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API Craft Detroit 2014: Hypermedia Rising

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I had the honor to be one of the attendees at the first annual API Craft Detroit conference last year, which was so successful that it spawned abunch of API Meetups around the globe (I regularly attend API Craft Boston, which is a roving band of API lovers who tough out the … [Read more...]

The Importance of Writing Testable Code

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We recently sat down with the testing team at Infinio in Cambridge, MA to learn how they have implemented their test automation strategy. The cool thing about their strategy is that the whole development team (developers and testers) work together to create testable code … [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...]

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...]

THE HEAT IS ON! A Simple Guide to Creating Heatmaps

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Heatmaps and choropleths can give your data a sizzling new look with easy-to-understand visualizations. Here’s how. Never before has the world been flooded with so much data. Everyone is collecting, analyzing, and mashing up Big Data, from the federal government to the … [Read more...]

Ask Stupid Questions First (so you can get better answers later)

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Interaction with users can help drive product decisions, but getting from conversations with users to tangible customer data can still be a big mystery. Here are three steps for getting from a casual, interview-esque conversation with a handful of target users to concrete … [Read more...]

How to Keep Your Technical Skill Set Perfectly Polished

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Developers must keep learning, to stay on top of trends. But this comes at a cost: Each new area of expertise you develop leaves you less time to maintain your core competencies. Here's how you can keep your skills relevant…particularly when your job requires you to work on … [Read more...]

GOTO (Still) Considered Harmful

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Seriously Apple? Seriously? GOTOs? In your Secure-Socket Layer implementation? What were they thinking? Apple, Apple! When Ed Post wrote in 1983 that Real Programmers aren’t afraid to use GOTOs he was kidding! No one should ever use go-to statements in any program. As … [Read more...]