Archive for April, 2009
Log[...] things that you [...] care about[...].
I couldn’t agree more.
It’s good for software developers to experience joining projects that are at different stages of their development lifecycle. At the start, faced with an empty repository where you get to make important decisions every day, write a lot of code and functionality, and understand how everything fits together. In the middle, worrying about all those little details, dealing with testers raising defects, running into gotchas that obliterate fundamental assumptions, taking an application into production. And at the ‘end’ when a project is already running in live, fixing bugs and adding new functionality to a codebase you don’t really understand, where writing one line of code that doesn’t cause breakage is an achievement. (Ok, so I’m talking about writing server-oriented “business” applications. If you’re working on different types of software or in different environments then your mileage may vary.)
At my current job I’ve been fortunate enough to work on three projects covering each of these cases and I’ve learnt a few things along the way.
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This is not the topic I wanted to blog about next, but I’m mad as hell and as pointed out by Justin today I’m probably on a bit of a crusade! A little background first…
Today a rather strange thing happened to me, I typed one another dev’s DAS Keyboard so my mind switched into full on touch typing mode, this lasted about 20 seconds before I started typing DVORAK instead of QWERTY (I can touch type both layouts – ironically I’m typing this on QWERTY). I’ve also been trying since around 1999 or 2000 to switch to the DVORAK layout but I almost without fail revert to QWERTY after a few weeks. I don’t revert because DVORAK is simply too hard or too slow because I’ve actually managed to build up my DVORAK touch typing speed to something that is almost useable.
… or ‘OO is hurting the industry because encapsulation’
The ability to abstract is a powerful one. I have seen my share of uni-freshers. There are a million different kinds of students and they all have their different ways of understanding. Obviously, some are better than others, and some are worse.
The worse kind of students are those who cannot abstract. Of course all human beings can abstract to some degree or other, otherwise no one would be able to drive a modern motor vehicle, or eat a pie. But some students insist on ‘knowing all the details’ because ‘that’s how they understand things’.
To those students, the concept of an API is difficult to explain.
‘You call this method, and fun things happen.’
‘But how does it happen?’
‘You shouldn’t care.’
‘But I need to know!’
And there are sighs. They most likely won’t pass 101, or if they do get through, they’ll be miserable for the rest of the course, unless you’re a hot chick and have a full set of 14 geeky Asian guys to help you out with the assignments.
(This post is a bit unpolished, being a slightly edited copy of something I wrote on the train to work last Wednesday . No matter. I declare a Blogothon Principle – it is better to publish a post that isn’t ready than to miss out a week due to noble intentions …)
There’s a receipt on the table in my lounge. On the front: 1 Original Bianco Salmon pizza from Papa Johns West End Lane. Expected on 30/03/2009, at 21:05:31. On the back are some scribbles I made at 5am the next day. “Django little rest apps”, “Ruby _why mount little app”, “OMG it’s J2EE”, “seam -> EJB 3.1″, “coarsed grained well-defined interface”, “reusable component”, “can move to diff. servers, cluster etc.”, “EJB vs SCA”, “runtime vs design time”.
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First things first, if you don’t know what GTD is read this book!
A little background first, this post has been in draft for almost a month now, I keep putting it off which is a little ironic, but the great thing about GTD is that you just need to renegotiate with yourself and it’s all good! The other strange thing about me blogging about GTD is that I’m probably the least organised person you’ll meet for a long time! Hopefully my post will inspire others like me to get a little bit more organised, it’s worth it!