Mel Reams

Nerrrrd

How does a hash function work anyway?

A while ago I wrote about how hash maps work, but something’s been bugging me. How does the hash function do its thing? I know hash functions make variable length data into fixed length data but how do they do that? To be clear I’m interested in the kind of hash you would use for a hash map, you would definitely want a more secure hash to keep your passwords safe. Thanks.. Read More

Link of the day

This post titled How I Ruined Office Productivity With a Face-Replacing Slack Bot (Without Really Knowing What I Was Doing) has been floating around the internets lately so you may have already seen it. Even if you have, it’s an interesting example of how a programmer breaks down a new problem and experiments with the pieces before putting it all together. I especially like how that post shows the tiny experiments Jason started.. Read More

Do you have to be good at math to be a programmer?

One of the most common misconceptions I’ve heard about programming is that you have to be a math whiz to be a good programmer. I’ve mentioned this before but I want to attack that particular stereotype more directly. It is true that there are similarities between math and programming – programming uses some math terms like function and variable, it’ll be a lot easier to get things onto the screen if you.. Read More

Be a better programmer while still having a life: part 6

Willpower is a big deal when you’re doing an inherently difficult and frustrating task like programming. It’s also something we tend to assume we either have or we don’t, but there are actually a lot of things we can do to improve our chances of making it through a willpower challenge whether that’s making yourself write boring documentation or resisting the urge to screw around on reddit all afternoon instead.. Read More

Be a better programmer while still having a life: part 5

Today’s tip for becoming a better programmer while still having a life isn’t just good for you, it’s good for your whole team. That tip is documentation. I know, nobody actually likes doing documentation. Fortunately, I’m not talking about dry design docs or endless specifications, I’m talking about a simple wiki (or whatever works for you), written by you and your team for you and your team. It doesn’t have.. Read More

JUnit tip of the day

Fun fact about JUnit tests: if something throws an exception that prevents your test from completing normally, it can’t clean up after itself. Normally this isn’t a big deal but if, for example, your setup method adds any test data to your database or creates a whole new database, you’re going to need to clean that up manually. Turns out extra databases eat up a lot of hard drive space.. Read More

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