I listen to the podcast Data Driven. One of the questions that they ask all their guests is: What do you think is the coolest thing in technology? This article is my answer to that. The short version is: standards, and the benefits they bring to users. The longer version is below. Standards might seem … Continue reading The coolest thing in technology?
A little while ago, I was asked “What makes software good?”, which was followed up by “How do you end up with good software?”. I thought that they were excellent questions, and I will give my answers below. I don't claim to have the answer, just an answer. I’ll try to limit esprit d’escalier / … Continue reading Good software and how to get it
There was a tweet about how tech companies measure people by the impact they make. I replied in the common terse Twitter way, and I want to expand on that here. I think that there are few different ways in which someone can add value in a software development team, and they're not all equally … Continue reading Different ways people add value in a software development team
Seeing how unimportant the chess board and pieces seemed to Beth Harmon in the TV series The Queen’s Gambit, and a recent Software Engineering Radio podcast on The Programmer’s Brain made me think about how programmers work. How much of it is using tools out in the real world, and how much goes on inside … Continue reading Brains, tools, chess and programming
This is a follow-up article to my recent article on Senior Software Engineers. The reason why I’m doing a follow-up so soon is because some interesting and useful points came up in a Twitter conversation about it, and I want to capture and build on those. The points concern different ways of looking at power … Continue reading Senior software engineers, power and freedom
A friend recently asked for some advice in writing her CV (résumé) and suggested I turn what I told her into a blog post, so here it is. I don't claim to be an expert in CV writing; these are just the ramblings of some random bloke on the internet. I hope you find them … Continue reading CV tips
Some Senior Software Engineers feel they must win every argument, which I think is a bad idea. Not only is this bad for the team, it’s bad for the Senior Software Engineer as an individual. In this article I’ll explore this a bit, with the analogy of Top Trumps. It’s also related to the strong … Continue reading Senior software engineers, authority and ability
Are you always your best self when you’re online or otherwise using your computer / tablet / phone? No, I'm not either. Given how much of life is moderated by a screen, and how imperfect a window to the world that screen can be, is it any wonder? This imperfect window hides from us important … Continue reading A prayer before going online
In this article I will talk about two things that have influenced how I approach my craft, which is programming. They appear to be contradictory, but I think I can live with both at once. This is an area where everyone has to work things out for themselves. I’m not trying to preach; just talk … Continue reading Influences on me as a programmer
I talk about data a bit here, but this is a bit different from what I normally write. I was opening the packet inside a box of cereal and wondered how many times I'd done that over my life. These thoughts started rattling around my head, so I've put them down here partly to get … Continue reading Measurements that matter?