Blog harvest, Christmas 2009

This is the Christmas special edition of our blog harvest. Granted, there is nothing really “special” about it other than the release date. But some of the collected articles are too good to wait until 2010. Be sure to check out the video link at the end, it’s a great presentation.

  • 7 Computer Books I Enjoyed in 2009 – Even if it isn’t my list, I’m glad for this summary of enjoyable books by Freddy Daoud. The first entry on the list is my current programming language book, so I might be somewhat biased.
  • For a fistful of dollars: quantifying the benefits of TDD – A very balanced article about test driven development, backed up by studies. What do we need more? Oh yes, literature! See the links and the last paragraph for this. And grant John Ferguson Smart some self-marketing for his wonderful posting.
  • Remote Pair Programming – Pair programming, like TDD, is a valueable practice. But pairing always requires physical presence. Keith Brophy explored the possibilities of modern software to nullify this requirement. The comments, mentioning Crucible, are also noteworthy.
  • Java 7 chapter 1: The Virtual Machine – The last few years, there was this announceware, nicknamed “Dolphin”. Every few months, blog entries pop up to tell us about the latest and greatest feature of Java 7. Harals Kl. wrote a mini-series that sums it up really nice and doesn’t conceal the dropped features like the Swing Application Framework. Be sure to read all articles of the series.
  • Learn to Let Go: How Success Killed Duke Nukem – While the context to place this article right here is purely coincidential and this isn’t exactly hard computer science, it’s a worthwhile story about a failed project (and the most successful vaporware ever). We grew up with Duke Nukem 3D, it’s a hard loss for us (ok, we will get over it).
  • The Law of Unintended Consequences – This article talks about coincidence, too. Justin Etheredge describes sources of negative side-effects and what software developers can do against it. The introductory example of heatless traffic lights won’t do for developers, because we all know the joke: “How many software developers do you need to change a light bulb?” (*).
  • A Pictorial Guide to avoiding Camera Loss – As this already tends to be humorous: Andrew McDonald talks about another hardware problem – losing a digital camera and how to regain it. Let me warn you about the 16th picture of the guide.

This was the article side of this harvesting. Let’s continue to have fun by watching the promised video and reading about a real misadventurer:

Thank you for reading through this last blog harvest in 2009. See you again in 2010!

(*) “How many software developers do you need to change a light bulb?”: None, it’s a hardware problem.

Follow-up to our Dev Brunch December 2009

Yesterday, we had an appointment for our Dev Brunch meeting in December 2009. We tried to adapt to the christmas time and scheduled the “brunch” to be in the late evening, replacing coffee with mulled wine and toast with ginger bread. We even called it a “drunch” as a combination of “drunk” and “brunch”. It didn’t help.

The Dev Drunch omitted

It was the coldest and most snowy weekend in years. Most participants called in sick, others refused to go outside. Two brave remainders accomplished to reach our company but decided to concentrate on the mulled wine and the heating radiator instead of talking about software development. We chattered about a lot of topics, but none of it is worth to be reported. When the wine ran out, we went home again.

This was the last chance in 2009 to attend a Schneide Dev Brunch. See you all in 2010 and get well soon.