Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

All is quiet on the western front

Missed a few updates, well, maybe more than just a few. I have a few projects in the work, and, much to my excitement, a podcast in the works with another very talented software engineer. We’ll start recording this weekend and see how it goes, I’ll update as news unfolds.

Not quite what I was hoping for

I’ve run into a few problems with Refinery on my production server, namely some weird caching that is causing me to hold off on deployment.

I’m honestly starting to wonder if I shouldn’t take the time to learn WordPress theming.

Oh well, back to work!

A realistic look at Kaizen

Kaizen:

Japenese for “Improvement” or “Change for the better”.

More than that Kaizen, in the agile world, is the concept of aggressive continuous improvement. Defined by the process Plan, Do, Check, Act. It is a simple, straight-forward approach to improvement that requires the acknowledgement of problems, and the willingness to act on them. Acknowledgment is the clincher though.

Read more

Regular Update Schedule

RunningWithRails.com will be moving to a regular update schedule of Mon/Wed/Fri. While you’re at it please check out my new blog NovelDiscourse.com, a travel/writing blog which will feature interviews with writers and journeys to inspirational places!

Development’s Dirty Secret

I’ve decided to let everyone in on the dirty secret of software developers everywhere. It’s a fact a lot of people will have trouble believing.

What we do isn’t magic.

It can be time consuming, tedious and boring. It can also be entertaining, challenging and exciting. But very little about it is beyond the capabilities of a moderately intelligent person.

Every time I tell someone I’m a software developer they react the same way, “So you’re some kind of genius”. I don’t have the heart to tell them no.

There are software engineers who are geniuses, but that doesn’t make it a prerequisite of the job. We like to feel special, like we’re above the dirty peasants, but what we do is actually pretty simple. I’ve always thought the best analogy for what we do is language. In language you learn syntax, grammar and structure along with a list of words and phrases. Programming is a lot like that, so much so that I would argue anyone who can learn a second language could easily learn to program. Read more

Why Internet Explorer Will Always Suck

Okay, yeah, the title is a little bit of link bait, I admit it. Deal with it.

Internet Explorer has started to gain a small following in what I can only guess is some sort of developer-hipster hybrid community, and I’ve got a bone to pick with those people.

Internet Explorer 6, which born in the summer of 2001, and still exists as a force, albeit a shrinking force, in the world of website design. There have been three new versions of Internet Explorer released in this nine years since.

That’s my history lesson. Read more

Just another developer

There are great things about being “just another developer”. You never burn bridges, your job is stable and respectable, your coworkers and bosses like you or are, at worse, indifferent to you beyond the work you do. Being just another developer is the best thing you can be if you’re interested in a long term, stable commitment with minimal controversy and stress.

And it is totally not for me. Read more

Bugs, defects and features, oh my!

This debate isn’t new, this discussion isn’t new and I won’t pretend it is. The argument between bug and feature has spawned a lot of opinions from a lot of people who want to simplify the question.

Why does it matter? Because how we communicate internally matters a great deal.

Features: 

Features are things we haven’t tried before. Completely new code and functionality. It’s not hard to define, if you’re going to create whole new methods to accomplish it, it’s probably (but maybe not always) a feature.

Why it matters? Read more

2011 Goals

I’m setting forward a few goals I have for the next two months and hoping to kick the new year off right.

Get Prometheus.js to 1.0

This is huge. I will do this one.

Learn Python

#BecauseICan

Convert my Blogs to CppCMS

I’ve been wanting to go custom on this blog, and if I do, why not add CppCMS to my toolbox.

It should give me something unique to write about.

Besides, I’ve always wanted to push up a git commit to the effect of “Fixing that annoying segfault when a user double clicks post”.

Seriously, nothing on the web is double click, just stop it.

Get Prometheus.py to 1.0

Here’s hoping.

Clean up on line 42

I posted yesterday about the thrill of having to get something in a hurry and as a couple of commenters rightfully pointed out, there is a dark underside to that situation. Namely technical debt.

Technical debt takes a lot of forms, from “well, just install it locally” solutions when something goes wrong with deploy, to code that you know just isn’t what it should be, but it’s quick.

We almost never get to go back and clean up technical debt, instead it just keeps accumulating. Like real debt the longer it sits the more interest it builds up as other pieces of your application come to rely on that badly formed code.

There are a few ways to approach the technical debt scenario, but rest assured that if you don’t clean it up you will regret it eventually. Read more

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That is not dead which can eternal lie. And with strange aeons even death may die.
- H.P. Lovecraft

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