Learning under fire. Is there any other way? =P

I’m one of those folks who prefers to test the depth of a river with both feet, and this learning mode from CodeAcademy appeals to me. Codecademy does a pretty good job, but one group of programmers wanted to make it a little more accessible. Enter CodeCombat, a browser-based game where your in-game actions are…

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Who is the next dinosaur?

Maybe it’s midlife. Maybe it’s too much free time. Maybe it’s just a side effect for designing the next generation platform for something… Whatever the root cause, I’ve been pondering lately what’s going to be the next Legacy Technology™. I think Hal may have a viable theory. Oh, you developers will go nuts. You’ll find…

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Do we really need a manifesto for software craftsmanship?

This seems like a reaction to, maybe an extension of, the Agile Manifesto. I don’t see anything that I object to, but maybe that’s just because I (and the teams I lead who adopted and signed the Agile Manifesto) believed those “implementation details” were already covered. Not only working software, but also well-crafted software Not…

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Pirates are customers, too?

Leave it to Valve to find the sunny side of piracy. "We take all of our games day-and-date to Russia," Holtman said. "The reason people pirated things in Russia is because Russians are reading magazines and watching television. They say ‘Man, I want to play that game so bad,’ but the publishers respond ‘you can…

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Self-fulfilling prophecies in computer science education?

Everybody has heroes. Bjarne is one of mine. If I have to explain why to you, then you wouldn’t understand even if I did try to ‘splain it. Heh. (That comment will be funnier later in this post, if you like irony.) I’ve done some recruiting events for Microsoft at my alma mater (the University…

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Voice Command: FORMAT C: [ENTER]

Well, that’s how the joke used to go about Vista voice command… Apparently somebody thought it would be fun to actually implement something similar in their mobile o/s. On purpose or not. Heh. The bug can hardly be called a security problem, given it requires access to the handset, but the fact that until the…

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Developers MERGE thyselves?

I was reading this CIO.com article a while back and wondering if “database developers” and “regular developers” agree. As Microsoft sees it, the roles of the database-centric developer and "regular" developer are less distinct than they once were, so the company is merging its VSTS database and development products. As of October 1, those who…

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I’ve had data days like that…

Brian Walker has a good pair of articles on Thou Shalt Nots™: I had the chance to examine three business databases in five weeks and I’m still staggered by what I found. These are SQL Server databases serving as critical business foundations for companies generating millions of dollars in revenue per year. Every day, hundreds…

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Can you tell a great architect from a bad one?

Since I’m going to be sitting as a panel member on an MCA review board soon, I’d like to think I can, but apparently some researchers are having trouble… Highly capable designers have an incentive to choose somewhat more difficult designs to better prove their talent, while less-capable designers have an incentive to choose highly…

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Gender neutral code? Srsly?

Admittedly being from Mars, my reaction to the this little piece is predictable… I won’t bore you with my witty repartee (yes, that’s a redundant phrase) involving Emma, my code and a kitchen. (Yes, I’m pretty much overdue for sensitivity training, and when my wife reads this, I’ll be back in the doghouse for a…

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