Compendium of Wondrous Links VI

They finally found all those buried Atari cartridges, and confirmed a beloved urban legend. Just wonderful. This episode of @ExtraCreditz follows up an idea I always had about education. The key is being demanding, but allowing a lot of opportunities. Amazing book introduction, showing how no one is immune to think that they are stupid. Lots of things in live are hard. Readability in code is not about being literary. Is about making the code easy to understand. You don’t read code, you explore it. The Great Works of Software. The premise is extremely… Read More

Visual Programming and Mental Constructs

I saw yesterday live the Apple keynote on the WWDC. I am far from an Apple developer, but I use OS X and iOS everyday, and I’m interested on new stuff. There was a full section devoted to developers, which is great (well, it’s supposed to be a developer’s conference, after all), and, arguably, the most interesting stuff on that part (for a developer’s perspective) was the release of a new programming language, Swift. It was announced with an (irrelevant) comparison with Python in terms of speed (I actually have plans to write… Read More

Compendium of Wondrous Links vol V

Seven habits of effective text editing. A great essay by Bram Moolenaar (of Vim fame). It is applicable to any editor, but, of course, shows why Vim can be such a good choice (once you know how to use it, obviously) A useful collection of recipes in Python. Thirty python language features and tricks you may not know How to be a sane programmer. Basically, do other stuff not related to programming. The related Business Insider article is also worth the read. The Evolution of a Software Engineer D/A and A/D Digital… Read More

The amazing forgiveness of software

One of the things I like most about developing software is the fact that you can recover from most mistakes with very few long term impact. Bugs are unavoidable, and most of the people involved on programming deeply understands that is something we all live with.  So,  there’s no hard feelings, once you find a bug, you fix it and immediately move on. Not only no one thinks that you’re a bad developer because you write bugs, but typically the impact of a bug is not that problematic. Yes, there are some bugs that are just… Read More

Compendium of Wondrous Links vol IV

Some gifs showing Vim capabilities. Why I use Vim. More about the philosophies behind vim. Why Atom can’t replace vim. A browser game, similar to the great Threes for iOS, with a binary twist. 2048 It can be a little addictive, though. An this is another brilliant game. Create your own metro system. Mini Metro. 3 wrong ways of storing a password and some examples to do it in a more proper way. And more about setting a salted password hashing. Don’t be a technical masochist. It is good to have options and recognise… Read More

Let your fellow developers know they’re great

I think that one of the most challenging things in my life as a developer is the Impostor Syndrome. Unless you’re stuck into a mediocre job, where everyone around you is pretty lame (and, believe me, if you’re in that situation, you want to get out as soon as possible), I think it is quite common to get that feeling of “wow, I don’t deserve to be here” feeling from time to time. I am pretty terrible at myself, and I suspect I am not the only one. If I achieve something, that… Read More

Compendium of Wondrous Links vol III

Good tech lead, bad tech lead. Can we please please stop telling people that coding is easy? Confessions of an Intermediate Programmer. The perception and psychology of competence. The Science of Making your Story Memorable Some interesting advice about presentations. The presentation itself used as example is interesting as well. Thirty percent feedback to iterate faster. The classic “your problem with Vim is that you don’t grok vi” response in Stack Overflow. A very nice list of Python articles. Best Python 2013 Companies and startups are different. Not only in size, but qualitatively. An… Read More

Respect Driven Development

I think that one of the most overlooked components on any sane company culture is Respect. That’s probably true also for any relationship, also outside work environment, but I think is usually forgotten when nice places to work are described. When I look back about the things that bothered me the most, most of them are related to disrespect, even in relatively minor form. It can be personal disrespect or not respecting the work itself or even the customers. Probably because is something engraved, it’s easy to take for granted when it exists, and… Read More

Compendium of Wondrous Links vol II

60 hour work week is not a badge of honour. I talked about something similar here some time ago. Social Aspects of Success and Failure in Cultural Markets. Follow up about the Flappy Bird issue, and about the unpredictability of success. About retaining team members, which is not an aspect of companies that is not as discussed as recruiting. Some interesting Unix tricks and recipes, in a very simple txt format. Very graphic display on how conditional probability works. Levels of excellence. Interesting view on learning. It is fascinating how sometimes it truly… Read More

First job in a startup considered harmful

Well, at least is not ideal from my point of view… At the moment there seems to be a lot of hype about startups. And why not? They are the places where the cool stuff happen. Filled with purpose, excitement, high stakes, fantastic teams, growth opportunities and the rare chance of maybe becoming a multibillionaire at a young age. I’ve worked in big and small companies (including startups), and I definitively prefer to work on smaller ones. You’re impact is bigger, the team works closer, way less corporate BS, etc… But, while… Read More