What humble citrus fruit can tell us about software
Whenever I work on unfamiliar code I start extracting methods. I look for chunks of code that I can name - then I extract them. Even if I inline the methods I’ve extracted later, I have a way of temporarily hiding details so that I can see the overall structure.
When I’m working with someone, often they point out that I’m actually . . .
Reflections from ICCS2018
This past week I was at a conference with some wonderful talks, but I also enjoy the hallway track - the conversations you have with people during breaks. You trade experiences and eventually you get to the question: “what do you do?” My answer started with one word: software. The people I met had a range of reactions but often they spoke . . .
Social effects of increased communication
One of the things about having kids is that their experiences put cultural change in sharp relief. You see the issues they deal with and think back to what you were doing when you were the same age.
Although my children are older now, I vividly remember conversations we had back when they were in elementary school and the . . .
We often think that backward compatibility is hard, but actually it’s rather easy. Any project with users has a built-in mechanism for maintaining backward compatibility — people complain when it’s broken. That’s how you know. And, most of the time they let you know quickly.
The problem with this is that users can force unwanted . . .
Guiding software by flipping figure and ground
You’ve probably seen this picture before. It’s one of several images that people use to show how perception works. You either see a vase or two faces looking at each other. In the terminology of Gestalt Psychology, one becomes the figure and the other becomes the ground. We can switch between the vase and the faces but we can’t see . . .
(At Least Twice)
(This is a requested repost of a lost blog I wrote in 2009. I'd change a few things, but not many)
I spent most of yesterday afternoon working on a paper I’m co-writing. It was one of those days when the writing came easy. I was moving from topic to topic, but then I realized that I was reaching too far backward – I was . . .
If you want to know about the mechanics of refactoring there are quite a few resources out there. You can even find resources that outline refactoring strategy. But what about mindset? Is there a refactoring mindset that people should be aware of? I think that there is.
A while ago I was working with a team. We had time to refactor . . .