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Mel Reams

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Link of the day: Decision-making matrix

One of the problems that really interests me lately is decision-making. Specifically, how teams can make decisions without wasting a ton of time going back and forth about what they’re going to do, and how they can prevent time-thieves from re-opening decisions they weren’t happy with. The simple matrix described in This Matrix Helps Growing Teams Make Great Decisions at First Round Review seems like a fantastic alternative to endless.. Read More

Link of the day: Sunset testing for short-lived code

Today’s link is about a way to make sure you actually remember to remove that code you need for now but not forever: Sunset testing for short-lived code by Emily Nakashima I like this link because even though I rely on computers to remember things for me a lot, I never thought of adding a test with an expiry date to force me to remember to remove code, or at.. Read More

Terrible ironies of programming: feeling stupid

There are a bunch of bitterly ironic things about the software industry. Let’s talk about one of them! Programmers love to feel smart and chose a profession that makes us feel stupid all the freaking time. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like feeling smart but let’s be honest, programmers really like feeling smart. So many of us were weird nerds as kids and being smart was the one thing.. Read More

Talk of the day: seriously excellent career advice

Read the slides and speaker notes for Tanya Reilly’s excellent talk Being Glue right now! Seriously, this talk is so great. If you do glue work (that is, extremely important technical work that keeps teams and projects on track, like reviewing designs and seeing what’s missing, noticing that another team is working on something similar to your team and coordinating the two teams so they don’t duplicate each other’s work,.. Read More

Link of the day

We all know we have personal biases, but have you ever thought about your software design biases? I certainly didn’t until I read this article about Software Design Bias by Sandro Mancuso. If you’re having trouble with the design of a piece of software, it’s worth taking a look at Sandro’s handy list of biases and thinking about whether the way you prefer to design software is actually the best.. Read More

Link of the day

Persistence is enormously valuable, I even believe it’s more important than intelligence if you want to a programmer, but knowing when to quit is valuable too. That’s why I like I successfully chased my Big Life Dream, and I hated it by Rowen, so much. Their dream was to travel the world in a sailboat, yours might be to become a freelancer, to start your own business, to switch to game.. Read More

Link of the day

Learning Fluency, by Sara Simon is a really interesting article and you should definitely read it. It’s kind of hard to summarize, what I got from it was that there are a lot of parallels between learning natural languages and learning to program, one of which is that rote memorization is both really useful and really underrated. Variables and loops are really boring for experienced programmers (which I’m suspicious is.. Read More

Parallels between writing and programming

You might have guessed from my extremely wordy blogposts that I like writing as well as programming :) Aside from having a personal interest in writing, I think there are some really useful parallels between writing and programming. Let’s talk about one of them: separating writing and editing. This is a pretty common piece of writing advice, I’ve seen it all over the internet. More specifically, what separating writing and.. Read More

Process smells

I’ve been talking about code smells for a while, but code is far from the only thing that can go wrong. What about process smells? There are things in your development process that may not necessarily be wrong in every situation, but are a signal that something could be wrong. Some of these are more definitely stinky than code smells, but not all of them. As always, if you’re happy.. Read More