the codist - programmerthink

My Language Is Better Than Your Language

Published: 03/03/2015

Or is it Your Language Is Better Than My Language, I forget.

If there is anything programmers love to debate more than programming languages? Maybe, but this is pretty popular. Of course we do need more of a life.

When I started programming for money in 1981, there weren't a whole lot of choices to argue about. I started with Fortran but was also exposed to various assembly languages, Jovial (the precursor to Ada), Pascal and someone once handed me some sample code written in PL/1 which gave me a headache. I had used Basic and a little APL but that was pretty much it. I knew of Cobol, at least enough to run away. Most people just knew one and maybe a little assembly.

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What You Don't Know Will Hurt You

Published: 01/31/2015

For three different jobs in a row I've had to convince the team that tracking crashes in their apps was not only a good idea but necessary. Why this isn't obvious to everyone is not obvious to me.

Even on StackOverflow, answering questions on iOS development, I am constantly amazed at people who don't even know there are services that collect and symbolicate your crashes.

I learned a long time ago that most people will not complain and just assume app crashes are common and to be tolerated, although these days a small vocal percentage will take the time to leave a bad review in an app store.

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Quality Requires QA

Published: 01/19/2015

Today I read an analysis of why Facebook's iOS app has such dismal ratings.. Surprise, surprise, they don't believe in QA. I've spent more than 3 decades writing apps, and I've seen this happen a lot and it always winds up terrible.

Reminds me of a post I wrote 4 years ago QA! QA? We don't need no stinking QA!.

"As you may know, Facebook does not have big QA teams... we believe that developers are responsible for their own code, and they're supposed to write the tests to do that." is what an engineering manager from Facebook said. This makes me laugh, or groan, or cry.

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The Big Bang And Other Stupidities

Published: 12/02/2014

At the place I am currently contracting they are in the midst of a giant replacement of everything project. My part of it, an iOS app, is mostly done.

The bulk of the dozen or so applications are either incomplete, untested, or not even started; yet the deadline is now set to the end of this year.

Why do people do this? After 3 decades as a programmer I can tell what's possible and what has a chance of some imaginary number of happening.

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Thankful To Be A Programmer

Published: 11/26/2014

In the US today we celebrate Thanksgiving, and I really feel thankful that I can be a programmer.

For over 33 years now I've been writing code professionally, never going more than 3 weeks without writing something. It's hard to imagine how many lines I've written.

There is nothing like the creativity, the discipline, the desire to learn, the ability to make something that started with nothing but a blank screen. I was accepted into a PhD program in Chemistry before I decided more school was not for me and got my first job in October of 1981.

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