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+ - The Joel Test for your codebase->

Submitted by craigtp
craigtp (1356527) writes "In August 2000, Joel Spolsky wrote The Joel Test, a checklist to judge the quality of a software team. This is just as valid today.

The team is vitally important, but so is the code you spend 8+ hours a day working on. Here’s an equivalent of the Joel Test to measure how easy your code-base is to work on.

(Google cache link in case of Slashdotting)"

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Not-so-accurate source (Score 1) 487

by craigtp (#43923375) Attached to: BBC Clock Inaccurate - 100 Days To Fix?

Spot on.

I've often said this to my programming colleagues, but Dates, Times and calculations between them really are one of the hardest "problems" in solve in programming/computing.

Dates & Times are so incredibly deceptive as on the surface they appear simple yet when you really look into it they're incredibly hard to get "right", what with time differences, daylight savings times (where we arbitrarily move the clock around for the hell of it). DST's are the worst.

Imagine if things like DST were applied to our numbers. It's like having our normal Base10 numbering system, but once or twice a year, we suddenly decide that the digit 6 actually represents 7 of something (or alternatively, represents 5 of something). Now all those calculations that assert that 6 + 6 = 12 are wrong, as 6 + 6 actually equals 13!

Comment: Re:Corrections (Score 1) 73

by craigtp (#41629033) Attached to: Spy Gadgets: A Visit With the Real-Life Q

What you don't know, though, is the shop is a front for his more surreptitious and covert activities. Apparently, his superiors in MI6 were a little uneasy with him specifically running a shop selling spy equipment as his "cover", but he successfully convinced them that its the best disguise. You know, hiding in plain sight and all that!

Comment: Re:Elephant in the room (Score 4, Interesting) 182

by craigtp (#39872933) Attached to: Facebook To Go Public On Friday, May 18

Facebook is indeed profitable.

But merely a fad. Just as much as AOL chat rooms, Friendster and MySpace, and possibly even YouTube and Twitter.

There's nothing demanding that users continue to user Facebook, nothing binds their behavior, and worst of all, user interest can easily evaporate overnight.

Oh but there is something demanding that users continue to use Facebook: The Network Effect.

And within Facebook's network effect, Critical mass has long since been surpassed and Metcalfe's Law has grown to such a large proportion that, for current users of Facebook, leaving Facebook is akin to simply switching off the internet altogether.

Comment: Re:Heil (Score 1) 462

by craigtp (#39830867) Attached to: 'Mein Kampf' To Be Republished In Germany

Agreed, it's definitely not because of an inherent character flaw of the German people.

If Stanley Milgram's experiment has taught us one thing, it's that as human beings and irrespective of our race, colour, creed and country of birth, we are all fallible and potentially open to coercion to do the bidding (or at least silently allow it to happen - something that Martin Niemöller expressed so beautifully in his "First they came.." statement) of "evil" men.

Comment: Re:Two Groups (Score 1) 177

by craigtp (#39498899) Attached to: Microsoft Releases ASP.NET MVC Under the Apache License

Indeed. I think we're broadly in agreement here. The great thing about certain sections of Microsoft is that a lot of the managers in those areas are precisely those developers with the "developer mindset".

For example, Scott Guthrie - who I previously mentioned - was the lead developer on ASP.NET itself (the old "webforms" not the newer MVC incarnation) but is now a vice-president of the Developer Division.

Having people in a managerial capacity with some level of authority and decision making ability who are also developers with the developer mindset is very often a very good thing.

Comment: Re:Two Groups (Score 4, Interesting) 177

by craigtp (#39497089) Attached to: Microsoft Releases ASP.NET MVC Under the Apache License

It's not just developers and managers as groups. Remember, that these days Microsoft is a huge organisation and is full of many different divisions. There's Windows, Office, XBox, Windows Phone etc. amongst many others.

The guys that are responsible for this move are the "Web Dev Div", who are a sub-group within the "Developer Division".

It contains many people, including guys like Scott Guthrie, Scott Hanselman, Phil Haack (who recently left to join GitHub) etc., who have always done things that don't seem very Microsoft-like, like releasing ASP.NET MVC as an open-source product - albeit one that didn't accept outside contributions - back in 2009 along with such moves as bundling things like the open source jQuery library with Visual Studio and openly committing improvements back to the core project without trying the usual embrace, extend, extinguish tactics.

