Posted tagged ‘Software Development’

How to Read Other People’s Code — and Why

October 23, 2009

If you are a professional software developer, or aspire to be one, you will need to know a lot of of things. Various maths, stats, languages, frameworks, methodologies, tools, etc. Fads and buzzwords will come and go, all during your career. You’ll master some, ignore some, laugh at some.

But aside from the desire and ability to work in abstracts for concrete results, there is one skill that is an absolute must-have.


What Mother never told you about SVN Branching and Merging

October 19, 2009

Developers are fond of recounting their disastrous experiences branching and merging in Subversion and CVS.

Yet, thousands upon thousands of teams use SVN. Are they just not branching? What’s going on?

Is Software Handmade?

October 6, 2009

My last post stirred up a lot of interesting feedback; some folks thought calling yourself a Software Artisan was pretentious (which is true, used in general conversation), some people thought it was a reasonable term, and some thought of other even more pretentious terms (My favorite: Software Auteur. It would be an amusing world where you could break the ice telling someone you were a Software Auteur.)

And some folks denied that software is handmade at all.

Don’t be a Coder, Engineer, or Developer: be a Software Artisan!

October 3, 2009

Update: Check out my followup post on whether or not software is handmade.

What is your job description? What do call yourself, or tell people you do?

There’s nothing . . . absolutely nothing . . . half so much worth doing as simply messing around with computers.

My apologies to Kenneth Grahame.

The Tyranny of the Dancing Bear

September 21, 2009

As a software engineer, I see a lot of Dancing Bears. All too often they are a form of technical debt that comes back to hurt you in the end.

“The important thing isn’t that the bear dances well, rather that the bear dances at all!”
— Unknown Smart Person

(I really wish I knew the source of that quote; I’ve relied on it for years.)

Gmail Search; Readers’ Respond and a Proposal

August 28, 2009

Well. That was an interesting response.

Links: Gmail; Why Can’t Gmail Search?; Hacker News Comments; Stemming; Google Gears

My post on the failings of Gmail search proved quite popular, and garnered a number of interesting responses. Aside from the various name-calling (first time I was ever called an asshat, so circle the day on my calendar!), and the one guy who accused me of being a shill for Yahoo, most of responses here at my blog and on the posting at Hacker News fell into three main areas.

What’s in a name?

July 28, 2009

Design By Gravity is both the name of the blog, and a software development methodology. More on that later.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.