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How to Disagree without Being Disagreeable

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In our jobs as programmers, sometimes you have disagreements with other people about how something should be done. How you handle those disagreements affects your work life, how much you enjoy your job, and your career prospects. Whether it's disputing time estimates with … [Read more...]

Ancient Computer Character Code Tables – and Why They’re Still Relevant

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There’s rhyme and reason to character codes, but it’s not poetry. It’s the evolution of ancient machine controls. Knowing how rudimentary character codes work gives you control over what an application visually represents to the user. There are good historical reasons … [Read more...]

Show Me The Money: The New Open Source Motivation

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If you think open source programming is still about developers working on projects for love or to scratch an itch, think again. A recent Linux Foundation survey found that today's free software developers are in it for the money. One stereotype of an open source … [Read more...]

Where Did HealthCare.gov Go Wrong? Let’s Start with “Everywhere”

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What should have been a straightforward e-commerce site development project turned into a laughing stock – and a disaster of unmitigated proportions. Let’s look at how that project went sour, in the context of developers and IT leaders avoiding another one … [Read more...]

GOTO Still Has a Place in Modern Programming. No! Really!

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Mea culpa! Sometimes, the experts agree, GOTO can be very useful. When I wrote a few weeks about Apple's SSL GOTO security fiasco, I put the blame on GOTO. I quoted no less a seer than programming guru Edsger W. Dijkstra who wrote way back in 1968 that the goto statement … [Read more...]

On the Appreciation of Users

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Forty years ago, on 15 May 1974, a small group of Unix users met at Columbia University. They met to hear Ken Thompson, to exchange bugs and solutions concerning the Unix operating system and to share bugs and solutions concerning their DEC hardware. They needed each … [Read more...]

Can anyone design a job application platform that doesn’t suck?

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Why does it take a half hour and triplicate-input-redundancy to apply for a job online? Why can't these online application platforms just pull in LinkedIn data and be done with it? Isn't it easier for these job application systems to just read our resumes and cover letters? … [Read more...]

Quality in Agile Development: Notes from Keep Austin Agile Conference

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  I attended the Keep Austin Agile conference last Friday at the Renaissance Hotel in Austin, TX.  The conference was sold out, with 500 attendees. In fact, more than 100 people were said to be waiting on the guest list to get in. Why all the excitement? It’s clear from … [Read more...]

Impostor Syndrome in the Workplace—and a Few Ways to Overcome It

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Even the most brilliant developers, the most competent managers, have doubts about their abilities—despite evidence that their performance at work is acceptable, or even laudable. Why do we feel this way…and how can we feel better about our work and ourselves? "I worry … [Read more...]

5 Truly Effective CSS Boilerplates and Frameworks

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Creating engaging websites that invite return visits is hard work. A modern site also has to scale to support every device available and be launched online in ever -shorter times. Perhaps the only reasonable way for developers to implement the responsive design demanded by … [Read more...]