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.

Apr 17 2010

More Hats, More Problems

Software users didn’t take Knuth in college and you should not expect them to have a Computer Science degree to understand how to use your application. There is no worse assumption that a software programmer can make than to assume that end users know what you are talking about, especially when there is so much miscommunication involved in specifying, designing, implementing, testing, and releasing a software application within an internal team. Your users don’t understand your language, they don’t understand what you mean when you say object-oriented, exception handling, concatenated document, application server log file, null pointer, database query and they don’t care so don’t use these expressions in labels or descriptions in your UI! If you have to explain your User Interface to a end user, your are doing usability wrong. Forget leaky abstraction, there is nothing worse than leaky implementation details in your UI. If your users have to use suspended disbelief and take your word for it to understand how your User Interface works, you should go back to the drawing board.

One of the reasons why the User Interface and User Experience is so horrible in applications, especially internal and enterprise applications, is that they are done by programmers, usually prototyped quickly, and shipped soon thereafter. The truth is that programmers have to wear multiple hats, depending of your company size, these included tester, computer programmer, domain expert, UI designer, type editor, IT, security guru, database administrator, system architect, document writer, and more. In addition of having to fill all of these roles, there usually must be done in a tight deadline with many technology risks, unknown factors untested partners, and already late dependencies.

The simple fact is that the more hats a programmer wears the less productive he will be. If you have programmer having to manage your version control system, update your application UI, and debug memory you are not getting your monies worth. The more hats you have developers wear, the more time it will take to context switch, the more time you spend tracking down issues, and the more you pay in the end.