Friday Jan 19, 2018
Software is a problem solving tool. Yes it’s great to wallow in the latest frameworks, the most obfuscated lines of code, sitting back, hands behind head, proudly surveying the terse and elegant code but these are moments of working out at the code gym. What you’re really doing is honing your problem solving skills, evaluating different ways of approaching a problem. What really counts is the solution you create and how maintainable it is by someone in the future. The original problem may morph as new technology is introduced to the business processes behind the project, requiring someone to update the solution and that someone may not be you.
Wednesday Jan 17, 2018
I learned a few languages at school. English (thankfully, though the Glaswegian dialect of course!), Latin, Ancient Greek, Russian and Gaelic and since then I’ve always been prone to asking people to say things when I want to get a feel for how their language works.
Wednesday Apr 19, 2017The modern developer is expected to know how to set up their development server where they put their app through its paces and the process of doing so is known as DevOps. In theory it sounds easy. Just run some Puppet scripts, deploy and get down to testing. In reality it can be a bit gnarly. What if it’s an old server with no Puppet support and everything’s custom installed by hand?
Friday May 20, 2016
Many years ago, when I worked in industry as a driver developer, I used what was essentially the Waterfall method of software development. I had no choice as that’s what the company used. The team wrote and maintained detailed requirements documents. Lots of bullet pointed paragraphs, sub-paragraphs, indices, glossaries, what’s the point of these?
Thursday Feb 4, 2016There’s a fair amount of speculation in both camps about what you can expect from each environment and as I spent my formative years as a software developer in industry, I thought I’d compare my experiences of both. The main difference is the motive. In industry it’s profit. If something doesn’t directly contribute to profit it doesn’t get done. If something doesn’t support something that brings in profit, it doesn’t get done.
Thursday Sep 10, 2015
Well the old pile has a new look both up front and behind the scenes. I was idly thinking of upgrading my octopress install and saw that it was moving to octopress3 and v2 was basically on the way out. v3 had very little documentation and practically no themes. Time to go.
Thursday Aug 20, 2015Packt Publishing contacted me about their Free Learning Forever initiative, where they make available to their readers and customers a free ebook. Every day. Now that’s a pretty generous offer but why would I want to publicise something like this? I’m a great fan of CPD (Continuing Professional Development). I do it in my technical role, in my mountain guiding role and in my photography stuff so I know how important it is and this offer just seems too good to miss.
Thursday Jul 2, 2015I’ve been working on an interesting project recently, along the lines of public access to university library resources (walk-in access). I’ve developed an Android app, set up an iBeacon for the App to detect and a backend which interfaces to Active Directory but between the app and the backend is some gubbins. That gubbins is a Shibboleth Service Provider (SP) and although I wrote my own one many years ago, I decided to go with the ‘official’ one and build it from source.
Friday Jun 26, 2015So I plugged the WD My Passport mega-tera-huge USB drive into the mac, ready to do a backup and nothing appeared. That sinking feeling and the faint sound of a year’s worth of backups spiralling round the u-bend. I went into a terminal and tried some fsck_hfs options but just got: NO WRITE ACCESS UNEXPECTED INCONSISTENCY; … RUN fsck_hfs MANUALLY and other gubbins such as: Resource busyjournal_replay returned 16
Wednesday Oct 29, 2014
Sometimes it’s nice to sit down and have a look over what you’ve been up to over the last month, so I brewed up a nice mug of coffee and did just that. It’s been pretty busy with different development projects jostling for space in the old brainbox but with judicious use of Jira (release management) and Stash (git), it’s a pleasurable experience.