You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling

The subtitle of this article was going to be "What to do when your job doesn't offer fulfillment or a value to society", but I quickly realised that I didn't actually know the answer. I do have a few ideas but I'll leave it open ended and others can add to the list later.

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?

This Week in Rails

Here's the second edition of this week in Rails. This week I'm keeping things short and sweet.

Admin: Contest Winner

After compelling contest entries from Steve Moyer, Jan Wikholm, Nola Stowe, and Gavin Bowman, Jan pulled it out by just a few votes and becomes the proud winner of $50 worth of Pragmatic Programmer books.

Once the specific books are chosen, I'll list them here for discussion.

Thanks to all who participated and stick around to see what I set up for next year.

Micro ISV Spotlight #1

This is my first attempt at what I hope will be a new series here on Codesnipers. The format might vary slightly, but essentially I'd to make a regular place to highlight two or three interesting Micro ISV articles, products, or resources.

Web 2.0 - A Second Chance To Make The Same UI Mistakes

Get ready kids. It's time to play the newest game in town; "Guess What This Control Will Do". Today's action packed game includes all sorts of links, drop-down lists, buttons and icons that don't do at all what you expect. Today's article is going to attempt to help (former) HTML jockey's understand the UI concepts that rich interface designers have been using for the last decade. There are simply too many UI mistakes being introduced into today's Web 2.0 applications.

This Week in Rails

Welcome to the first post in a new series which focuses on Ruby and more specifically, Ruby on Rails. My goal is to provide links and a little bit of commentary on interesting blog posts and discussions from the previous week. I have my rss reader pointed to a bunch of Ruby focused blogs, but I'm sure there are things of interest that will slip past me. If you notice something that you think is worth sharing or a blog I seem to be ignoring, please don't hesitate to contact me directly or post in the previous week's discussion.

There are a number of ways I can go with the week in review. I could provide links to a bunch of stuff in the blogosphere or provide just a few links with my own thoughts. Right now I'm leaning towards around five links per week. I could certainly provide more, but I'm worried about inundating people with too much material (a problem I have with my own growing list of rss subscriptions).

While I won't be doing it this week, I would also like to talk about anything I think is noteworthy from the Rails Google Group and possibly write about any interesting commits from the Rails core team. As always, feedback is greatly appreciated.

Without further delay, here's a little roundup of Ruby and Rails related posts from the last seven days.

Ruby on Rails - Code Generator as a member of your Team

One of the most interesting features of Ruby on Rails that increase its popularity is undoubtedly built-in source code generator. This only feature saves a lot of typing, allows developers to add features to the framework, encourages creating new generators for repetitive tasks. In the end it saves a lot of time and effort.

Most of Ruby on Rails projects start from code generation. And code generation is used throughout the project to add new controllers, views and models. For example:

script/generate controller Product list new edit

creates stubs for your product controller and three views to list, to create new, or to update products. You can remove controllers and views with 'script/destroy' command. You can also ask Ruby on Rails generator to automatically add newly created files to a subversion repository. Sweet! But keep reading...

Building Internet Communities

In my last regular post, "Entrepreneurship (Part II) - Please Help!", I feigned indignation regarding the lack of comments my posts were receiving.  Without comments, it's very difficult to determine whether you're providing useful content to your target audience, but now something worse has happened ... Sympathy Comments (thanks Keith and Gavin).  This post is going to discuss a couple reasons why forming an Internet community is hard as well as a couple ways an Internet "host" can satisfy his or her visitors.

Contest: The Micro ISV Community

This is the fourth and final of the contest entires. Voting begins tonight in less than 4 hours!

I tried thinking hard about my entry to this contest, and I tried to think of a list of technology people who had influenced me, but it just wasn’t happening.

I stumbled into technology, so I couldn’t pick a single shining light that has driven or shaped me and my career. It’s rare that I make it all the way through a technical book. I’ve always tried to learn enough to accomplish the current task and then hoped to come back to it later, but later never comes. I’m trying to figure out whether this makes me a really bad person to give free books to, or whether I really need it, I’ll let you guys decide for yourselves.

So I’m thinking back over the road that brought me here, maybe I’ll find a winner there. Maybe I should pick a childhood neighbour. I remember playing Frogger and Manic Miner on someone’s Spectrum, which in turn made me bug my parents to get me one. Maybe I should choose my parents for humouring me and not forcing me to go and play outside? When I started work, there were various people who gave me a chance, mentored me, or steered me towards software development. There are a few candidates there.