Apr 7 2012

Retweet March 2012

From time to time I just blast tweets about software development, project planning, team dynamics, or whatever else comes to mind. Here is a synopsis of recent tweets and rants. If you want to follow the conversation follow me at techknow and/or juixe.

Software Development

  • Say no to consultant code. No to complacent code. No to sloppy and crappy code. No to cut and past code.
  • Developing a machine learning algorithm so we don’t have to learn anymore.
  • Hacking, art or science!?
  • Great hacking weather… Well most weather is great hacking weather as long as your computer don’t overheat.
  • What would an autonomous algorithm do?
  • Sex, drugs, and hacking.
  • You don’t go on Hacker News to show off your project, act arrogant that it’s a closed network, and not expect someone to hack a clone.
  • Nothing worse than setting a test to run overnight only to have a Windows update restart your computer in the middle of the test/night.
  • Refactor with conviction.
  • Building on assumptions is like building on quicksand.
  • When in doubt, step through it in a debugger.

Team Leadership

  • Every problem is an opportunity in the rough.
  • Mo’ money, mo’ problems. Mo’ problems, mo’ opportunity.
  • Ask the right questions is better than making the wrong assumptions.
  • Everything is mental, even when it’s physical.
  • Being successful means you are only a mistake away from not.
  • Don’t use the fact you don’t know a fact as a reason for not knowing it.
  • Just because a team member knows one thing does not excuse the rest of the team from learning for themselves and knowing it too.
  • A team is composed of a group of individuals, but a group of individuals is not a team.

Product Placement

  • Google used to be a search engine and return search results now it wants to be an answer engine and return you the answer.
  • What do you call a Pinterest user? Pinner? Pinhead?
  • Facebook IPO: it’s complicated.
  • How hard is it to add filters to Flickr’s iPhone app?
  • These @calottery lotto ticket should have a QR code so that I can quickly scan to see if I’m a winner.
  • The Google of today is the sort of operation that Sergey and Larry originally set out to disrupt.
  • Somewhere some evil genius is building a super computer out of a cluster of The New iPad.
  • AT&T is in the phone business, so of course when you call customer support they will always have you call someone else who transfers you that gives you a different number that redials…

Quote

  • P.S. GitHub sorry, I was bored. — Egor Homakov, the guy that hacked GitHub
  • I have never seen someone try so hard for attention while looking so atrocious at the same time. -Anna Wintour on Nicki Minaj
  • I would give my life for her but she also wants me to do the dishes. – Hellboy

Questions

  • Are you killing time or is time killing you?
  • Do The Simpsons pay royalties for basing their episodes on popular movies?
  • Why do single people love cats?
  • Why is it that sometimes when you don’t do a thing people notice, but when you do they don’t?
  • Which would you prefer, an iPad with a keyboard or a net book?
  • If you could only attain one thing which would you choose, money, happiness, or longevity?

Randumb

  • Fear is free but it will cost you opportunities.
  • Ideas are cheap, but originality will cost you.
  • Hot sauce makes everything better.
  • The odds of you being a loser are better than you winning the lottery.
  • There are people I follow on Twitter that I would never follow in real life, who I would rather push of a cliff in real life.
  • Complainers are worse than haters.
  • College is not for the uber successful.
  • future obituary: died of chili cheese fries.
  • “Really? Really?” Is the new “Oh My God”
  • The term “gateway drug” doesn’t make sense, if you are already doing a drug, you are already past the gateway for drugs.
  • Power drinks are the new gateway drugs.
  • Power drinks are making me fat and jittery.
  • All advice is relative, especially advice from a relative.
  • Life is a journey not a destination, death in the other hand seems like the destination.

Mar 26 2012

The Code Rules

Rules to code by…

  • No consultant code.
  • No complacent code.
  • No crappy and sloppy code.
  • No cut and past code.

Oct 30 2011

Retweet September 2011

From time to time I just blast tweets about software development, project planning, team dynamics, or whatever else comes to mind. Here is a synopsis of recent tweets and rants. If you want to follow the conversation follow me at techknow and/or juixe.

Software Development

  • Code. Money. Respect.
  • Software bugs don’t take anything personally.
  • Code more, sleep less.
  • DONT THREAD ON ME

Thought Leadership

  • Just having a goal is often times more important than the goal itself.
  • Word programming, i.e. writing TPS reports.
  • Code Complete = Tests + Implementation.

Product Placement

  • Google is the casino, or better yet the Goldman Sachs, of online identity, ads, and search. You don’t bet against the house.
  • What is cloud-accelerated web browser? Learning about Amazon Silk, the web browser in Amazon’s Kindle Fire.
  • The project code name for the iPhone’s auto correct is auto cucumber.
  • Spike TV should rename itself to Star Wars TV and the History Channel to Ancient Aliens Channel.

