Mel Reams

Nerrrrd

How does a thread work, anyway?

Threads are used a lot in java, so I should probably understand how they actually work. They’re one of those things you use all the time without thinking about what’s really happening under the covers. I know threads and processes are related, but not exactly how. First of all, what’s a process? To understand threads inside a process you need to understand processes first. A process is an individual thing that’s separate.. Read More

Let’s play CPU!

I think one of many reasons it’s so hard to learn to code is that the people doing the teaching have all forgotten what it was like not to know how to code, so we skip over some really important basic steps because we think they’re inherently obvious. Case in point, this poor redditor who nobody ever taught how to work through a piece of code with a pencil and.. Read More

Project of the day

Somehow I came across a link to this one episode of a podcast called Reply All. That particular episode is about Anxiety Box, a delightfully odd project by Paul Ford. He was dealing with some pretty serious anxiety and being a nerd, decided to write a program to be anxious for him. It’s a really interesting story, and while Anxiety Box is now defunct, all the code is available so you can.. Read More

Repetition is underrated

The more I read about the struggles beginner programmers have and the more I mentor at Ladies Learning Code workshops, the more I think that repetition is seriously underrated when it comes to teaching anything technical. When you’re learning a language or an instrument or a sport or a physical skill like plumbing or carpentry or even math, which is similar to programming in a lot of ways, you expect.. Read More

Link of the day

Today’s link is a reminder that no matter how great you think your favourite language is, every language has flaws. Some people like to go around talking about how their favourite language is the best language and every other language sucks, but that’s much more about personal preference than it is about any one language being objectively better. Different languages are good for different things anyway. Read a little YourLanguageSucks and don’t.. Read More

Let the computer do it for you

Many years ago when I was in college, a friend taught me something that’s been really useful for my whole career. That lesson was to let the computer do it for you. Unless there’s a compelling reason to do things the hard way, just let the computer make things easier for you. Learning lisp? Get a plugin for your text editor or a simple IDE like Dr Racket that matches your.. Read More

Link of the day

How do you know when to take someone’s advice and when to ignore it? Today’s link lays out a few simple steps to figure out When ignoring advice makes sense. There’s no shortage or advice for programmers out there, but there’s just no way all of it works for every single programmer. If you have a process for evaluating advice, you can be sure that the advice you reject really doesn’t.. Read More

Rich Hickey – Hammock Driven Development

A little while ago a friend of mine shared this list of Talks that changed the way I think about programming in one of the many Slacks I’m in and I finally started watching them. Here’s my recap of one of the talks from that list, Hammock Driven Development by Rich Hickey. In it he describes his process for solving hard problems, which is obviously a huge part of what programmers.. Read More

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