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Help! I've Inherited Legacy Code
Testing Untestable Code
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The Art of Work
Technical Idiot Savants
Targetted Skills Aquition vs Free Range Chickens
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Blog Archive

Thu, 28 Jul 2005

Free shirt reminder

Just a quick reminder, if you planned on going after one of the shirts, today's your last day.

Here's the original post.

posted at: 23:33 | path: | permanent link to this entry

Technical Idiot Savants

Andy Hunt gave a talk Thursday night in Reston, Virginia called Refactoring Your Wetware. I got a chance to review the slides before he went and it got me thinking... sounded like it would be a great talk by the way!

Some developers let their company put them in a niche. They learn so much of the company's internal technology that they lose touch with their industry at large. They become very good at a very small set of technologies.

This is a very bad thing for both the company and the developer.

As a developer, you have gained a great many non-transferable job skills. When you decide to move, or when the company lays you and 10,000 other poor souls off, you'll be unemployable. From a personal point of view, this is a very bad situation.

It's also bad for your company. There are a great many smart and talented people across this world and they are doing clever things. Are you learning about the clever things people are doing? Did you know about the ideas behind AJAX before AJAX became a buzzword? Or do you know what AJAX is now? :)

My point is that if you keep informed about your industry in general, you'll continue to learn. And you'll bring that knowledge back to your day job where you'll apply the new ideas. Instead of solving problems yourself, you'll read about how some other smart people solved the same problem.

It comes down to pulling your head up from your work from time to time and looking around at the landscape. You may be working very hard building your road, but are you headed in the right direction? Do you see the canyon ahead that you'll want to avoid?

Don't let you company train you to become a technical idiot savant who can do one thing so very well but is useless for anything else. It may occur naturally in some people, but in developers, it's a learned trait!

posted at: 23:31 | path: | permanent link to this entry

Justin Gehtland on software

I saw a great quote on Justin's blog.

So, I guess what I'm saying is, Agile Development works for books as well as for software. Get the product in front of readers early and often, and they'll work with you to make the perfect product. Deliver once, at the end, and there are bound to be problems, and lots of unhappy customers who, rightfully, can't understand why the problems existed in the first place.

Check out the entire post here

In Ship It! we talk about Tracer Bullet Development and how it enables you to have an end-to-end running system very early in your development cycle. The abilty to demo the product and get early feedback, for books and software, is the only way to actually deliver what your customer needs, as opposed to what they asked you to build!

posted at: 23:05 | path: | permanent link to this entry