Posted tagged ‘Design By Gravity’

Methods Of Work: Hammering With a Shovel

March 31, 2010

Seriously. It amazes me how often people, especially-but-certainly-not-limited-to software people, fight with their tools. Would you really spend all day framing a house, using a shovel to hammer nails in? Some people, based on my observations, seem to.

Methods of Work: It Didn’t Happen If You Didn’t Write It Down

February 22, 2010

It may be an iffy plot device from a Tom Clancy thriller but it can be a valuable approach: if you didn’t write it down, it didn’t happen.

Stop Commenting Your Code – You’re Just Confusing Things!

October 25, 2009

In my post on reading other people’s code, I mentioned my views on the pointlessness of comments in code. It seemed worthwhile to expand on this, since I got such a wide variety of responses.

And yes, in the main I am going to suggest you don’t bother commenting most of your code. Unfortunately for the lazy among us, there something else you should use to replace those comments … but we’ll get to that later.

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.)