Viewing posts for the category Coding

Building Products vs. Building Platforms

Software design decisions are always trade-offs. You can build software that does one specialized thing and does it extremely well. You can build software that does everything in a problem-space and does it acceptably well. But you can't build software that is both extremely flexible and extremely effective. Depending on the situation, you want to choose one over the other.

Adventures with Heroku: python-saml, libxmlsec1, and SWIG

A client uses OneLogin for their single-sign on services. We're building their website hosted on Heroku. We needed to build that SSO integration, and fortunately the folks over at OneLogin have released a very adaptable and well demonstrated toolkit for writing SAML SSO integration in Python. Heroku was the hard part.

On inclusivity and tolerance

Last Wednesday, Elia Schito tweeted from his personal account, apparently referring to gender reassignment surgery:

Interviewing and hiring developers

Methodologies and philosophies on screening, interviewing, and hiring software developers go through fads and phases, as popular wisdom is debunked, thought leaders share their methods, and developers themselves are promoted and bring their own experience to bear. Most of us would agree that nobody's really doing this right, and we don't really agree what "right" would look like.

Filing good bug reports

We all use software and systems we didn't create, and we all find ourselves in the position of having to report bugs and seek support. Surprisingly, support staff and software engineers are human beings, too, and human beings have moods and feelings just like everybody else. They probably spend a good portion of their work day dealing with such things, and they can easily have any number of negative reactions: frustration, impatience, or condescension. This is rude, clearly, but we still need their help to get back to what we were doing. Filing good bug reports and doing your part as a good user can help ensure that you get the most helpful response. Here's how.

Gender and cultural bias in the programming world

Almost as soon as it had happened, my Twitter feed was abuzz with the keynote talk that Jacob Kaplan-Moss gave on how the internal mythology of programmer skill distribution leads to excluding and discouraging what must be the vast majority of software engineers. You should watch it, if you haven't:

Sunday coding fun: Blunderbuss

I took a break from doing my taxes this afternoon to scratch an itch. I call it Blunderbuss.

Head slamming against wall kind of bug

On a client job, I'm being asked to set up an instance of Discourse, a Ruby on Rails application for hosting discussion forums. I've been a fan of Jeff Atwood's blog for some time, so I was excited at the chance. Doubly so because Discourse's preferred shipping method is using Docker containers.