I recently noticed myself using gendered language to talk about computer things where gender was irrelevant. This got me thinking about language, and prejudice and discrimination, more broadly. Beyond the obvious, decency-related reasons, being more open to how people are different from you could help you do your job in IT. Gendered magic The trigger … Continue reading Language, discrimination and software development
This is part two of a series on obsolescence, value, cost and things like that. It's mostly about computer hardware and software, but drawing on other things too. Cars and computersBuilding to last Boots and white goods The Discworld books by Terry Pratchett are full of wisdom. (They also have interesting characters, humour, and an … Continue reading Obsolescence – building to last
Even by my standards, this is going to be a random walk of an article. Actually it was going to be a pilgrimage-length random walk so I have chopped it up into a few instalments: Cars and computersBuilding to last The overall walk is based on the concept of obsolescence, mostly to do with computer … Continue reading Obsolescence: Cars and computers
I vividly remember an appointment with a sonographer when my wife was pregnant. On one hand, it was a skilled professional using a combination of acoustic gel, a wand that contained a microphone and loudspeaker, a portable computer that did signal processing on what the microphone picked up, and a monitor that displayed a visual … Continue reading Emotion and software development
A friend recently talked to me about blogging, and it got me navel gazing a bit. I’ve not really thought about how or why I blog, and I guess it’s a good thing to be a reflective practitioner. At the risk of being self-indulgent, this is an article about how and why I blog. As … Continue reading Blogging
At this time of year, it’s common to set goals and New Year’s resolutions such as lose X kg of weight, or run Y km. If you have a goal like this, then I wish you well. It’s less common to have goals like have a better relationship with the people I love, even though … Continue reading Complexity: Important stuff can be messy
Introduction Impostor syndrome is where you feel that you are in a position that you don’t deserve because you’re not good enough at something, in contrast to all the people around you who all seem to be good enough, and one of these days someone will discover you to be the fraud or impostor that … Continue reading Impostor syndrome and the programmer’s brain
This post is inspired by an episode of the Art of Manliness podcast, with the psychologist Svend Brinkmann. I guess a good way to introduce it is to give you an example from the podcast. Imagine you go to a shop to buy some milk. You go to the checkout with your milk, and the … Continue reading People: an end or just a means?
There is a sometimes tangled relationship between what we can do and how we think of ourselves. I'm going to look at a part of this below. I can't do X because I'm a Y Have you heard someone (or yourself) ever say something of the form "I can't do X because I'm a Y"? … Continue reading Competence vs. Tribalism
I recently watched a video and listened to a podcast that form an interesting pair of opinions about performance. The video is Patterns for high-performance C# and the podcast is SE-Radio Episode 357: Adam Barr on Software Quality. There are two things where the podcast and video have no differences: the system must behave correctly, … Continue reading Performance optimisation – for machines or people?