The Complexity Hammer

I’ve been doing a lot of interviewing lately, especially of college students.  There is one tendency I see a that really separates those that are good from those who still have more learning to do.  This is the tendency of the good programmers to see elegant solutions to problems and the corollary that less skilled…


A Taste of Stack Overflow DevDays

If you missed Stack Overflow DevDays, there is some audio from it available on Stack Overflow Podcast #71.  I wish there was a longer version of this.  It’s only about 1/2 hour of outtakes from the conference, but it is still interesting to hear.  These snippets are followed by a long discussion with some of…


Design Patterns Are Not Outdated

A comment left on my answer to a question over on Stack Overflow has me a little worked up.  I’ve seen this meme come out of programmers more and more and it just doesn’t seem accurate.  The statement goes something like this, “Design Patterns were only useful because C++ (or Java) was so broken.”  The…


StackOverflow DevDays

I spent the day at Benaroya Hall for the 1st (annual?) StackOverflow DevDays conference.  Overall eight speakers took the stage on topics from .Net MVC to Python to the Google App Engine.  The room appears to hold just over 500 people and it was filled to capacity with programmers.  There were some vendors in attendance…


Five Books To Read If You Want My Job

This came out of a conversation I had today with a few other test leads.  the question was, “What are the top 5 books you should read if you want my job?”  My job in this case being that of a test development lead.  At Microsoft that means I lead a team (or teams) of…


Some Programming Languages to Consider Learning

Learning a new programming language can affect the way you think.  While most modern languages are Turing Complete and can theoretically all accomplish the same things, that’s not practically true.  Each language has its own strengths of expressiveness.  For instance, trying to write dynamically typed code in C++ is possible, but a pain in the…


10 Papers Every Programmer Should Read

I’m always on the lookout for good reading material.  Michael Feathers over at ObjectMentor has served up a great post entitled 10 Papers Every Programmer Should Read.  I intend to.


Check Out Stack Overflow

I’ve recently become quite addicted to the website  It is a joint venture between Jeff Atwood and Joel Spolsky.  There is an accompanying podcast if you want to hear about the creation process.  The site itself is a question and answer site for programming questions.  Want to know how to do a simple Perl…


Improving Task Estimation Accuracy

In my opinion estimating how long it will take to write a piece of software is difficult if you haven’t done it before and with software we never have.  The more experience you have, the more you’ll have done similar things and thus the more accurate your estimates will be.  To help build this experience…


Using Perl for Mass In Place Editing

Have you ever wanted to update some text in a bunch of files all at once without a hassle?  I had reason to do this recently and turned to Perl for my solution.  Once I found the implementation quirks, it turned out to be quite easy.  This functionality is pretty well documented, but not for…