Mel Reams


Not all problems need to be solved with code

If you’re a programmer and someone asks you to solve a problem, that means the problem needs to be solved by writing code, doesn’t it? That’s what programmers do, right? Not necessarily! Knowing how to write good code is a huge part of being a good developer, but so is knowing when not to write more code. Take this question from reddit for example. If the problem is that you need an.. Read More

The dining philosphers

I read this article by Uncle Bob called The Lurn (it’s a companion piece to an earlier article of his called The Churn), where he mentioned a lot of topics that he thinks are more important for developers to learn about than just scrambling to keep up with the latest languages and frameworks (not that you shouldn’t learn a few of those, but you’re going to hit diminishing returns pretty.. Read More

Talk of the day: Be Awesome By Being Boring

Because I’m a Katrina Owen fan, I’ve watched a bunch of her talks. Recently I was watching her talk on Therapeutic Refactoring (it’s great and you should watch that one too), saw that it was from Cascadia Ruby Conf, and decided to see what other talks from that conference were recorded anywhere. One that grabbed my eye right away was called Be Awesome By Being Boring by John Hyland. The gist of his.. Read More

Strategy pattern

Let’s talk about the strategy design pattern today. According to good old wikipedia, the strategy pattern “defines a family of algorithms, encapsulates each algorithm, and makes the algorithms interchangeable within that family.” In other words, if you have an object most of its behaviour stays the same but there’s one piece that changes, you want to be able to change that one piece without messing with the rest of the object… Read More

Excel trick of the day

Did you know you can cobble together a chat program (both client and server) with Excel? I didn’t either until I stumbled across excel-messenger: A Terrible Experiment In VBA. It’s kind of evil, but I’m impressed by the creativity. Check it out :)

Simple stuff that will make your new team think you’re amazing

Even if you just graduated, there are some simple things you can do to make your new team think you’re amazing, and they don’t even involve any code. Ironically, a huge amount of the stuff that makes someone a really good programmer has nothing to do with sitting down with an editor and writing code. Being an exceptional programmer is as much about making your team more effective as it is.. Read More

Talk of the day

If you share my obsession with software design (and maybe even if you don’t) you’ll enjoy this talk by Katrina Owen called Overkill. The basic idea of the talk is the use of a simple toy problem as an excuse for focused practice. I really like the idea of going back to basics as a path to mastery, that’s actually why I’ve been on my own back to basics kick on.. Read More

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