Barbecue and Project Management

As I begin to write this article, it’s 8:30 on the Saturday morning of Memorial Day weekend, the de facto start of the summer season in the United States. In most parts of the country, and especially in the South where I live, that means it’s also barbecue season. I take my barbecue seriously, so …

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Master Foo and the Technical Recruiter

I found Eric Raymond’s Unix Koans of Master Foo several years ago and simply loved them. Like the Zen koans they are taken from, they are a succinct way to communicate concepts of software development, specifically as they relate to the Unix development subculture. In the same spirit as Eric’s koans, I wrote a similar …

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Fix it. Bolt it down. Forget it.

Setting up your environment to be the same all the time, everywhere, can make it easier to focus on the task at hand. From the age of about 14 I’ve been sitting in front of a computer with a guitar in my lap. It’s been a cheap steel-string guitar, a cheap classical guitar, a cheap …

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George Orwell and Effective Coding

I spend a lot of time and effort trying to get better at the craft of software development. My goal every day is to fall asleep as a better programmer than the one that awoke that morning. While this involves a lot of reading and practice within the field, I usually learn more by studying …

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Olympic Note Passing

A good analogy can often be useful to explain intricate technical details. In an earlier article, “Wrong Fish Food”, I related an analogy that I used to describe a technical issue to a non-technical audience. This article shares an analogy I created for a technical audience, because sometimes even techies need an analogy to grasp …

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Wrong Fish Food, or, Communicating Frustration Non-technically

If you’re reading this site, you’ve probably already determined that I’m a geek. A hard-core, dyed-in-the-wool, walks-into-trees-because-he’s-thinking-about-computers kind of geek. My wife and daughters, bless them, are not. Well, my daughters are somewhat nerdy, in a hip kind of way, meaning that they can quote large portions of Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, …

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