I first heard of Perl when I was in middle school in the early 2000s. It was one of the world’s most versatile programming languages, dubbed the Swiss army knife of the Internet. But compared to its rival Python, Perl has faded from popularity. What happened to the web’s most promising language? advertisement advertisement Perl’s low entry barrier compared to compiled, lower level language alternatives (namely, C) meant that Perl attracted users without a formal CS background (read: script kiddies and beginners who wrote poor code). It also boasted a small group of power users (“hardcore hackers”) who could quickly and flexibly write powerful, dense programs that fueled Perl’s popularity to a new generation of programmers. A central repository (the Comprehensive Perl Archive Network, or CPAN) meant that for every person who wrote code, many more in the Perl community (the Programming Republic of Perl) could employ it. This, along with the … [Read more...] about The Fall Of Perl, The Web’s Most Promising Language
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Nostalgia and pride are powerful motivators for philanthropy, which are how college endowments at the nation’s elite universities got as large as they are today. While thinking back fondly of your alma mater is common enough, now an ambitious new fundraising initiative is testing whether the same attitudes be harnessed to raise money for an institution that needs the cash even more: the New York City housing projects. advertisement advertisement “I take great pride in the fact that I’m a wonderful American dream story,” says Jeff Levine, a wealthy real estate developer who lives on Long Island with his wife and kids–a far cry from where he grew up. Recently, he got to take his children on a field trip to his stomping grounds as a child: his old apartment at Linden Houses in Brooklyn’s East New York neighborhood. Public housing is very different today than it was in the late 1950s and early 1960s when Levine resided there. At the time, … [Read more...] about Will Housing Project “Alumni” Give Back To A Crumbling System?
Managers often have backgrounds in the disciplines of their reports: financial analysts become financial managers, software engineers become product managers. But my first job out of college was as a startup founder. That meant I had to start managing people immediately—without any direct experience in the trenches or subject matter expertise. advertisement advertisement Unsurprisingly, I made a lot of mistakes. I didn’t know the ins and outs of my employees’ day-to-day tasks, so the trust between us started off rocky. But I learned that I could add value by creating an environment that let the team do its best work. When I took the time to understand the team’s context and gain its trust, the result was a dynamic, productive, problem-solving team. Since then, I’ve taught myself to be proactive about managing a team whose domain isn’t in my area of expertise. Here’s what I do to learn and build trust when I’m not an expert: 1. … [Read more...] about How to manage teams when you’re not the subject matter expert
G Babu JayakumarOn November 9, 19-year-old Fathima Lateef, a first-year student pursuing a five-year integrated MA programme at the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-Madras), committed suicide inside the college campus. When Sabitha, Fathima’s mother, said that she let her daughter choose IIT-M because she thought of Tamil Nadu as a safe place without discrimination, the common retort (especially across social media) has been: ‘Who said IIT-M is part of Tamil Nadu?’Nestled in a 620-acre urban rainforest in the heart of bustling Chennai, the IIT-M is geographically and administratively very much a part of the state. The land, which was part of the Guindy National Park, was allotted by the then Chief Minister K Kamaraj who was particular that one of the five national engineering institutes of importance should come to Tamil Nadu.Close So, how did the institute, once considered a pride of the state, turn into a blight in the eyes of the public? Home to some … [Read more...] about Society | Why IIT-Madras is no longer Tamil Nadu’s pride
Adam Hasler looks like a footloose millennial. He’s worked as a model, waited tables, and lived all over the world. But at 28, there’s more to his résumé than meets the eye. advertisement advertisement He earned a dual degree in history and international relations at American University. After graduating, he and two partners–boosted by a $10,000 stake from his parents and an investment from a local restaurateur–took over the coffeehouse where he had worked since age 19: Modern Times, inside the Politics and Prose bookstore, a beloved Washington, D.C., institution. “I was 22 and naive,” he says now. “We got our asses handed to us.” Still, working 16-hour days for weeks on end, “living on cookies and beer,” Hasler and his partners increased the shop’s revenue in three years from less than $200,000 to $500,000. Stacy Brown-Philpot, 36 1997 First job: Pricewaterhouse-Coopers 1999 Second job: Goldman … [Read more...] about The Four-Year Career