November 2009

The Danger of Stories and Anecdotes

November 30, 2009

It was fun reading Michael Dubakov’s take on technical debt through his story of Arthur and the princess. But then the questions started. The competition was rigged from the beginning, wasn’t it? After all, Arthur made it to the final round, didn’t he? What if the weather had been perfect for the next few months? […]

Read the full article →

When is It Good Enough?

November 29, 2009

Anecdotes are dangerous. Scott Koon has one about fixing a doorknob, linking it to the now-infamous Spolksy duct-tape programmer post and writes: Think about that the next time you reject a new programming tool because you think it might take too long to learn or it’s different. Instead of doing the hacky way you KNOW […]

Read the full article →

Wrong Use of Testing Metrics

November 27, 2009

Brilliant post on testing by Michael Bolton (emphasis mine): Bug Investigation and Reporting (time spent on tests that find bugs)Test Design and Execution (time spent on tests that don’t find bugs) Module Time spent on tests that find bugs Time spent on tests that don’t find bugs Total Tests A 0 minutes (no bugs found) 90 minutes (45 tests) 45 […]

Read the full article →

The Bigger Complexity Lies Outside Technology

November 26, 2009

From the Domain-Driven Design Site: [A] great deal of effort has gone into the design of networks, databases, and other technical dimension of software. Books have been written about how to solve these problems. Developers have cultivated their skills. Yet the most significant complexity of many applications is not technical. It is in the domain […]

Read the full article →

Delegation is Teaching

November 23, 2009

Jurgen Appelo publishes a list of delegation checklist items from Johanna Rothman and Esther Derby Is the risk factor of delegating this work adequately addressed? […] Do the people have the skills to do this particular kind of work? Do the people have the right format for the work products to use? Do the people […]

Read the full article →

Cross-Platform is Not That Important

November 22, 2009

Dave Nicolette asks about C# versus Java: Consider two hypothetical programming languages such that: Language A Supports closures, and Can only run on one platform, so that customers who use the language for mission-critical apps are locked into a single operating system vendor. Language B Doesn’t support closures, and Runs on all mainstream platforms, so that […]

Read the full article →

Framework Failures for Beginners

November 17, 2009

Zef Hemel writes about the inscrutable error messages that he gets when making typos in Ruby on Rails, Scala and JBoss Seam. I recently saw a new programmer struggle with the RoR errors and I have been a victim of some of the problems that occur when you type a string wrong in Java. For […]

Read the full article →

Why Your Academic Record is Important

November 15, 2009

Jon Skeet has a long post on how programmers fall prey to pretty nasty bugs because they aren’t aware of the details of what they are doing. And he offers the following thoughts: First, try not to take on more complexity than you need. If you can absolutely guarantee that you won’t need to translate […]

Read the full article →

Growth is Required Even if There are No Network Effects

November 12, 2009

David writes in response to Joel’s worries about fast growth: All these business [Facebook, eBay, Oracle] rely heavily on the network effect: Their product is more attractive than the competition because of their market share. […] Do you know what kind of software doesn’t have the advantages of the network effect? Ours. One Highrise user doesn’t […]

Read the full article →

Fast Sales-Driven Growth

November 8, 2009

A friend shared Joel Spolsky’s new column on Inc Magazine which asks if slow growth means slow death and suggests a couple of ways to grow faster: Step One, I think, is to pluck off our biggest competitors. We’re pretty certain that we’ve already built a great product that meets our customers’ needs — but […]

Read the full article →