Monday, April 18, 2011

FTP is 40 years old this week

The idea of transferring files between computers has been around since networking began, but this protocol is the one that has survived the longest.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Have Fun Learing!

Did you ever want to spend team time to learn a new skill or hone an existing one? Here is a site that lists lots of games to play that are centered on software development teams. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Just missed TEDxOKC - Doh!

Someone just told me that a TED conference was going to be held in OKC and when I looked it up, I found I just missed it! Ack.

You can go to their website and sign up for their newsletter, twitter feed and facebook page to keep in touch.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Stop wasting time debugging - advice from a sage

"If you want more effective programmers, you will discover that they should not waste their time debugging - they should not introduce the bugs to start with" - Edsger Dijkstra 1972 "The Humble Programmer"

When Edsger Dijkstra said this, he was speaking about a vision of the future where programming practices would drastically change. In this article, he wrote about 'The Software Crisis' and the resulting revolution. He predicted that anyone wishing to deliver reliable software would find a way to do so more quickly, which led to the quote above.

How much have we progressed?

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Adrenaline Junkies and Template Zombies: Understanding Patterns of Project Behavior - a review

I've been reading "Adrenaline Junkies and Template Zombies" by the whole Atlantic Systems Guild crew, Tom DeMarco, Peter Hruschka, Tim Lister, Steve McMenamin, James Robertson, and Suzanne Robertson. You'll recognize Tom DeMarco and Tim Lister as the authors of Peopleware.

This is an easy and enjoyable read where you can see different patterns (and anti-patterns) for people, teams and organizations. Anyone at any level of the organization that is interested in trying to understand how people and teams work would enjoy this book.

Among the great quotes they cite in the book is this one.

“The correct amount of anarchy on a project is not zero.” —Mike Mushet

You'll laugh when you see some of the bad behaviors "others" engage in and cry when you see yourself. The book is a few years old, but it is something I expect will stay on my bookshelf for a very long time.

The roots of Design Patterns go as back as far as the 1960s

If you are not familiar with design patterns, look here.

In 1964, Christopher Alexander wrote a book called 'Notes on the Synthesis of Form' for architects and civil engineers to help them cope with incomplete and contradictory requirements during their design process. He suggests they simplify the process by looking at just the abstract elements and build a model that meets the basic requirements. This is followed by his contribution to the 1977 book 'A Pattern Language' where these abstract elements are standardized into a pattern that is applied to the overall design. This second book strongly influenced a paper on some patterns for smaltalk in 1987 which influenced the seminal work, 'Design Patterns: Elements of Object-Oriented Software' in 1994.