Money Angels

  • Dr Evil is starting a venture fund.
  • If Dr. Evil would have taken his Evil Corp. Public he would have made $1 billion on an IPO. And maybe Google would have bought his company.

Question

  • How many uses can you think of for a paper clip?
  • Where in the food pyramid is candy corn?
  • Is Meg Whitman the new Carol Bartz?
  • Are you changing the world or is the world changing you?
  • What is the person equivalent to having your car lifted up in the air and balancing its tires?

Randumb

  • The Internet made me do it.
  • It’s easy to earn money while you sleep, if you sleep on the job.
  • You are more likely to die due to medical error than a car accident. So if you are in a car accident, don’t go to the hospital, just walk it off.
  • If I could get a nickel every time someone gives me their two cents I would arbitrage people’s opinions.
  • Living the Internet lifestyle.
  • If you don’t want your naked picture hacked from your phone don’t take naked picture of yourself on your phone.
  • There are proposed bills that will make activities such as posting a lip sync video on YouTube a federal crime punishable with jail time.
  • Forget the war on drugs, in the future there will be a war on content.
  • History is not made, it is written, edited, scripted, and appropriated by Hollywood as a blockbuster movie about mutant super heroes.
  • I predict the past.
  • Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, behold yourself.
  • This is not Sparta!
  • Love me, hate me, but you thinking of me.
  • Love it or hate it, take it or leave it.
  • I love love and hate hate.

Overheard

  • OH: When you frown you look like a Klingon.
  • OH: Is everyone in the call on mute?
  • OH: My dress code is to try not to show my butt cheeks.

In Da Future

  • In the future, everyone will be a product guy.
  • In the future, Facebook will be your permanent record.
  • In the future, the revolution will start with a single tweet.
  • In the future, when people say they are going outside the grid, they will mean they aren’t logged into Facebook.
  • In the future, Android developers will need to program using the Android SDK and the phone maker’s proprietary SDK, and the carriers’s SDK.

Million Idea

  • Million Dollar Idea: A treadmill with a weight scale.
  • Million Dollar idea: there is so much artificial flavoring, color, and seasoning in food. Patent dinosaur meat flavoring.
  • Million Dollar Idea: Car alarm system that steams video of the surroundings of your car and scans for perps faces.
  • Million Dollar idea: wasabi guacamole
  • Million Dollar Idea: Carfax for people, including driving record, background check, work history, etc.
  • Million Dollar idea: pepperoni pizza flavored breath mints.

Oct 12 2011

The Four A’s of Email

I like to adhere to the AAAA rule of email. The four A’s of email reminds you to check you email for four items before you click the send button. Check and double check for correct Address, correct Attachments, correct Attitude and tone and state an Action you want from a recipient.

Recently, a developer in distress sent the following email to the whole company.

I can’t delete any data from any UI screen.

That test doesn’t read like an email, it doesn’t even make sense as a tweet, it’s like an unfortunate cookie message. The email should not have been sent to the whole team, which include sales people, it is to vague, does not have any clear action or request.

Communication is vital for any team and the teams running on full speed need the right level of communication in the right medium. If you are interested in learning how to effectively use email to communicate with your team I recommend the following posts.

There is a fifth A; don’t be an Ass.


Oct 4 2011

People Over Process

Processes are supposed to support people, not people support processes. A process should be documented in one document or checklist or directory or wiki or website that everyone has access to. Everyone should have a copy readily available. It should not be outlined in emails or sporadically over several documents across different locations. Always review the process and remove friction. Try to minimize steps when possible, centralize the information, anoint clear responsibilities, build in safety nets, empower developer to make decisions, let it grow as the team grows. Automate the process as much as you can, make reports people can use, make everyone’s progress visible. For some certain teams, there is diminishing returns for adding more processes.


Oct 1 2011

Team We

Even when I have been the sole developer in a class, interface, module, library, or feature I try to always report progress as “We.” For defects and issues it’s always easy to point out the fault and personalize the problem when it was caused by someone else. Avoid naming names or singling out an individual. Saying “Your broke this” doesn’t make you look better or solve the issue. Restate it as “This was broken by this change list you committed on this date while trying to resolve this other issue.” Don’t personalize blame or fault, and provide as much information as you can gather to better solve the issue. Don’t stop when you find something is broken, or when you find who broke it, find out why it was broken in the first place, and if at all possible suggest viable solutions.

A few days ago, a engineer called me over for some help. He immediately started making using accusatory language as if I had committed some crime. “There is a bug and you wrote this so you did it and you didn’t do it well because there is a bug.” He was pointing to 20 lines of code that I had written over a year ago in a much larger feature whose requirements had changed over time and because of his tone and desperation in his voice I could tell he was lost just dropped the anchor of blame wherever he could. I tried to get focus to the task at hand an not my code and asked a series of questions, what does the system do now? What should the system do? Does this always happen? What is unique when there is an error? Using this approach we found the issue in 10 minutes without staring down the code or focusing who wrote what method.