Thursday, September 29, 2011

Don't settle

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.”

-- Jobs @ Stanford commencement speech, June 2005

Saturday, September 24, 2011

What people want

“When you’re young, you look at television and think, There’s a conspiracy. The networks have conspired to dumb us down. But when you get a little older, you realize that’s not true. The networks are in business to give people exactly what they want. That’s a far more depressing thought. Conspiracy is optimistic! You can shoot the bastards! We can have a revolution! But the networks are really in business to give people what they want. It’s the truth.”

-- Jobs @ Wired, February 1996

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Your time

“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
-- Jobs @ Stanford commencement speech, June 2005

Sunday, September 18, 2011

On-site costumer

Managers will have to decide which is more valuable - having the software working sooner and better or having the output of one or two people. If having the system doesn't bring more value to the business than having one more person working, perhaps the system shouldn't be built.

-- Kent Beck

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Millions of human tapeworms

Since the modern, scientifically conceived corporation was invented in the early half of the twentieth century, creativity has been sacrificed in favor of forwarding the interests of the “team player.”

Fair enough. There was more money in doing it that way; that’s why they did it.
There’s only one problem. Team players are not very good at creating value on their own. They are not autonomous; they need a team in order to exist.
So now corporations are awash with nonautonomous thinkers.
Creating an economically viable entity where lack of original thought is handsomely rewarded creates a rich, fertile environment for parasites to breed.
And that’s exactly what’s been happening. So now we have millions upon millions of human tapeworms thriving in the Western world, making love to their PowerPoint presentations, feasting on the creativity of others.
-- Hugh MacLeod @ Ignore Everybody

Monday, September 12, 2011

All the great code

So you can write Java code that's object-oriented but C-like using arrays, vectors, linked lists, hashtables, and a minimal sprinkling of classes. Or you can spend years creating mountains of class hierarchies and volumes of UML in a heroic effort to tell people stories about all the great code you're going to write someday.

Perl, Python and Ruby fail to attract many Java and C++ programmers because, well, they force you to get stuff done. It's not very easy to drag your heels and dicker with class modeling in dynamic languages, although I suppose some people still manage. By and large these languages force you to face the computation head-on.

-- Steve Yegge

Friday, September 9, 2011

Importance of data modeling

It's obviously important to do some amount of data modeling. What's not so obvious is when to stop. It's like commenting your code: newer programmers just don't know when to quit. When you're a little insecure, adding comments and metadata are a great security-blanket that make you feel busy when you've in fact stopped making forward progress and are just reiterating (or perhaps teaching yourself) what's already been accomplished.

-- Steve Yegge

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Bible salesman

"I think that it's extraordinarily important that we in computer science keep fun in computing. When it started out, it was an awful lot of fun. Of course, the paying customers got shafted every now and then, and after a while we began to take their complaints seriously. We began to feel as if we really were responsible for the successful, error-free perfect use of these machines. I don't think we are. I think we're responsible for stretching them, setting them off in new directions, and keeping fun in the house. I hope the field of computer science never loses its sense of fun. Above all, I hope we don't become missionaries. Don't feel as if you're Bible salesmen. The world has too many of those already. What you know about computing other people will learn. Don't feel as if the key to successful computing is only in your hands. What's in your hands, I think and hope, is intelligence: the ability to see the machine as more than when you were first led up to it, that you can make it more.''

-- Alan J. Perlis

Friday, September 2, 2011

The most horrible invention in the last 20 years

"Here is what I think: The web was probably the most horrible invention in the last 20 years. Just exactly the wrong thing to do.

Now, it happened by accident, and it evolved, and I think that's very interesting. But if you take about 5 steps back and look at this thing we call web and you realize "we're jumping through 85 hoops a day just to get anything done".

How many languages do you have to know to get a freaking a website up?"

-- Bob Martin @ Pragmatic Podcast 29