

If you want to become a "name" in some area, you must talk about what's happening now. If any possible, become a (leading) member of some important OSS project. (As an example take Yehuda Katz, his blog and books are very well known in the community)

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about Rails:

- Rails Antipatterns

- Rails 3 in Action

- The Rails 3 Way

- Ruby for Rails

about Ruby:

- Eloquent Ruby

- Design Patterns in Ruby

- Well Grounded Rubyist

- Metaprogramming Ruby

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thanks guys for the comments. Will try them out and post my experiences ...

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Exactly the point, you can drink in a "cultural" way. There are actually very different drinking cultures. (As there may be different programming cultures?)

Drinking can even become a bad habit. Or someone can become an alcoholic and could still see it as a culture (read Charles Bukowski.)

A culture in any case is something very artificial and not very well defined in most cases. Everybody can simply declare to be part of a certain culture or redefine his own culture at any point. So now there is a 501 culture...

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I think a culture is surrounded with some kind of related passion.

501's passion is to get back home. I can respect that, but it has nothing to do with programming. As I've noted, imagine for a moment that they're talking about fishing. Their points remain valid to what they're seeking. However many link it as a manifesto of programmers.

Its the same as publishing "Do no harm" as a manifesto, and it has nothing to do with programming, nonetheless a programmers culture.

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Nice post, made a few good points. But it's just a vain battle about a not so very interesting "manifesto" by some people who think they need to make some point (or whatever).

I'm not a 501 programmer for sure. I agree, that there is a culture as you describe it, but I strongly disagree, that every programmer somehow needs to be part of this culture. I have worked with many 501 programmers and often enough they do a good job and take away a lot of work during their office hours (especially the boring kind of work). Actually I think most everyday programmers are of this kind.

The part about pitying wasn't very smart and (as you say), adding a small piece of "respect" doesn't really help it very much. But to care about it, my first step would have to be to take this whole manifesto thing seriously, which I can't do. Most 501 I know wouldn't care about it too. Especially since it doesn't say much in the first place.

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Thanks. I'm not sure that manifesto is being a thing that is overlooked; but regardless of it, I've been feeling the 501'er mocking others around for a while, without a manifesto being published at all.

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Really? I think there's far, far more mocking and pity and criticism going the other way.

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