Midnight Movies

Back in the 80’s, you couldn’t swing a Members Only jacket over your shoulder without hitting a theater that featured midnight movies on Friday and Saturday nights. In our town, the best spot for midnight shows was a two-screen theater tucked in a strip center along with an Albertsons, Cool Cuts and a night club….

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Cliff’s Notes

Literature students were not supposed to read Cliff’s (or Monarch) Notes. It violated the unwritten oath of office, running contrary to the very crux of that office and made a mockery of every single dead poet, novelist, and author of any repute. The rule wasn’t formal; there was no blood oath you had to swear…

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Herb and Slim

I spent time some time frequenting two arcades right next to a large university down there in Texas. It was the middle of the 80’s and the arcades catered to the college-age crowd which meant they let you game with a Coke and a bag of Cheetos if that was your thing. My thing was…

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Patron Poets

Could Dylan Thomas be the Patron Poet of developers? Here In This Spring   Here in this spring, stars float along the void; Here in this ornamental winter Down pelts the naked weather; This summer buries a spring bird.   Symbols are selected from the years’ Slow rounding of four seasons’ coasts, In autumn teach…

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Meomories of II

The Woz is speaking at Microsoft today. Some people can trace their family history with a certain amount of pride. “My ancestor tuned Mozart’s piano” or “my family was one of the original families of the Mayflower”. Like one of those stickers you see on the back of a mini-van: My kid is an honor…


Say What You Mean

The documentation tells you how to do something but not why you are doing it. Haven’t we all felt this way about documentation at one point in our software developer careers? It is a feeling not frequently voiced directly to writers; it lurks below the surface of other comments like: I did this step but…

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Paradigm Shift

What are the necessary conditions for a paradigm shift in programming? Off the top of my head: Dramatic change in how solutions are expressed (syntax shift) Exponential increase in developer productivity Improved application support and maintenance (fewer bugs, better docs, etc) Better process woven in to system The most important condition is a change in…


The Ballad of Buster Baxter

Art Garfunkle sings on an episode of Arthur. For those of you with young children, or with no cable and reception good enough only for PBS, you are likely familiar with the episode — The Ballad of Buster Baxter — and may have been fortunate enough to see it a few times. It is about Buster…


Call of the Wild Again

As an independent contractor, I prefered to work with a small set of professionals. These were folks who had established their reputations with me and with each other and could be trusted in the trenches when the client was lobbing change requests at us like grenades. These were people that I had worked with from…

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Call of the Wild

One thing I noticed while living the glamorous life of a consultant in the greater DC metro area was the daily struggle of the Developer. Developers as a species do not have it much easier than any other species. They arise early (or late depending upon the gig and the boss), run through morning chores…

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