Blog Archives

Episode 53: Specialism versus generality

I look at the difference between being a deep specialist as a software engineer working on a particular “stack” and a generalist who builds software using a wide variety of tools, from the perspective of someone who has done both.

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Episode 52: Software Freedom is a Civil Liberties Issue

Software freedom is a free speech issue. This has important consequences Software is eating the world Why can’t Karen Sandler get the source code for her pacemaker The Four Essential Freedoms On Social Justice and Software Licensing (or: why the … Continue reading

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Episode 51: Responding to Change

Sometimes it just seems like our customers are fickle flibbertigibbets who change their minds at the drop of a hat, right? Let’s look at what might be going on, and how to work with that. The Computer Programme Design Sprint … Continue reading

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Episode 50: Organisation and Community

I look at the historical basis of the white collar/blue collar divide in defining occupations, and the problems this distinction has with comprehending modern roles like engineering and various technician occupations. I then have difficulty fitting software roles into any … Continue reading

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Episode 49: REST and SOAP

I talk both about the difficulties of having objective conversations comparing technologies on the interwebs, and about a particular recent success in doing so: a comparison of RPC-over-HTTP methods. This particular conversation was on the Brumtech slack: I particularly recommend … Continue reading

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Episode 48: The Personal Software Process

This episode is about the Software Engineering Institute’s Personal Software Process (PSP), a particular disciplined way of improving a software engineer’s work. We talk about other the process in particular, and the idea of a continuous improvement process more generally. … Continue reading

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Episode 47: comprehensive documentation

I talk about the historical context of the Agile manifesto, what “comprehensive documentation” meant then, and what documentation is still important now. I also remind you that you can support this podcast by becoming a patron. I chose not to … Continue reading

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Episode 46: popularity

This episode is all about the TIOBE Index of programming language popularity: when to use it, what its limitations are, why certain things are or aren’t popular, and why the hell isn’t Excel on the list.

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Episode 45: Information Security

This issue is all about the various reasons information security isn’t taken more seriously by developers. CERT C Secure Coding Standard Open Web Application Security Project Microsoft Bluehat DefCon Security BSides

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Episode 44: We Would Know What They Thought When They Did It

We would now what they thought when they did it, a call for a history of ideas in computing. Laurent Bossavit, author of The Leprechauns of Software Engineering, can’t work out who introduced the phrase “legacy code” (or why). Technical … Continue reading

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