Sharp Programmers Like To Kick Butt

When you are working around sharp programmers, one of the biggest challenges can be staying out of their way.

What is even more counter-intuitive is that staying out of their way can mean challenging them to the maximum, and seeing to it that they stay challenged on a consistent basis.

Never realized until this week, how much harder that makes a manager's job. Read more »

TVOM: Time Value of Money

TVOM is the elephant in the living room of software development.

Tool vendors create Value expressed as Time, and then comes their own tradeoff - a sucking sound that is supposed to be music to the developer's ears. If only that tradeoff was really music. Read more »

Decided On Ivy Instead Of Maven

Spent the last couple of days trying to set up an implementation of ant's ivy. This team is going to ant, but no way will they move to maven. So Ivy is the natural companion, I figured.

OK, couple of days is an exaggeration. I spent the last couple of days studying and reading all about it between interruptions, either way it took all my available extra time. Read more »

If a developer considered sales as part of his job, it might alter the process quite a bit.. My current boss says he considers me "a change agent" which is a fancy term for a "pain in the butt", far as I can tell. "You're not going to propose that we use groovy or grails or maven again, are you?"

A new technology, on my current assignment, is defined as anything that came on the scene after 1999, far as I can tell. Ant is a new technology, for example. :( Read more »

It's Not About Java, So All We Had Was Java Guys

Business Rules is about taking your if/then logic out of the [java/other] programs and giving it to the business expert guys to handle, so of course we only had java guys last night. Makes sense eh? Actually it's been that way for years here, our java users' group  is so strong that when you announce stuff there, that's where you get the stuff going.

It does actually take a java programmer to get things going most of the time, because externalizing rules for the first time really is a programmer's task. After all Read more »

Managing developers is an art, just ask anyone who ever had to manage me before. I cringe at the thought.

Much is on instinct, sure. Some is just calibration, keeping an eye and ear out for things that people do or say, even their eye and body movements if you are into that stuff. But this is quite different when the person is remote and you may never see them face to face, even for several years working closely together. Read more »

I used to be in an industry where results mattered, but that was only because the customer already knew what he wanted. This was 20 years ago, and I built physical things-  software was just something I wrote to support the real work.

Defining Terms: "Results Matter"  in this usage means that I am expected to perform against a clearly defined and understood performance benchmark. Type "abc" tile costs $4 a foot to get installed, that kind of thing. Read more »

Grails gets selected for our 2008 project !

Funny thing that Grails went from being the red-headed step child to favored son here at work, in a very short couple of months.

Came about because we had a few days to do R&D in November, and with that little amount of time I couldn't risk a failed project. So I wrote a quickie persistence app for our Flex prototype in Grails, even though I had never done a Grails project in my life. Read more »

If I had a better imagination, I would probably find better things to do with programming than handle financial transactions and media and documents and such. Instead I sit here in a cubicle staring at 2d screens, writing programs that automate finanancial transactions.

When I was growing up in the 1950s and 1960s, I read Boys Life and Mechanics Illustrated which gave us wild ideas of what would happen in the future. Wow, things were going to be great ! Read more »

Yesterday I got asked What are my principles for sofware development ? Not just my strategy and tactics, but the high level rules that determined them. A bit of a challenge eh ?.  Uber-rules or something like that.

Kept it to 7, more than that and it's not principles. How's this ? Read more »