It’s bad enough that JavaSchools fail to weed out the kids who are never going to be great programmers, which the schools could justifiably say is not their problem. Until we’re a company the size of Oracle, we don’t have to think about grand strategies. Today, to work on CityDesk, I need to know Visual Basic, COM, ATL, C++, InnoSetup, Internet Explorer internals, regular expressions, DOM, HTML, CSS, and XML. Do you do hallway usability testing? You bought programs X, Y and Z. I’ve seen all kinds of figures for drop-out rates in CS and they’re usually between 40% and 70%. The only thing you can return is Windows XP.). Take Edelman’s alliance with Newsgator to provide pre-gamed conversations. If it worked, great! If there’s no equivalent for the Unicode code point you’re trying to represent in the encoding you’re trying to represent it in, you usually get a little question mark: ? There’s a subtle reason that programmers always want to throw away the code and start over.

There’s a reason for this. Encouraged by the feedback of his peers, he sets up in business and prepares to take orders. Jonathan changes the subject to clients. The developers of the Macintosh OS at Apple have always been in this camp. Inside Microsoft, the MSDN Magazine Camp has won the battle. First, “Spare me the garbage that we need real code running on the client…” Gillmor himself considers Ajax applications in web browsers the “sweet spot”, and those involve an awful lot of real code running on the client. The flow to our bottom line from new versions with new features is absolutely undeniable. A hallway usability test is where you grab the next person that passes by in the hallway and force them to try to use the code you just wrote. Strategic kindergarden: Childish strategies attempting to get publicity through weblogs. In either case, you should enforce the simple rule “no code without spec”. The user interface so perfectly mimics a users’ thought process that the people he shows it to at the Programmer’s Cafe hardly notice that there is a user interface. Watch out when your competition fires at you. There was no attempt to keep the bug-count down. But make sure that you get a product that supports (XML / SOAP / CDE / J2EE) because otherwise you’ll be Locked In The Trunk.” Then when the little companies try to sell into that account, all they hear is obedient CTOs parrotting “Do you have J2EE?” And they have to waste all their time building in J2EE even if it doesn’t really make any sales, and gives them no opportunity to distinguish themselves. But you’re not so smart, because that’s going to take you six months, not two months, and those 4 months might mean you miss the Christmas shopping season, so now it cost you a year, and probably made your whole business plan unviable. By comparison, there is another method of transmitting data called IP which is unreliable.

Every time Gnome or KDE announces a new release I go straight to the screenshots and say, “oh, they changed the planet from Jupiter to Saturn. The Ben and Jerry’s corporate history says they started with a $12,000 investment. The traditional store-it-in-two-byte methods are called UCS-2 (because it has two bytes) or UTF-16 (because it has 16 bits), and you still have to figure out if it’s high-endian UCS-2 or low-endian UCS-2. The reason that they think the old code is a mess is because of a cardinal, fundamental law of programming: It’s harder to read code than to write it. Whether it works or not remains to be seen. In the post-mortem, this was referred to as “infinite defects methodology”. In practice this means trading leads: contact information for customers who have expressed a desire to purchase some commodity. Don’t get me wrong… I think .NET is a great development environment and Avalon with XAML is a tremendous advance over the old way of writing GUI apps for Windows. But what about the CS mission of CS departments? I’d love to send you a loaded Ferrari 1000 courtesy of Windows Vista and AMD. Email. If you were developing desktop applications in the early years of Windows, Microsoft offered you two ways to do it: writing C code which calls the Windows API directly and managing your own memory, or using Visual Basic and getting your memory managed for you. Typically, you have to call the function twice—on the first call, you tell it that you’ve allocated zero bytes, and it fails with a “not enough memory allocated” message and conveniently also tells you how much memory you need to allocate.

It’s all about focus. Custom Fields. In fact if you poke around in the AppCompatibility section of your registry you’ll see a whole list of applications that Windows treats specially, emulating various old bugs and quirky behaviors so they’ll continue to work. A sure sign of my descent into senility is bitchin’ and moanin’ about “kids these days,” and how they won’t or can’t do anything hard any more. If you need to spend some time learning about the domain or if you need a domain expert to help you, that’s fine, but the design of the software is your job. Marc Benioff threw a luncheon to announce the latest iterations of the Salesforce build-out, and instead of playing to the middle of the pack, excelled in a detail-rich deep dive into his company’s mining of its customer base as the evolution of Microsoft’s developer strategy. That’s fine.

