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  #21  
Old 05-04-2015, 12:35 PM
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upper management to me is above VP. If your Director/ AVP genuinely cares what language you use, you have a micro-manager. If your line level manager cares, you should probably listen.
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Old 05-04-2015, 12:47 PM
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I mean usually management cares about how much money that shiny new rating algorithm or marketing plan can bring in, not what language you coded it in.
They care about what language you use in the sense that they won't let you spend 6 months overhauling the entire system and another 6 months working out the kinks so you can say your system is now written in a more modern language. You'll actually have to make a case for how all this effort is going to pay off, and how you're planning on maintaining this system 10+ years from now, when you're the only one in the company familiar with your awesome new language.
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  #23  
Old 05-04-2015, 12:50 PM
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Not sure I agree with this.

Yeah, upper management in the C-suite.... they don't care.

Your direct supervisor? Yes, they care, because it's likely you won't be the one maintaining it forever. One guy can't be doing something in C, the other in Java, and the other in Python. An actuarial manager almost certainly won't have an expectation of all of his underlings knowing many different languages. Better to just pick one standard language for the group when "real" programming is needed (as long as the tool suits the job) and go with it, IMHO.

I don't see this as being something worth battling over. As people who understand programming well should know, one Turing-complete language should be mostly interchangeable for another.
This. Short-sighted actuaries ITT need to realize that the crap you pull in school or at home while you're coding stuff in your boxers isn't the same approach you need to take when working in an enterprise environment where the system may very well outlive you.
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  #24  
Old 05-04-2015, 12:52 PM
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upper management to me is above VP. If your Director/ AVP genuinely cares what language you use, you have a micro-manager. If your line level manager cares, you should probably listen.
Or they're just smart and are listening to the Director of IT / CTO who says everybody should use a consistent language and style so they don't lose months discovering what their software does every time a rando actuary hops jobs. The same Director/CTO who analyzed the tools available before you even applied to college and decided a certain language was the best available at the time, and who today continues to decide that the marginal improvement of modern languages isn't worth the cost of overhauling existing systems and retraining their entire support staff.
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  #25  
Old 05-04-2015, 02:48 PM
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Upper management often recognizes the value of consistency. They don't care which software the company uses, but they don't want every employee using their own software.

OP, I've heard this saying, and it bothers me, but sometimes it's apt, it's a poor craftsmen who blames their tools.
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  #26  
Old 05-04-2015, 05:45 PM
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Or they're just smart and are listening to the Director of IT / CTO who says everybody should use a consistent language and style so they don't lose months discovering what their software does every time a rando actuary hops jobs.
That happens regardless. I've inherited VBA macros and SAS programs from other analysts that were such a mess I chose to re-write them in the same language because I thought it'd be faster than trying to understand their code.

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The same Director/CTO who analyzed the tools available before you even applied to college and decided a certain language was the best available at the time, and who today continues to decide that the marginal improvement of modern languages isn't worth the cost of overhauling existing systems and retraining their entire support staff.
Except they aren't "retraining" their staff on theses modern languages, they're training them on the legacy systems. I, like 3/4 analysts I work with, learned R in school, but when I graduated and came to insurance I had to learn SAS. If my boss switched to R he wouldn't be retraining analysts, he'd have them up to speed before they start.
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  #27  
Old 05-04-2015, 11:18 PM
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the software can't do calculations correctly? something doesn't seem right about that.. if you run a calculation, then don't change anything, then run it again, are you getting two different numbers?
It's weird. Certain things make certain calculations screw up. One example I can think of: If you have a BOY cash balance plan, and the following year has been calculated... when you go to do the SB, oftentimes it'll screw up funding target, target normal cost, discounted contributions, amortization bases etc.
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  #28  
Old 05-05-2015, 09:14 AM
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That happens regardless. I've inherited VBA macros and SAS programs from other analysts that were such a mess I chose to re-write them in the same language because I thought it'd be faster than trying to understand their code.
So there was no peer review in place. This is a problem with the process and management, not with the analysts. My last company was like this... no processes in place, so rather than making a concerted effort to put in the resources needed to fix things, the previous person was just blamed.
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  #29  
Old 05-05-2015, 10:12 AM
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So there was no peer review in place. This is a problem with the process and management, not with the analysts. My last company was like this... no processes in place, so rather than making a concerted effort to put in the resources needed to fix things, the previous person was just blamed.


Act Sci schools don't teach code design, it's up to management to ingrain proper code practices via reviews. If your company doesn't have it, there's an opportunity for you to take the lead (if you're tech inclined and can convince your boss of the value). Otherwise untrained ELs just work to get the job done, which is what they came up doing.
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  #30  
Old 05-05-2015, 10:13 AM
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Always blame the last person to leave. When it's a pattern, I see it as another sign of management failure.
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