Rant

Everyday CS?

I expect that a lot of people who spend time reading this or other programming-related blogs are technical minded, tend to have a background in computer programming or computer science. I am curious though: In how far do you apply you CS knowledge to your personal life? Bonus question: What, if no computer is available?

No Such Luck

Reading Steve’s last post was a frustrating experience. Not only did he miss fewer slots than me, he had a good excuse for it. The reasons for my relative lack of posting lately are far from interesting, convincing, or enjoyable.

Regarding Schwag

These are exciting times for technology enthusiasts of all types. It appears like a lot of people are in the business of working on something really fun, trying to convince others of the merits of a particular project or is otherwise. Just very recently, Om Malik announced he wants to move on and start his own business. Also, Robert Scoble is leaving Microsoft.

This is of course already old news and there are many other examples. These days, it seems that startups are hot. Everyone is talking about web 2.0, and, the occasional controversy aside, tech firm, especially web 2.0 tech firms are sort of the in thing to do. I am not kidding, there appears to be a certain appeal to the very idea of these firms that I have not witnessed before.

Eight down, 56 to go

As the World Cup got off to such a great start this weekend, I don’t have anything to say about software development or Micro ISVs, so I’ll save you the trouble of reading something forced.

Since the USA team campaign gets underway just a couple of hours after my posting slot on Codesnipers, I’m also assuming many of you will be far too busy trying to find a TV or radio to bother reading anything I might have had to say. Here in the UK, we get mostly negative reports about the awareness of the game in the US, but KC assures me there are plenty of fans, and that numbers have been on the rise.

So, if you’ll be watching or listening, good luck and enjoy the game. If not, I’ll be enjoying it for you....

Why the Light Has Gone Out on LAMP

menion writes to tell us that Cliff Wells has an editorial calling into focus some of the perceived problems with LAMP. Wells calls PHP and MySQL this generation's BASIC citing the Free Online Dictionary of Computing: "BASIC has become the leading cause of brain-damage in proto-hackers. This is another case (like Pascal) of the cascading lossage that happens when a language deliberately designed as an educational toy gets taken too seriously. A novice can write short BASIC programs (on the order of 10-20 lines) very easily; writing anything longer is (a) very painful, and (b) encourages bad habits that will make it harder to use more powerful languages well. This wouldn't be so bad if historical accidents hadn't made BASIC so common on low-end micros. As it is, it ruins thousands of potential wizards a year."

Why Architecture Is a Really Long Four Letter Word

Before I start, let me just say that I've held positions as "Chief Architect" at a startup, as well as managed a group called "Systems Technology Architecture" at a large Fortune 500 company.

OK, now that we've got that out of the way, architecture is often the bane of successful software development. Focusing on creating the proper architecture for all systems can reduce the ability for a company to manuever quickly, and increase expenses to a level that only companies with huge IT budgets can afford.

Now, before the flame-throwers come out, let me explain.

Reason to like PHP?

Perl;

print { open my $out, ">", "pidfile"; $out or die } $$, "\n";

Ruby;

File.open('pidfile', 'w+'){ |fh| fh.puts Process.pid }

I could have used ‘$$’ instead of Process.pid, but I prefer readability

PHP;

file_put_contents( 'pidfile', getmypid() );

Yeah I know, I know but anyway…

This article provided by sitepoint.com.

Signs of Plague

Have you noticed more and more online people are feeling burned out and unproductive? I am. So are Gavin Bowman and Keith Casey. So is Ryan Carson. So are a lot of people.

One case is one thing. Two are a coincidence. Four? Four hundred thousand? This is no coincidence.

I see two possibilities: brain sucking aliens are draining our minds through the Internet – the ultimate killer app. Or, something else is going on. I’m hoping its something else – better odds.

Burnout, taking a day off, and the 4 day week

While I was away, Keith posted here and on his personal blog about the dangers of burnout, and the benefits of recharging. I was paying close attention; it had been a while since I’d felt like I was in any position to think about my productivity and effectiveness, but I knew it was overdue.

I’m not really counting this last year as a normal year, I’m just happy to have made it through relatively unscathed. In cold professional stats, I’ve made more contacts, improved my software, and been more involved with the online ISV community. I feel much more comfortable with the situation I’m in right now than I was with my situation 16 months ago. Even though that might sound like a successful year, it felt quite different behind the scenes.

Fire your boss, fire your clients!

Keith Casey has asked me join in here, but he may live to regret his decision. That's because I going to suggest something fairly radical: It's time to fire your boss, or your clients. Instead of living in a corporate cube a self-respecting rat would'nt be caught in, or spending your life wandering from contract programming project to project, I'm going to suggest that you - yes you! - can start a top notch, world-class software company.