Business Archives

The Quantified Programmer

Expanding on the thoughts in my last blog post about measuring opposing indicators I wanted to explore things from a different perspective. There is a growing community of people that measure and record as much as they possibly can about themselves.  This quantified Self movement is predominantly focused on health related aspects exemplified by the growing market for activity trackers..

Measure Opposing Indicators

All software developers know that measuring a developer’s productivity by counting lines of code written is not an effective way to measure their output.  The correlation between the technical difficulty of a problem and the number of lines of code is not always 1:1.  Which means that one developer can write 10 lines in a day and be very..

Don’t Write Code Unless You Use These 11 Tools

Do you want to write code faster, with fewer bugs, and feel confident that what you write is good? Over the years, programming has evolved, and many new platforms and tools have been created. Most of the tools aren’t very useful, but a few are. Here are the 11 tools that have helped make my programming a bit easier and more successful: Tool..

Why You Should Build Your Own Tools

Something has happened in the manufacturing world that is nearly irreparable.  As America moved production to China and downsized factories to realize the profit gains from low wage Chinese workers it also decimated an entire skill set from the national tool belt. When a factory tools up a new line to produce a new iPhone, sneakers or toy it is..

How to Get Things Done When You Have no Time

This last month or so has been a hell of a busy time for me.  Working long hours, with a 1 year old at home who needs attention while trying to squeeze in social events, exercise, sleep, reading and personal projects is a lot to juggle. How have I managed to rock a streak of 53 consecutive days with..

The Tragedy of Magic Code

There are many software platforms that offer ‘magic’ like ways to accomplish things. Ruby on Rails has a lot magic going on – pass in a string argument and it gets automatically pluralized, converted from snake case to elephant case, inferred as a class name in the global namespace, instantiated and connected to set of URL routes.  Magic code..

Exploratory Programming

One of the unexpected benefits of free coding daily is the chance to explore solutions to problems you have to work on that day. When you write code freely without considering the use of it there is less pressure to keep a poor implementation. It’s practice that is a way to boost your understanding of the problem before writing it for real. There are..

Study Open Source Applications

I came across an excellent resource last week that more people should know about. The Architecture for Open Source Applications is a series of books that examines how some of the best software ever written is designed. Programmers rarely get the chance to study the work of others in detail.  You learn the fundamentals in school but when it comes..

How to Provide a Great Estimate

Estimating the cost of developing software is difficult.  Very difficult. That’s because with each new project there are always unknowns, mis-interpretations and assumptions that are not communicated.  If the client knew exactly what they wanted then it would just be a matter of typing it up.  They hire you because they don’t know how to do it themselves. Agile development realizes..

How to Create a Billion $ Company in 8 Months

If you want to get a sense of just how crazy the world of technology is for businesses that want to make money you need look no further than Slack. For those of you unfamiliar with Slack.  They launched a product in February 2014 which is a private communication tool for business inspired by IRC. It has quickly grown to..