Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Hidden depths, and Things That Will Never Be

A favorite xkcd cartoon and some things that will never be.

  • Unicode book that is both concise and useful
  • A protocol with "Simple" in its title that has remained simple - SNMP, SMTP, SDLIP are just a few that have not.
  • Revision control merges with absolutely no conflicts

Friday, September 24, 2010

Appearances and Expectations

I've found that a spaghetti server is a great tool for scratching my back. We have one in the kitchen for food and different one on a shelf elsewhere. Of course, children like to copy their parents so 6 year-old Luke scratches his back just like his Dad, which I find rather endearing.

But sitting at the dinner table a few nights ago, he went very quiet, his eyes widened and asked "Dad, why is your back scratcher in the pasta?".

Just because two things look the same, they aren't necessarily the same.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Jobs that I have more respect for, the more I see of them


99% of everything written about statistics is wrong, including this. So when people really do understand how to set up proper clinical trials or fit their data to useful distributions, I'm impressed. What most of us learned in school and university really wasn't enough to understand the traps for the unwary and naive in this area.

Statisticians also get to use some great words like homoscedasticity and kurtosis.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Here comes AtlasCamp 2010!

If you develop or maintain Atlassian products (JIRA, Confluence, etc), this event is a great place to be (October 11th - 13th, California, $200).

I'm looking forward to it again with a relish I rarely find for many group events.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

JIRA articles are now at jiradev.blogspot.com

I've started a new blog for JIRA-related posts over at jiradev.blogspot.com. Future technical JIRA content will appear there instead of in this blog


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My Review of Practical Development Environments

Originally submitted at O'Reilly

Everyone wants a good technical environment for developing their software, and Practical Development Environments contains helpful guidelines for how to create and maintain a great development environment. It discusses some of the current tools that are available, covering different areas...

Good advice, tools sections dated now

By Matt Doar from San Jose, CA on 9/1/2010


4out of 5

Pros: Concise, Well-written, Accurate

Cons: Partly outdated

Best Uses: Intermediate, Toolsmith, Novice

Describe Yourself: Consultant, Sys Admin, Developer, Author, Toolsmith

I'm the author and the book still works as intended. Each chapter has a section on using software development tools (version control, builds, bug trackers etc). The second half of each chapter refers to tools in each area that were current five years ago, so these parts have aged correctly.

I've run a consulting business for the past four years based around many of the ideas in this book and find that, for the most part, they are working well for my clients.



Action, Expectation, Observation

I remember writing some parts of Practical Development Environments vividly, despite the sleep deprivation that writing a book and having a new child will produce. One such section summarizes what goes into a good bug report:

The three key points to bear in mind when creating a bug report should be:

  • How to reproduce the bug, as precisely as possible, and how often this will make the bug appear

  • What should have happened, at least in your opinion

  • What actually happened, or at least as much information as you have recorded

I still like what I wrote. And now I think it's good advice for other situations. For example,

  • Action: I was taking my brother's toy from him. It was his new toy.

  • Expectation: He should have let me take it because he wasn't using it anymore

  • Observation: He hit me!

Maybe I'll get it printed on my next batch of business cards:
Action, Expectation, Observation.