Apr 21

Ten Commandments I was reading an article about the death of actor Charlton Heston, most famous for his portrayal of Moses in Cecil B. DeMille’s epic movie, “The Ten Commandments.” That gave me the idea to write a “Programmer’s 10 Commandments,” but a quick perusal of Google showed that many people have already been there, done that.

So instead, here is a bunch of “Commandments for Programmers”:

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Apr 12

In response to my original article, “101 Great Computer Programming Quotes,” José M. Aguilar doubled the fun with “101 More Great Computer Quotes,” which was translated, edited and republished here by Timm Martin (and Google Translator) with permission from Mr. Aguilar.

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Apr 09

“Hello, Mr. Consumer, we offer amazing new widget software that will save you time and money! It can do X, Y, and Z. You can download and install it from our website. Oh, and by the way, you need .NET 3.5. What’s that? It’s a 200MB separate download from Microsoft that takes an hour to install and… Hello? Hello? Mr. Consumer?”

Welcome to my world as a commercial software developer who uses Microsoft .NET. Continue reading »

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Mar 17

xkcd: compiling

From xkcd: A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math and language.

Feb 01

RealProgrammers

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Jan 11

“People always fear change.  People feared electricity when it was invented, didn’t they?  People feared coal, they feared gas-powered engines.  There will always be ignorance, and ignorance leads to fear.  But with time, people will come to accept their silicon masters.”

As Bill Gates once warned, computers have indeed become our silicon masters, pervading nearly every aspect of our modern lives.  As a result, some of the greatest minds of our time have pondered the significance of computers and software on the human condition.  Following are 101 great quotes about computers, with an emphasis on programming, since after all this is a software development site. 
 

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Dec 21

Oh the weather outside is frightful,
But the snacks are so delightful,
And since we’ve no place to go,
Let me code, let me code, let me code!

What should a software developer do over the holidays?  Many take off to be with family and friends during the last two weeks of December.  Others (including me) have spouses who must work or have used up vacation, so they find themselves working in half-empty companies.

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Oct 04

Great empires often fall from within. 

The death knell for Visual Basic is premature, but it’s true that VB has deviated from its original vision as an “Application Construction Kit” for the masses and has lost significant market share as a result.  

Tim Anderson summed it up best:

It sounds like perfection.  Microsoft had perhaps the largest number of developers in the world hooked on a language which in turn was hooked to Windows.  Yet Microsoft took this asset of incalculable value and apparently tossed it aside.  Back in 2002, Microsoft announced that the language was to be replaced by something new, different and incompatible.  That caused rumblings that continue today.  Developers expressed emotions ranging from frustration to anger.  They felt betrayed.

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Aug 02

Update: We have launched a new website and forums dedicated to people with cubital tunnel syndrome: www.cubital-tunnel.com

No programmers were harmed during development of this article.

(Not true… my cubital hurts like mad today!)

A programming career is supposed to offer advantages such as longevity and limited physical risk. Unlike an athlete or blue-collar worker whose livelihood depends on physical ability and can be cut short by injury or aging, most programmers should expect to work right up until retirement, as long as they can raise donut to mouth. But a nasty secret in the software industry is how repetitive stress injuries including carpal tunnel and cubital tunnel syndrome can make programming a literal pain and threaten your career.

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May 30

Debate over the most popular programming language can become an emotional, almost religious battle.  And sometimes there’s no debate at all, such as when a developer is assigned to repair legacy software.  “It was written in COBOL?” is a popular refrain.

A programming language is just one tool in a developer’s expansive collection of specialty software and hardware.  So does it really matter which programming language a developer uses, as long as he or she is meeting customer requirements on time and within budget?

Yes, yes it does.  Ford or Chevy.  Stihl or Husky.  Coke or Pepsi.  Let’s face it, we all get passionate about our tools.

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