Many of these articles have been collected into four books, available at your favorite bookstore. Read a couple of corporate histories – Amazon and Ben and Jerry’s for starters, even though they are blatant hagiographies, and see which one jibes more with your set of core values. And the unproductive periods do seem to correlate somewhat with gloomier moods. Of course, these are not the only factors that determine success or failure: in particular, if you have a great software team working on a product that nobody wants, well, people aren’t going to want it. However, there is a less understood phenomenon which is going largely unnoticed: Microsoft’s crown strategic jewel, the Windows API, is lost. In any case, simple operations like opening a file, writing a string, and closing it using the raw Windows API can take a page of code. Which gets me to the most important point of this essay: Your first priority as the manager of a software team is building the development abstraction layer. But you have to do one of those, or you won’t be able to hire.

Is software supposed to be like an old Dodge Dart, that rusts just sitting in the garage? It’s a checkbox feature — you do it because you need the checkbox saying you have it, but nobody will use it or needs it. And users don’t seem to care about the little UI glitches and slowness of web interfaces. The MSDN Magazine Camp needs to keep churning out new gigantic pieces of technology that nobody can keep up with. If you’re using the term simplicity to mean “grace and economy” or “elegance,” that’s terrific. Search. Breaking the build is so bad (and so common) that it helps to make daily builds, to insure that no breakage goes unnoticed. At the big company, new products were created on a regular basis, and even if they were inelegant and homely, they still sold in reasonable quantities. If your code is at all important to the business, there are lots of reasons why it’s important to the business to know when the code is going to be done. To make the FogBugz for Visual Studio add-in possible, we implemented a new FogBugz API, now in version 1.0. All new source code!

The MSDN Magazine Camp believes in making things easy for developers by giving them really powerful chunks of code which they can leverage, if they are willing to pay the price of incredibly complicated deployment and installation headaches, not to mention the huge learning curve. Actually Microsoft has pretty terrible marketing. (You had ones? But I can’t find a single university that requires Latin any more. a large area of extremely low-res vision, and the ability to page-fault-in

Once the code is written, the cost of fixing problems is dramatically higher, both emotionally (people hate to throw away code) and in terms of time, so there’s resistance to actually fixing the problems.

Those are defined in the “Rashi” section below each paragraph. In infantry battles, he told us, there is only one strategy: Fire and Motion. In general, venture capitalists aren’t too enthusiastic about the idea of going into a market with pesky competitors. The Raymond Chen camp is all about consolidation. More about me. Provide a concierge available to all employees for picking up dry cleaning, getting reservations, arranging for limos to the airport, etc. When I struggled through such a course, CSE121 at Penn, I watched as many if not most of the students just didn’t make it. Once I’m done with my Fog Creek training and my degree from Columbia, I’ll be a superlatively hireable package.”.

Everyone does as many checkins as possible before lunch. Should I send it back and buy my own copy? Sounds nice, huh? The English letter A would be U+0041. The law of leaky abstractions means that whenever somebody comes up with a wizzy new code-generation tool that is supposed to make us all ever-so-efficient, you hear a lot of people saying “learn how to do it manually first, then use the wizzy tool to save time.” Code generation tools which pretend to abstract out something, like all abstractions, leak, and the only way to deal with the leaks competently is to learn about how the abstractions work and what they are abstracting. Nope, if the Ajax API and the terms of service around including unaltered adsense are so counter to user interest, that will precipitate a decline in usage and therefore less adoption of Google properties. We had to get up at six in the morning, clean the bag, eat a crust of stale bread, go to work down the mill, fourteen hours a day, week-in week-out, and when we got home our Dad would thrash us to sleep with his belt.” — Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs, The Absolute Minimum Every Software Developer Absolutely, Positively Must Know About Unicode and Character Sets (No Excuses! He’s not just an expert on software development, he’s a very good writer and thinker. This is not, actually, correct. Mark: Lucovsky. It’s the ISP whose service is down more often than it’s up, and when you cancel your account, they keep billing you, and billing you, and billing you, but when you call to complain, you have to call a toll number and wait on hold for an hour, and then they still refuse to refund you, until you start a blog about how badly they suck. Says Bergerson, 27: ‘I showed my mother, and she said, “You’re still playing with Lego blocks, like when you were a kid!”’”, “Eventually, a whole new way of selling software may emerge. Would you hire a magician without asking them to show you some magic tricks? For example on some PCs the character code 130 would display as é, but on computers sold in Israel it was the Hebrew letter Gimel (), so when Americans would send their résumés to Israel they would arrive as rsums. Well, technically, yes, I do believe it could, and, in fact, early implementors wanted to be able to store their Unicode code points in high-endian or low-endian mode, whichever their particular CPU was fastest at, and lo, it was evening and it was morning and there were already two ways to store Unicode. The real long term damage was hidden.

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