January 2011

Software for Multiple Customers

January 31, 2011

To follow up on my previous post about fully flexible software, I wrote about projects with a single customer or at least one entity that pays the bill and dictates the requirements. That is, of course, only one type of project, even if it arguably is a huge chunk of the programming market, including consulting […]

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Fully Flexible Software

January 27, 2011

A commenter (Daniel) on my previous post had this to say [summarized from multiple comments]: if you assume that requirements can be well defined and are static for the lifetime of the product, then programming is trivial. I’ve never seen this assumption to be true. […] at the level of programming, what do you have to […]

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Get a Better Word for Software “Craftsman”

January 26, 2011

Ade Oshineye complains that proponents of Software Craftsmanship misunderstand it: Ill-informed proponents of Software Craftsmanship tend to make the following mistakes: they don’t read anything except the manifesto and a smattering of blog posts. […] they focus on how Software Craftsmanship can benefit masters rather than apprentices. they think that signing the manifesto is the most […]

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Programming is Easy, Software Development is Hard

January 23, 2011

David Brooks has a great essay on which skills are difficult to master: She’s protecting them from the most intellectually demanding activities because she doesn’t understand what’s cognitively difficult and what isn’t. Practicing a piece of music for four hours requires focused attention, but it is nowhere near as cognitively demanding as a sleepover with 14-year-old […]

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Not Just Dumb and Greedy

January 22, 2011

Warren Buffet talks about a “natural progression”: First come the innovators, who see opportunities that others don’t and champion new ideas that create genuine value. Then come the imitators, who copy what the innovators have done. Sometimes they improve on the original idea, often they tarnish it. Last come the idiots, whose avarice undermines the […]

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The Bun Protocol

January 21, 2011

Henrik Kniberg comes up with an idea to handle client requests: You have 3 options: Eat it yourself Give it to somebody else Throw it away This is the same strand of thinking as the Monkey Management gurus and the “Getting Things Done” people. In general, all of these have answers to the same question: how […]

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The Social Network

January 20, 2011

I saw “The Social Network” on DVD the other day. Excellent movie, well worth watching. No surprise that it got the Golden Globe and possibly will get the Academy Award too. I don’t have much to say about the accuracy of the movie, except that even if everything was fiction, it is still an immensely […]

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Sorry Journalism

January 19, 2011

It is incredible how a news outfit can report without informing: Lakhani […] started investing for retirement […] putting his contributions mainly in international stocks and growth-oriented mutual funds. But since the crash of 2008, he’s gone mostly to cash, despite yields close to zero. “After seeing how quickly things can change in the market, I’ve learned […]

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Technology and Grammar

January 18, 2011

I am a little surprised that Farhad Manjoo missed out on one important reason for not using two spaces after each sentence: But I actually think aesthetics are the best argument in favor of one space over two. One space is simpler, cleaner, and more visually pleasing (it also requires less work, which isn’t nothing). […]

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Programmers and Micromanaging

January 17, 2011

Everybody hates managers who are fond of micro-managing. I suppose even the micro-managers realize this to some extent. So why do they keep doing it and not leave the rest of us alone? Well, one reason is that in the short run, Bad programmers exhibit better quality and productivity if they are micro-managed. While good programmers […]

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