Category Archives: Programming

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

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

More Good Programming Quotes, Part 2

A good programming quote captures an insight about programming, often in a funny way. Many quotes are quite famous, but I like ones that are a bit less well-know. A while ago, I listed some favorites. Here are more good quotes I have found since then. Enjoy! Continue reading

Developer Testing

I recently found out about the book Developer Testing – Building Quality Into Software by Alexander Tarlinder, and I immediately wanted to read it. Even though I am a developer at heart, I have always been interested in software testing (I even worked as a tester for two years).

I think the subject of the book, developer testing, is timely. There seems to be a broad trend where more and more responsibility for testing is given to developers. It follows from the move towards micro services, dev ops and the “you built it, you run it” principle. Another driving force is the prevalence of developer testing frameworks that started with JUnit and now includes many more. These frameworks encourage and help developers write automatic tests.

Despite this trend of increasing developer testing, my feeling is that many developers still don’t test their programs well enough. For example, they may test the “happy path”, but not the different error handling cases. That is why I was excited about this new book explicitly addressing developer testing. Continue reading

Code Rot

In my experience, code can rot in two distinct ways. The first case is code that hasn’t been used in a long time, but where the environment has changed so it is no longer possible to run the code. In the second case, the code still works, but has gradually become complicated and hard to work with. The first case is unusual, but straight forward to fix. The second case is very common, but unfortunately hard to fix if left for too long.

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Software Development and the Gig Economy

These days it is common to hear arguments that software development is becoming gig based. In other words, companies will not hire programmers for permanent positions. Instead, they will put together temporary teams of independent contractors from anywhere in the world to complete projects.

This is no doubt true for some software development tasks. However, for companies whose core product is software, this model makes very little sense.dsc_0244 Continue reading