software development

Lines of Code is a Bad Metric, Either Way

October 7, 2012

The Dropbox team had a post explaining their decision to use CoffeeScript instead of JavaScript and, in particular, re-writing their existing codebase in CoffeeScript. In case you are unfamiliar with CoffeeScript, it is a language that compiles down into JavaScript, so you have the option to do new development in CoffeeScript while retaining your previous […]

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Reckless Debt versus Strategic Debt

August 25, 2012

Chris Eargle has a great article explaining that the term “technical debt” comprises both strategic debt and reckless debt: Technical debt accrues interest, and it must be paid back lest the interest payments (lost time) become too high for product maintenance and future development. If immediate business concerns outweigh future business concerns, it makes sense […]

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The Politics of Software Development

August 18, 2012

Steve Yegge has a couple of posts (here and here) expounding a new theory of thinking about software engineering. As he says, 1) Software engineering has its own political axis, ranging from conservative to liberal. […] 2) The notions of “conservative” and “liberal” on this political axis are specialized to software engineering. But they exhibit some […]

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The Pokayoke Software Development Guide

July 1, 2012

Aaron Swartz has written up a guide for software development from idea to launch. He calls it “The Pokayoke Guide to Developing Software”. I was unfamiliar with the word “Pokayoke”, but it means mistake-proofing, i.e., “eliminate product defects by preventing, correcting, or drawing attention to human errors as they occur”. Developing software from zero to […]

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The Rusting of Software

May 23, 2012

One project I have been working on recently is a code upgrade of an existing enterprise web application. It is not a re-engineering effort, but instead only consists of necessary code changes to get the application working with the latest versions of the system software. The application had been in use for several years, and […]

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How Many Hours Can a Programmer Program?

January 5, 2012

I am a little late to this party where Michael Arrington says that startups mean working hard and sleeping under your desk. But I will add a few words. I read a lot of commentary about how such death marches can be counter-productive and ultimately unsuccessful, and also the real dangers they pose to the […]

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The Resistance Against Requirements Specifications

November 21, 2011

Martin Fowler re-posted this article from 2004: Tests are always going to be incomplete, so they always have to be backed up with other mechanisms. Being the twisted mind that I am, I actually see this as a plus. Since it’s clear that Specification By Example isn’t enough, it’s clear that you need to do […]

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Recommendation Engines

October 9, 2011

I just finished reading “Collective Intelligence in Action”, a book by Satyam Alag about using information from user actions to improve the working and usability of applications. This is a field that has seen much interest in recent years given that most web applications, especially Web 2.0 apps, have massive amounts of data flowing through […]

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Making Time for Hobby Programming

September 22, 2011

I noticed a couple of comments on DZone about programmers with family not having the time to do hobby projects. As I wrote about my own experiences having a child, I really empathize with such concerns. It is not easy. It is really hard to do a fair job with your parenting and family responsibilities […]

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Software Development While Having a Child

September 18, 2011

One thing that always seems to come up when discussing about programming outside of work is the question of what to do when you have a family? Don’t you have responsibilities towards your spouse and children? Don’t they deserve your time? Can you simply lock the door to your home office room and ignore everything […]

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