Programming Problems in Disguise

September 12, 2009
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Have you ever written a parser for a configuration file?  Or a data driven interpreter which walks through data, and dispatches appropriate actions?  I’ve written too many to count, and more than half of them were a waste of time. They were a waste of time because they were programming problems in disguise.
A classical disguised [...]

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Why Your Metrics Suck

September 7, 2009
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They say you can’t control what you can’t measure. How else would you know if it’s getting better or worse, right? This is true, sort of, if you know what you’re doing.
You can measure the weather but you can’t control it. What you measure, and how, sets limits to how useful your measurements can [...]

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Inside Tips for Making Me Hire You

September 2, 2009
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My post on recruitment mistakes was intended for managers trying to find software developers. This post is for those on the other side of the table: you, the developer, trying to land a job. Here’s how to make your job application stand out, and how to impress me in the subsequent interview.
This is [...]

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How to Start Innovating and Make Work Fun Again

August 27, 2009
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Is there always something on your to-do list? Is your project manager constantly barraging you with task after task after task? Is there an “innovation initiative” going on in your company, but somehow nobody seems to be doing all that innovating?
If this sounds like your company, I have good news for you. [...]

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How to Distribute Commercial Python Applications

August 24, 2009
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Most of us in the software business are not in a position to release our source code to the public.  As much as I love free and open source software, I also understand it’s not part of all business models.  Python is enjoying commercial success, but perhaps less so in cases where end-users actually install [...]

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Why Write Code When You Can Remove Some?

August 20, 2009
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Some of the most satisfying commits I’ve ever done were the ones where I got to remove a lot of old cruft.
As your codebase grows older, it will accrue technical debt. It comes in many forms, but sometimes the most straightforward cure is to cut the bad parts out.
I’m not talking just about dead [...]

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The Single Most Effective Thing Which Improved My Programming Skills

August 17, 2009
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I always thought of myself as a pretty hot-shot programmer.  I had been programming since I was a kid.  It wasn’t hard to find my first programming job.  Quickly, I recognized that I had much more programming experience than some of my older coworkers.  Comfortable with my skills, I took it easy…  I took it [...]

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Do You Make These Mistakes When Recruiting Software Developers?

August 13, 2009
Failed.

Picture the last time you were hiring.  Did you have trouble finding the best programmers and technical talent?
Well, chances are you’re doing it wrong.
Here’s my top list of big mistakes I’ve seen or done myself, and some helpful pointers on how to avoid them.
Do you post boring job ads?
The world is full of ordinary and [...]

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6 Tips for Small Software Vendors to Understand Enterprise Customers

August 10, 2009
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Building software for enterprise customers is a very different experience from building software for home users, for example. If you’re working for a small software company, it can be sometimes difficult to understand how big corporations work.

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Night Time is the Right Time

August 6, 2009
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There’s clearly a pattern here. Good code happens at night. Night time is the right time… for coding. Sometimes, for me, at least.

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