Perplexinomicon

Recent:

Jun 14

I developed this kata as a pair programming exercise. It’s a thinly veiled version of the Roman Numeral Kata with a couple of wrinkles. I introduced the wrinkles to encourage pairs to come up with a plan of attack, and also to provide a small challenge for programmers familiar with the RNK.

Apr 15

We all know that dryers eat socks. Or at least, something eats socks.

The Eater of Socks

It seems like a rational enough explanation for chronic sock loss. And it’s something that I accepted for my entire life, until I started wearing Vibram Five Finger shoes. Five Fingers are shoes with individual toes, and that means that you have to wear them either with no socks, which is gross, or with socks with individual toes, which is expensive. I mean, $10-20 a pair expensive. And not only that, but the socks I wear are asymmetric, which means that in every pair there is a left sock and a right sock. They are also incredibly comfortable and basically solve every problem I’ve ever had with socks.

Mar 31

I’ve been coaching in an enterprise for a while now, I guess about a year. And every group that I coach says the same thing, they say that they, unlike everyone else, deliver on time.

Yep, it’s those other groups that didn’t deliver on time, they say, and that’s why the place is in the situation that it’s in. The situation isn’t pretty, but this group, the group I’m talking to, they delivered.

Feb 28

Or at least saves time, which as we all know is equal to money.

In 1985, my family moved to Rochester New York. The new house was quite a bit larger than our old house, and we had a lot more room for bookshelves. For whatever reason, my Dad decided that we were going to have the same bookshelves in every single room of the house, adjustable bookshelves with a particular stain in one of two heights and one of two widths.

Feb 14

It’s pretty common in agile books to come across the concept of shu-ha-ri, the idea that beginners learn differently than intermediates who learn differently than experts. Beginners, they say, need to just go through the drills, sort of unquestioningly, just working on doing each step without worrying too much about whether they understand the steps or not. In an agile book, this is usually an admonition to the new agile team to trust that the process works.

Jan 18

Among my many goals this year is to learn more Scala, by which I mean, learn any Scala. I took the first chunk of Martin Odersky’s Functional Programming in Scala coursera in the fall before circumstances intervened, and I liked what I saw. Scala seems to be worth learning, familiar enough to be easy to learn but introducing enough new material to change how I program.

Oct 9

When I was working in San Francisco, the office had one of those pod style coffee makers, the ones where you put vacuum sealed grounds pods into a receiver and get a shot of espresso or ristretto or whatever size of pour you push the button for. The office also had some really cool, microwave safe mugs at espresso sizes. So to get my caffeine on, I’d heat up about half a cup of sugar and milk and then throw in three ristretto sized pours one after the other. Until the coffee maker died (it really wasn’t build for an office environment) life was good.

Sep 23

At Agile Day NYC 2012, I encountered a familiar meme. The meme is “UX people are the new prima donnas”. The idea being that the old prima donnas, the software engineers, are now on board with agile but that those pesky UX guys just won’t get on board. And I have to admit, this resonates with me to a degree, because I know some UX people who hate agile. They don’t get it, they don’t like it, and as far as they can tell, they have no place in it.

Sep 21

I’m sitting in Laguardia International Airport on a beautiful day in New York, waiting for a flight home. There are lots of flights home, of course, because there is a flight every hour, on the hour, but for some reason I booked a flight that leaves at 9pm. That seemed like a good idea at the time, but now… well, now it just seems dumb.

Sep 2

This blog–and site–is being put together using the Middleman framework. I’m using Middleman because I want to move my blog and website hosting from HostGator to Heroku, partly because Heroku is free at my bandwidth and storage requirements and partly because Heroku is something I want to start working with more. I have applications I want to write, and Heroku is a cloudy place where I can host these applications. So gettting the static website up is a first step.