Wednesday, November 7, 2007

My new favorite website

Screen-capture

I know its geeky, but I love it.  Its great practice -- http://refactormycode.com/.  The general idea is: people post code that they think could be written better and then other people refactor it and get rated on it.  How cool!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Cowboys and Farmers

Cowboy
I can't take credit for this idea and I can't remember the blog post where I read it... but the idea goes something like this: most development groups have cowboys and farmers.

Cowboys live on the bleeding edge of technology and, therefore, tend to bleed at times (normally in the form of overtime). Of course, with risk comes reward. In software development this is increased productivity, more robust products, and programmer happiness.

Farmers, on the other hand, represent stability. They are willing to use the same tools, year after year, and normally produce steady results. They are the risk averse -- willing to do twice the amount of work with a tool that is comfortable rather than try a tool that is more specialized and/or capable.

Obviously, we need some sort of a balance between the cowboys and the farmers. Too much of either type is a recipe for destruction. However, I'm certainly a cowboy. I love learning new tools, especially when they get the job done better than the old tool.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Common Beginnings

147px-yukihiro_matsumoto
Its funny what a hobby can turn into. Listening to Matz at RubyConf 07 made me reminisce about how I got started programming. He was asked "do you consider yourself to be a scientist or an artist?" to which Matz responded: "a hobbyist." Ruby was just a hobby to him, something he found to be fun and fulfilling. Its kind of the same way I made it into full-time web development. Its what I did on the side because I enjoyed it. Now I feel privileged that I have a job where I can do what I love most of the time. It's nice to find commonalities with people that you respect.