Developer On Call

For the system at work, I am on call one week every seven weeks. For most of the past ten years, I have been on organized on call rotations for the systems I have been developing. I think being on call is a logical way of taking responsibility for your work. You also learn a lot from it. However, it is stressful and an inconvenience, so you should get paid for it. Continue reading

My Favorite Command-Line Shortcuts

I use a shell every day. Almost always, I want to repeat a previous command, or repeat it after a slight modification. A very convenient way is to use arrow-up to get the most recent command back. Another common trick is to type ctrl-r and incrementally search for a previously used command. However, there are two other tricks for repeating previous commands that I use all the time, which are not as well known. Continue reading

6 Git Aha Moments

When I switched jobs four years ago, I went from using subversion (svn) to using git as the version control system. Even though I am a pretty quick learner, it took me a quite a while to really understand git. I read a lot on how git works, but even so, I didn’t always realize what the implications were for how to use git. Here are six big “aha moments” I had on how to use git. Continue reading

Is Manual Testing Needed?

For the past few years, I have heard many people advocating using only automatic tests. For example, if all the automatic tests pass, then the code should automatically be deployed to production. I have always performed a bit of manual testing before feeling confident about my code. So for the past year I have paid extra attention to bugs I have found manually testing my own code. My conclusion: manual testing is still needed. Continue reading

Exercises in Programming Style

In the book club at work, we recently finished reading Exercises in Programming Style by Cristina Videira Lopes. The book consists of a simple program implemented in 33 different programming styles. It is a great way of showing the different styles, and the book was quite popular in the book club. The book is relatively new (it was published in 2014), and I don’t think it is as well-known as it deserves to be. So here is a summary and review of it. Continue reading

Programming for Grade 8

For the past two months, I have been helping my son’s grade 8 class to learn to program. All students wrote Python programs and got a feel for what programming is. This post has details on how we organized the course, code examples and lessons learned. Continue reading

6 Years of Thoughts on Programming

It is now more than 6 years since I started blogging about software development. It has been a great experience, and I thought I would reflect on what I have learnt. So here are my reasons for writing about programming, a bit on my process, and some statistics. Continue reading