February 2009

Don’t Go to Work for Wrestling

February 14, 2009

I hope Jurgen Appelo is not really serious when he posted these tips about annoying your boss: When asking for some days off, wait as long as possible, and try to arrange for other team members to ask for the same free days. Make sure to buy flight tickets before requesting days off. When you […]

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Are Indian Software Developers “Code Donkeys”?

February 11, 2009

The recent 40th StackOverflow podcast with Michael Lopp had some pretty harsh words for Indian software programmers and the outsourcing industry in general. The transcript is incomplete, so you have to hear the podcast, but what I heard went something along these lines (not exact words) The cost of an Indian developer is one-third the […]

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Managers in Startups versus Managers in Stable Companies

February 10, 2009

I ended a previous post on code quality and development speed by suggesting that the outlook on which of them is more important is heavily driven by the business environment in which a manager or programmer works. Let us consider some of these situations (this list is neither exhaustive or mutually exclusive) A startup trying […]

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Worst Authentication Error Page

February 9, 2009

What would you expect if you typed the wrong password into a login screen such as the following? Most of you would suppose that Google Adwords would bring up a screen telling you that your username or password is incorrect. Here is what I got: This is a very subtle problem. I typed in an […]

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Are You a Caroline Fisher?

February 8, 2009

I was re-reading Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” when I came across this passage (abridged by me): Then she went to the blackboard and printed the alphabet […] and asked, “Does anyone know what these are?” I suppose she chose me because she knew my name; as I read the alphabet a faint line […]

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Apples != Oranges

February 7, 2009

Some characteristics of people and products are difficult to measure directly and so we rely on proxies. For example, if we cannot measure the quality of a product before we buy it, we sometimes depend on brand name or the advertisements. We use interviews to evaluate programmers before we hire them, although when they work […]

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Delete, Move or Hide, But Do Something

February 6, 2009

What is the silliest impediment to efficiency? It is keeping old stuff around long after it is of no use to you. Every time you want to do some work, old documents or old code get in your way. They demand your attention and exercise your memory. They exact a small tax, adding up over […]

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Some Fun WordPress Stats

February 5, 2009

WordPress.com just published their statistics for the month of January: 372,519 blogs were created. 393,836 new users joined. 4,592,097 file uploads. 2,710 gigabytes of new files. 553 terabytes of content transferred from our datacenters. 8,771,891 comments. 6,528,657 logins. 1,073,421,738 pageviews on WordPress.com, and another 945,105,050 on self-hosted blogs (2,018,526,788 total across all WordPress blogs we […]

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Start with Skepticism

February 4, 2009

I have started wondering recently whether Agile is going the same way as CMMi. If you have read the CMMi software model, you would probably agree that the general philosophy is reasonably sound. But many implementations get mired in bureaucracy and inefficient processes. So, more companies are now moving towards Agile. But the same bureaucrats […]

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Code Quality versus Development Speed

February 3, 2009

Like the spat between Uncle Bob and Joe Spolsky, there are many misconceptions when it comes to talking about the trade-off between code quality and development speed. For some reason, the code quality people think that the other group is a bunch of caffeine-spiked, low-IQ programmers who are just good at typewriting. Consider this statement […]

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