Coding Zealotry: Peer Programming

In our next episode of the smash hit series “Coding Zealotry” (aka “The Random Babbling of a Madman”), we’re looking at the practice of peer programming (pair programming) and asking ourselves whether we should abandon our solitude and do it all together.

Peering Into the Paradigmboat-606187_1280

In case you’re uninitiated, peer programming involves two programmers sitting in front of a computer, writing the code together. Usually one guy writes and the other guy points out all his errors. Depending on the chemistry it can be a fun session of engaging on unique ideas, or a world war of spats over variable names. Continue reading →

Coding Zealotry: Class Interfaces

In a previous article entitled “The Religious Zealotry of Coding Best Practice”, we looked at how some best practices are implemented blindly, even though the costs outweigh the benefits where the practice is actually implemented.

In this article we’ll take a brief look at class interfaces.

It Starts Simple

So here’s a classic service class in C#:

public class CarCreator
{
   public Car CreateCar(string name)
   {
       return new Car { Name = name };
   }
}

It’s simple, it does what it says it’s going to do, it’s easy to read, and clearly easy to add onto. Continue reading →

The Religious Zealotry of Coding Best Practice

Looking across the different cultures of software houses, I’d say there are roughly three camps:

1. The Hack-Attack

The fast food merchants of code production, these guys look to get it out ASAP. Do the least possible work to get the sign-off from the customer, to get a product installed that does what it’s meant to do … for the most part at least.

I actually respect these guys – you can laugh at the quality of their work, but like a fast food outlet technically gets the job done (fills the stomach), these coders are incredibly efficient. In terms of bang-for-buck, they are often remarkably cost effective.

It’s fairly easy to understand the problems with this approach though. Some projects just go wrong. The code is at a level of spaghetti-ness that would impress a native Italian mafia-run dockside restaurant. Typically what happens in these firms is that a fast-build project is also a fast-fix project, so instead of accepting that the code essentially needs some level of re-write, the quickest dirtiest fix is implemented, which often only exasperates the problem. Continue reading →

The Developers that Ruin the Show

“Previously on <TV show name>…”, we discussed how a business can slide into the blame game, where the need for accountability can cause staff to avoid ownership, and where every failing can result in additional processes that produce more cost than benefit.

code-707069_1280We’re preaching the virtues of trust, but as many a broken marriage will narrate, trust that is broken is often never recovered. For every grade-A star, there is a problem developer lurking behind his three monitors, about to ruin the party for everyone. How shall we fix a problem like Maria?

We’ll look at several common party poopers, and I’m sure you’ll even find yourself reflected in one of the categories. I certainly do. Each of these citizens starts with a low level of trust, and as you retrain them and increase their trust levels, you can drop the obsolete processes that originally served as safeguards. Continue reading →

How to give your LinkedIn Profile a Makeover.

With thousands and thousands of blogs about sales and marketing out there, it’s tough to know which ones are the ones worth reading. Between the news, LinkedIn, Twitter, and email, most people are inundated with generic, untargeted content.

Hence why, rather than labeling myself a ‘blogger’ I have dubbed myself a serial ‘Re-Blogger’. Finding targeted and interesting content in weird and wonderful places and sharing it to those that in normal circumstances may have missed it.

Continue reading →

Money-Making is Where Money is Made

When it comes to inventing new tech ideas, it’s so tempting to target the consumer market.  You’re living out your daily life and out of that context you think: what about this new cool app that could do this and that … consumers would love it. Right?

The problem with retail apps is that they’re asking consumers to spend a little bit extra on top of what they’re already spending.  While a good deal of their budget is dedicated to entertainment, that money is not currently untouched – it’s all being spent already.  So when you come along with your cool app and ask someone to spend, you’re asking them to switch their spend from something they’re already enjoying so much that they’ve been willing to pay for it.

If you’re going to be successful in the consumer space, you need to take one of two approaches: Continue reading →