We were developers

November 06, 2012

I’m a sucker for epic movies.  I especially enjoy the epics where regular people are put in extraordinary circumstances.  Heroes with no super powers, or unlimited resources, are forced to face off against seemingly insurmountable odds. And after a long struggle, the heroes emerge victorious.  These stories inspire me and drive me to be more like the heroes.  But how can someone who writes code for a living aspire be a hero or even resemble the people in these movies? Read More
Why I rewrote my website with Apache Sling

April 03, 2012

With all the options out there to create a personal website: Wordpress, Drupal, Joomla, or Liferay to name a few why would anyone create a site from scratch anymore?  Naturally creating something from scratch takes a lot more work than simply taking something Out of the Box (OOTB).  However at the same time when you write code for a living it's hard to look at a product and not want to tweak it a bit.  So I asked the question how could I create a site that let me do things the w Read More
Full Contact Web Development

January 31, 2012

As the super bowl nears you can't avoid constant bombardment of advertising, predictions and analysis leading up to the game. You can either fight it or embrace it. I personally love the sport so today I am embracing it in the context of web development. Football like web development is driven by a number of specialist chasing the same goal. Each specialist bring unique talents to the table to achieve success and weakness at any position or bad overall chemistry can lead to failure. So Read More
Evil Software

December 01, 2011

A shocking thing occurred to me the other day while I was reading Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. I started thinking about ethics in an unexpected way.  The book and it's predecessor Hunger Games have themes that touch on a number of moral issues around killing and exploitation that are very troubling. As my mind drifted past those questions I asked myself could this really happen sometime in the future?  I felt a gripping terror when I rationalized it as entirely possible.&nbsp Read More
Periodization for Developers

June 29, 2011

Probably one of the last things a person may associate together is a software developer and a weightlifter (there are exceptions).  However there are techniques in weight lifting that I believe can be applied to a software developer’s regime to enhance performance.  I’m not talking about steroids although caffeine is probably the closest thing to steroids for a developer.  I’m talking about periodization.  Periodization is a weight lifting system th Read More
The Black Swans of Software Engineering

June 21, 2011

I happen to be rereading The Black Swan by Nassim Taleb and started to thinking about the black swans that I run into in the world of software.  Software embodies the essence of the black swan which consists of the following: The event is a surprise (to the observer). The event has a major impact. After its first recording, the event is rationalized by hindsight, as if it could have been expected (e.g., the relevant data were available but not accounted for). Read More
Working With Black Boxes

March 31, 2011

I hate black boxes.  For folks that don't know what I'm talking about imagine a gumball machine made entirely of steal (no glass).  The first time you put a quarter in and the first time you get a gumball.  Wanting 2 more gumballs you put in 2 quarters in and out pops a hairball.  Frustated the next time you put a dime in, kick it for good measure and out spouts a cheeseball.  Blackboxes are frustrating and risky in software development for the same reasons.  Y Read More
My Move to Amazon EC2

March 19, 2011

Today I did something that would make anyone who’s ever replaced a hard drive by hand smile.  With just  few clicks of a mouse coupled with a few keystrokes I swapped out a 10 GB drive with a 15 GB one with the same data, no downtime and no screwdriver.  What made this all possible?  The cloud!  So I’m by no means the first person to jump on this technology as it’s been around for several years but now I’m starting to realize how powerful of Read More

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