Skip to content

{ Category Archives } tool-support

To become a beginner, first become an expert

We have a whole load of practices in programming that only really work well if you’re already good at whatever the process is supposed to help with. Scrum is a process improvement framework, but only if you already know how to do process improvement. If you don’t, then Scrum is just the baseline mini-waterfall process […]

In which new developer tools are dull

Over on lobste.rs I said that I don’t hold out much hope for another “blue plane” style event in developer tools. In one of Alan Kay’s presentations, he referred to the ordinary way of things as the pink plane, and incremental advances in the state of affairs being movements in that plane. Like the square […]

Why I don’t have a favourite programming language

This is my take on Ilya Sher’s similar post, though from a different context. He is mainly interested in systems programming, I have mostly written user apps and backend services, and also some developer tools. I originally thought that I would write a list of the languages and difficulties I have with them, but I […]

Literate Programming with LibreOffice

This post comes in the form of an OpenDocumentFormat document containing a program that can extract programs from ODF documents, including the program contained in this document.

Your build needs to be better

I’ve said it before, build systems are a huge annoyance. If your build is anything other than seemingly instantaneous, it’s costing you severe money. Your developers are probably off reading HN, or writing blog posts about how slow builds cost them, while the build is going. When they finish doing that, which may be some […]

An acceptable tool

An acceptable tool It’s easy to forget that adequacy is, well, adequate. It’s easy to go all-in on making some code structure perfect, when good enough would be good enough.

Beware the IDEs

I recently had the opportunity to talk with a couple of software project managers from IBM. That company is of a kind that I have never worked at, and many of the companies I have worked at are of kinds that these IBMers have not worked at. There was thus plenty of opportunity for us […]

Programming language advent

http://shape-of-code.coding-guidelines.com/2014/12/01/algol-60-awk-algol-68-ada-apl-and-assembler/ The first article, containing languages beginning with ‘A’, is linked above. I can tell this is going to be a month of reading.

More Excel-lent Adventures

I previously wrote about Excel as the most successful IDE: Now what makes a spreadsheet better as a development environment is difficult to say; I’m unaware of anyone having researched it. That research is indeed extant, and the story is well-told in A Small Matter of Programming. While Professor Nardi’s focus is on end-user programming, […]

The reasonable effectiveness of developer tools

In goals upon goals upon goals, I suggested that a fixation on developer tools is misplaced. This is not to say that developer tools are unhelpful, nor that they can’t have a significant impact on our work. Consider the following, over-restricted, definition of what a programmer does: A programmer’s responsibility is to turn a computer […]