Software Development

Developer Fail

As you can see from the date of this post and the date of the previous post (about 5.5 months between them), my goal of getting AuditShark to alpha status at the end of July was, needless to say, a bit late. In fact, I wasn’t particularly thrilled by the sound of that self-imposed deadline…

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Troubleshoot Your Problems by Going Back to Basics

Whenever I do consulting work for a customer who is having serious problems, I tend to look at the basics first. And I mean the extreme basics. Things like computer names, network routes, DNS resolution, Active Directory membership, etc. I’m going to stereotype a bit here and say that the people I work with who’ve…

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You! Get out of my Industry!

I think that there comes a time in every halfway decent developers’ life when he realizes that he’s halfway decent and the world is full of people who couldn’t program their way out of a wet paper bag. I’m not referring to the noobs who troll forums asking for help and are truly trying to…

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Demote Your Product Manager, Release Better Software

When it comes to software, my second biggest pet peeve is software that doesn’t work. By that I mean software that blatantly doesn’t do things that it should fundamentally be able to do. For example, things like… I don’t know… like maybe changing the administrator password of the application to something other than “admin” without…

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How to Make Developer Certifications That Matter

In general, I’ve found that the number of certifications a developer has is usually inversely proportional to their actual skill. Most people I talk to would agree. But why is this? There’s one simple answer.

The certification system for developers is fundamentally broken.

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Optimize Your Code!!!

Last December, Jeff Atwood of Coding Horror wrote that Hardware is cheap, Programmers are expensive. While I certainly agree with the spirit of his premise and eventual conclusion, it is only applicable if you are running Software as a Service. But he doesn’t say this and I wonder if it was an oversight, or if he forgets what it’s like to ship software to other people. There is clearly a case to be made for telling developers to optimize their code in shipping products.

The problem lies in the very first step where there are some major underlying assumptions which you can infer from the list.

1. This is your budget we’re talking about.
2. You have the budget and means to upgrade the hardware.
3. The software isn’t a dog out of the box.

The final assumption is worth taking note of and is the real reason for this post, so let me give you an example. Or “the” example, rather.

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For Love Or Money

I wrote this article the day that Bill Gates announced he was leaving Microsoft to pursue a career as a philanthropist. It sat on the shelf until about two weeks ago when I started helping Rob Walling edit his article Nine Things Developers Want More Than Money. I couldn’t help but be reminded of it,…

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Code Writing Code

I’m not sure why I hadn’t thought of this sooner, but in a very small software company, using a code generator would not only seem to be a great time saver, but would be an invaluable tool for creating vast quantities of reusable, high quality code. This is assuming of course that you do a…

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How to focus on quality

Focus on Quality. It sounds innocent enough. Just make sure you do everything perfectly, or at least as perfectly as you are able. If only it were as simple as that. I distinctly recall during my younger years as a developer, believing firmly that if software you wrote had bugs in it that you were…

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Quality is not a feature

For the past several weekends, I have been entrenched in the truly terrible task of stripping wallpaper and getting the walls ready for painting. I’m probably about as far from being a violent person as you can be without actually being a pacifist, but were Jean-Michel Papillon still alive today, I’d probably beat him to…

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