Legacy Code Rocks May 11, 2022

I was recently interviewed by Scott and Andrea of Legacy Code Rocks. We had a really great conversation about software engineering and dealing with legacy code. It was really enjoyable. I think we hit on some important topics. There are a lot of good insights. It is worth taking a listen.

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New Website May 04, 2022

You may have noticed that we've updated our website. The old site was getting kind of dated. I hired a marketing guy a few years and it's been on our list of things to do ever since, but we finally got around to it.

We've moved from WordPress to Kajabi. It hasn't been painless. It was a lot of...

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Painless Functional Specs Part 1 coding philosophy sam on joel Apr 27, 2022

 

This Joel article came out after the Joel Test. One of the aspects of the Joel Test is having a spec. Apparently, Joel got some pushback on that so he launched into a series of articles on Painless Functional Specs. This is the first.

A Product of It’s Time

Specs – Again, trying to be more agile, I am not really a fan of detailed requirement specs. What I am a fan of is collecting actual user stories and reviewing and prioritizing them with the customer regularly and clearly communicating when there are questions instead of making assumptions. So I would ask “How often do you meet with your customers to discuss your progress and prioritize future work?”
My take...
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Technical Debt In Practice book reviews software engineering Apr 20, 2022

I met Julien Delange a few months ago. He runs a company called codiga.io It is a support tool to help developers write better code. It is a web based tool that acts kind of like VI analyzer and will analyze your code and flag problems and make suggestions. It also has some IDE integrations....

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Do we really need more features? coding philosophy software engineering Apr 13, 2022
Youtube screenshot. 3 participants in a triagle. 2 top veritices show 2 white males. Bottom vertex shows an older couple.

I was listening to an interview with Mary and Tom Poppendieck on Mob Mentality. Mary had some very interesting thoughts about adding features.

Mary starts by making a very simple observation. As projects grow larger they inherently get more complex and that complexity makes it harder...

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What a crossword puzzle can teach us about programming continuous integration software engineering unit testing Apr 06, 2022
On the left a USA Today Crossword puzzle, showing a bunch of clues filled out, with the hints off to the left. All the clues are just normal text. On the right a blown up image showing a few of the squares. One of the words has each of its letters crossed out with a red slash.
This is the USA Today Crossword puzzle. The left is in expert mode. Note there is no feedback. The right shows the same crossword puzzle in casual mode with some feedback. Note that the word burn is a 4-letter word that mears scorch, but is not the correct word. In expert mode, there is no way...
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Bug Bounty BootCamp Book Review book reviews Mar 30, 2022

Being a programmer, cybersecurity is an important topic. I’ve been interested in it for a while. I listen to Security Now and Darknet Diaries and have been to various hackathons. I even signed up for HackerOne. I felt like I’ve just been dabbling in it though. This book is...

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Character Sets sam on joel Mar 23, 2022

So here is another article inspired by Joel on Software. In this article, titled The Absolute Minimum Every Software Developer Absolutely, Positively Must Know About Unicode and Character Sets (No Excuses!), Joel talks about the importance of understanding Unicode and...

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Simplicity of Design frameworks software engineering Mar 16, 2022

I recently read XP Explained. It had a section on page 109 where it talked about simplicity. I often talk about the importance of simplicity. In fact, it’s on my list of fundamental assumptions about coding. In XP Explained, Kent Beck lists 4 criteria to evaluate how simple a...

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Sandworm book reviews Mar 09, 2022

Given all the stuff going on in Ukraine right now, this is a highly relevant book. The author tracks down a group of Russian Hackers called Sandworm (a reference to Dune). They are part of the GRU. They were responsible for a variety of attacks, mostly centered around Ukraine and their power...

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XP Explained book reviews coding philosophy software engineering Mar 02, 2022
 Extreme Programming Explained
Extreme Programming Explained

This book is considered a classic for a reason. It’s inspired a lot of coders over the years. I think the first time I had heard about it was from Stephen Loftus Mercer talking about pair programming. I’ve heard a lot about XP over the years since...

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Rename AF Message software tools Feb 23, 2022

I inherited a project written using Actor Framework recently. I started to do a little refactoring to make it easier to add some of the changes I needed to make, following Kent Beck’s idea of “First make the change easy, then make the easy change.”

Tweet from Kent Beck: "For each desired change, make the change easy (warning: this may be hard), then make the easy change."
Some wisdom from Kent Beck

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