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Til Lawsuits Do Us Part

Noncompete clauses may hinder you less than you fear

3 min read

Last November, Apple happily announced that it had hired Mark Papermaster, a 26-year IBM veteran, to head up its iPod and iPhone hardware engineering teams. IBM immediately sued Papermaster, claiming that his employment contract with Big Blue included a noncompete agreement prohibiting just such a move. A U.S. federal district court quickly ordered Papermaster out of Apple until further notice. The two companies agreed to a settlement in late January; Papermaster will finally sit down at an Apple desk later this month.

Noncompete clauses are essential to protect a company’s intellectual property, especially its trade secrets—after all, they’re not good secrets if employees can leave and tell them to the company’s competitors. But courts are wary of these clauses and balance the protection of trade secrets against an employee’s basic rights.

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Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

11 min read
A plate of spaghetti made from code
Shira Inbar

You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

So why did they take shortcuts? Maybe they didn’t realize that they were cutting any corners. Only when their code was deployed and exercised by a lot of users did its hidden flaws come to light. And maybe the developers were rushed. Time-to-market pressures would almost guarantee that their software will contain more bugs than it would otherwise.

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