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{ Category Archives } Responsibility

Stop ignoring the world

Long term readers will have noticed, and everybody else is about to be told, that this blog has had posts in the Responsibility category since 2010. I’m not rigorous in my use of WordPress categories, but it’s not much of a stretch to assume that most of those 40 posts touch on professional ethics, and […]

My platform is no platform

I currently use three of the desktop computing platforms (Windows, macOS and GNU/Linux) and one of the mobile computing platforms (Samsung-flavoured Android); I currently get paid to develop software for “the web”, an amorphous non-platform that acts in many ways like a vendor platform orthogonal to those just mentioned. This is not because I want […]

This is fine

The BBC micro:bit is a tool for introducing young people to programming. It’s a little embedded computer with a few inputs and a matrix of LEDs for output, as well as some control lines. In principle it’s quite easy to use, I made a 1d6 simulator: from microbit import * from random import randint class […]

I fix things for a living

Previously, on SICPers, I wrote that I make mistakes for a living. But making mistakes is no good if nobody’s cleaning up after them, so I also fix things. Whatever gets in my team’s way, it’s my responsibility as their lead to make sure that it’s no longer in their way. Whether it’s a process […]

No, you can’t ignore politics

I wrote, a couple of years ago, about the fact that you can’t ignore ethics in software engineering. Your software is built for a reason, it’s used for a reason, you need to be aware of those reasons and whether you’re supporting or enabling them. That goes for politics too. That hacker news declared this […]

I make mistakes for a living

As a team lead, my job is to make all the mistakes on my team. I’m responsible for each one of them. I’m also responsible for deciding what we do about them, whether that’s to ensure that they can’t happen again or ignore them because they’re easy to recover from. That time someone on my […]

Learning about software freedom

On the front page of Hacker News at the moment is a post on The Three Software Freedoms. It does away with the Free Software Foundation’s Freedom Zero: The freedom to run the program as you wish, for any purpose. On the basis that it “is just silly I mean of course I can use […]

The Vexing Problems in Programming

I admit it, I’ve been on the internet for quite a while (I could tell you that my ICQ number is 95941970, but I haven’t logged in for years) and my habits haven’t changed. I still regularly get technology news from slashdot, and today was no exception. An interesting article was Here Be Dragons: The […]

The Principled Programmer

[Note: this post represents the notes made for my talk at iOS Dev UK 2014. As far as I’m aware, the talk isn’t available on the tubes.] The Principled Programmer The first thing to be aware of is that this post is not about my principles. It’s sort-of about your principles, in a way. On […]

Selectively caring

When Choose Boring Technology was published earlier this year, it hit home for me. If you’re spending money trying to ship, say, a music notation app, there’s no point in rewriting the operating system scheduler. Let’s say every company gets about three innovation tokens. You can spend these however you want, but the supply is […]