Within certain parts of Microsoft, they can, have done, and are continuing to do some very interesting, worthwhile and generally community-friendly (and not-so-evil) work.

Comment: 4G? (Score 1) 166

by craigtp (#39134883) Attached to: Almost a Million UK Homes Will Suffer 4G TV interference
Whoa, slow down there!

Never mind rolling out a 4G network, a lot of the cellular/mobile networks in the UK can't even provide a decent 3G service!

I'm with O2, and in a built-up populous city and at least 50% of the time I find that I have an incredibly poor 3G signal. This figure doubles when I go indoors.

Let's try and make the 3G signal better first before we start jumping onto the "next big thing". Or if 4G really is the saviour of 3G's ills, let's get rid of 3G and have the networks provide all us consumers with free upgrades to 4G!

Comment: Re:srsly (Score 4, Interesting) 446

by craigtp (#38889335) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Transitioning From 'Hacker' To 'Engineer'?
And the public is correct. Most software *is* "bug-ridden, badly designed shite".

I'm a software developer by trade, and I'm also old enough to be of the generation where one has pride in one's work but, in my experience, many places where I've worked don't seem to share that same pride in a job well done. Most care far more about getting something, no matter how "bug-ridden" or "badly designed" out of the door so they can bill the customer.

I always remember this quotation from the great Niklaus Wirth:

In a well known interview with Dr. Carlo Pescio, published in Software Development, June 1997, Pescio asks Wirth:

You probably know about the 'good enough software' concept popularized by Yourdon. In many senses, it's just a rationalization of what's happening in the software world: the first company hitting the market with a feature-rich product is more likely to win the battle than the careful, quality-seeking company. Do you think there is anything developers and software organizations can do about that? I guess many developers would be happy to be given more time to develop better software, but at the same time they are rushed in the name of corporate survival. 'Educating the users' seems more a wild dream than a possibility.

to which Wirth replies:

'Good enough software' is rarely good enough. It is a sad manifestation of the spirit of modern times, in which an individual's pride in his/her work has become rare. The idea that one might derive satisfaction from his or her successful work, because that work is ingenious, beautiful, or just pleasing, has become ridiculed. Nothing but economic success and monetary reward is acceptable. Hence our occupations have become mere jobs. But quality of work can be expected only through personal satisfaction, dedication and enjoyment. In our profession, precision and perfection are not a dispensable luxury, but a simple necessity.

Comment: Re:Reflections (Score 1) 960

by craigtp (#38183636) Attached to: Why Everyone Hates the IT Department

You: I can't let you use the normal Dropbox because SOX made it illegal, but I can give you an account on our internal encrypted fileserver so you can share documents easily with your coworkers. User: Oh, I didn't realize it was a legal issue. Can you show me that fileserver thing?

Except most users stop listening after you've said "I can't let you use...". You're not offering solutions. Your "good IT" is really no different than "bad IT", to the user.

The user wants to use Dropbox. The solution, the only solution as far as the user is concerned, is to give them Dropbox!

Microsoft

+ - Bill Gates Doesn't Work at Microsoft Anymore->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "The recent Fortune article on Bill Gates' post-Microsoft life made one thing very clear to blogger Steven Vaughan-Nichols: 'Bill Gates was, and still is, the face of Microsoft. What Microsoft doesn't want you to know though is that Gates has almost nothing to do with the company anymore.' The fact is that Microsoft doesn't want to draw attention to Gates' absence because the company 'has been tanking in recent years,' says Vaughan-Nichols. 'While Microsoft's last quarter was far better than it was a year ago, thanks largely to Windows 7 finally picking up steam, neither Microsoft's growth nor its profits are what they were like when Gates was at the helm.'"
Link to Original Source
Transportation

Do We Need Running Shoes To Run? 776

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the kenyans-have-it-right dept.
prostoalex writes to tell us The Daily Mail has an interesting look at current research in the field of running and injuries related to running. Most of the evidence pointed at a lack of any need for running shoes. Some of the more interesting points: the more expensive the running shoes, the greater the probability of getting an injury; some of the planet's best and most intense runners run barefoot; Stanford running team, having access to the top-notch modern shoes sent in for free by manufacturers, after a few rounds of trial and error still chose to train with no shoes at all."

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