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  Programming Achievements: How to Level Up as a Developer


How does a good developer become a great developer?Forget greatness for a moment: How does a decent developer become a good developer?There is no definitive path from Step 1 to Step n. Heck, it's not even clear what Step n is. And as logically-minded developer types, the lack of a well-defined route can make for a daunting journey from novice to master.I've spent a fair bit of time over the last few years bumping up against this conundrum. What's next? How do I go from being a goo...

   Good developer,Great developer,Comparison,Knowledge,Skill,Platform     2011-11-09 02:12:58


  Bionic Office


Well. That took rather longer than expected. We have, finally, moved, into the new Fog Creek office at 535 8th Avenue, officially ten months after I started pounding the pavement looking for a replacement for my grandmother's old brownstone where we spent our first few years, working from bedrooms and the garden. Most software managers know what good office space would be like, and they know they don't have it, and can't have it. Office space seems to be the one thing that nobody can get rig...

   Work place,Life,Office,Confortable     2012-01-18 09:00:55


  All Programming is Web Programming


Michael Braude decries the popularity of web programming:The reason most people want to program for the web is that they're not smart enough to do anything else. They don't understand compilers, concurrency, 3D or class inheritance. They haven't got a clue why I'd use an interface or an abstract class. They don't understand: virtual methods, pointers, references, garbage collection, finalizers, pass-by-reference vs. pass-by-value, virtual C++ destructors, or the differences between C# struc...

   Programming,Web programming,Opposite,Views,Web app     2011-11-12 10:38:00


  Want to write some code? Get away from your computer!


I’ve recently realised something. The best place to write code isn’t in front of your computer, with your compiler, IDE and tools. The best place to write code is far, far away from any of these tools – somewhere where you can think properly. For a language with which you are fairly familiar, the mechanics of translating the program in your mind to a program that the compiler can compile (or the interpreter can interpret) is fairly easy – it’s coming up with that program in y...

   Program,Goo dcode, Away, Use mind     2011-03-30 23:48:10


  Functional Programming For Object Oriented Programmers


After recently remarking about how I finally "got" functional programming I was asked by one of my millions of twitter followers... ¬_¬ to write up an explanation of a small F# program spoken in terms that fellow O-O programmers would understand. Before I become too entrenched into the functional programming way of thinking, that is, and can't explain it anymore. As a former tutor this is one of the major problems with being able to teach something once you understand it. You've forg...

   Functional programming,OOP,F#,Pattern     2011-11-25 13:49:16


  What Can We Learn From Dennis Ritchie?


As we noted earlier this week, one of the founding fathers of UNIX and the creator of C, Dennis Ritchie, passed away last weekend. While I feel that many in computer science and related fields knew of Ritchie’s importance to the growth and development of, well, everything to do with computing, I think it’s valuable to look back at his accomplishments and place him high in the CS pantheon already populated by Lovelace, Turing, and (although this crowing will be controversial, at least until h...

   C,Father,Dennis Ritchie,Death,Father of C,UNIX     2011-10-17 10:12:02


  Building an iPhone application.


One of my New Years resolutions was to finally learn the iOS SDK and build a 'real' application.I am happy to report that progress is going really well and wanted to share something that I have noticed about iOS programming.It only looks scary... it's not. It's actually very easy.Now, I am not building Mail, Angry Birds or Photosynth or anything, but the core concepts of the SDK are not that bad once you spend some time learning delegation. If you don't understand delegation, iOS programmi...

   Apple,iOS,Application development     2012-01-28 07:03:36


  File System vs Core Data: the image cache test


Code for this project is on GitHub While doing a full re-write of Droplr's iOS app for the 2.0 launch, I couldn't find any good file/image caches out there had a particular feature I really wanted: extending item expiration whenever it's touched. I set out to write my own — which wasn't that much of a challenge — but somewhere along the process I had this crazy idea that perhaps (SQLite-backed) Core Data would be a much better tool for the job: No mismatch between cache index file and a...

   File system.Image cache,Multimedia     2012-02-01 08:52:02


  I hate cut-and-paste


Me, I blame the IDE's.Coding used to be hard. Not because programming itself was overly hard, but mostly because editors absolutely sucked. How much the typical development environment in the 70's and 80's sucked is hard to convey (except for a very lucky few, and those would have likely been using DEC and WANG gear). I got in on the tail end of the punch card era. Punching your own program is lots of fun. Once. And if you drop a deck you get to play with the sorter, which is also lots of fun (o...

   IDE,Editor,Cut and paste,Shortcut,Blame     2011-10-24 11:33:46


  The worst program I ever worked on


Most contract jobs fade pretty quickly in memory after the work is done, but some you remember for the rest of your life. This is one of the latter variety. This happened long ago, at a (fair sized) company that shall remain nameless. The software was a chunk of code that had been maintained by a single guy that had been fired recently and was a core component of a commercial system. So far nothing unusual, companies tend to find out that they have a piece of critical knowledge in one head all ...

   Program,worst     2011-03-17 13:58:36