Thursday, July 26, 2007


Quotes for software engineers



In the recent past I've been trying to compile a collection of quotes related to software engineering.

Why yet another collection of SE-related quotes? Well, none that's out there matched what exactly I wanted (either had too few/many quotes, or contained too many quotes that didn't agree with my views).

The result of my effort can be viewed at this page. If you have something to say about my quotes collection (for example, if you know of a quote I have missed), please use the "add comment" feature of this blog to do so.

2 Comments:

Blogger Chris Loosley said...

[I posted a shorter version of this comment previously, but Blogger seems to have swallowed it!]

Anyway, welcome back to blogging Damith. I hope I do not have to wait another year to read your next post about software engineering.

This is an impressive collection of quotations. I also enjoy pithy sayings (or aphorisms). Lately I have been featuring some in "Wisdom" boxes associated with posts in my blog, Web Performance Matters.

Please feel free to copy any that you like to your own list.

--Chris

2:55 PM  
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Thursday, June 15, 2006

Students shun computer science for no good reason?

I had the opportunity to visit a couple of universities recently, and a recurring topic of conversation was the falling numbers of enrolment in CS programs. Along the same theme, PC magazine reports :
A report released June 7 by the Computer Science Teachers Association Curriculum Improvement Taskforce criticized U.S. high schools for not uniformly requiring students to take computer science classes. ... The report states that the lack of focus in the United States on computer science education is "disastrous and shortsighted," in light of an anticipated shortage of qualified candidates for the 1.5 million computer and IT jobs expected by 2012.

Apparently, "an increasing number of students believe that there are few rewarding or varied high-tech career opportunities, a perception based on media reporting and not marketplace realities".

Hmmm....

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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Feeling joy without having fun


[Apologies for the delay in posting ; traveling, and thesis writing kept me busy]

For Kent Beck fans out there, there's an interesting lunchtime talk by him available for download at Agitar site. He talks about feeling comfortable in your own skin, and feeling joy, even when you aren't having fun (at work). A bit philosophical yet good food for thought, particularly if you plan a long term career in software development.

For those who don't know Kent, he's the brain behind eXteme programming, and co-author of JUnit, the world’s most popular software testing framework.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:27 AM  

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Friday, May 05, 2006

Display the words "Hello, world" at the top left corner of the screen


Here's an interesting bit of trivia I found in SD Times newsletter:

In what language is the following Hello World program written?

Display the words "Hello, world" at the top left corner of the screen.
The answer is here. Along the same lines, here's a page with 'hello world' in many languages.

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Thursday, April 27, 2006

Personal Branding for Software Engineers???


"Personal Branding for Technology Professionals", the free eBook (availabe at Life Beyond Code ) by Rajesh Setty has some interesting things to say. If you can spare a few minutes, have a look - you might like what you see...

Original blog entry that tipped me off about the book

1 Comments:

Anonymous Indika Thushara Rathnasekara said...

This is indeed a fantastic eBook to read.I have really enjoyed it and there are lot to learn from this eBook.You are doing a wonderful job by sharing those info with others.
And I would like to take this oppertunity to thank you in big time.
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2:21 PM  

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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Scott McNealy No Longer Runs the 'Joint'





Scott McNealy, Sun Microsystems’ co-founder, CEO and chairman, yielded the position of chief executive at 5 pm Eastern time yesterday (24th April '06) after the announcement of a third-quarter loss of US$217 million despite a growth in revenues. McNealy will remain chairman of Sun. Jonathan Schwartz has taken over as the company’s CEO, leaving behind his previous position as Sun’s COO. He keeps his title of president.

“Twenty-two years I’ve been running this joint,” said McNealy in a conference call last evening, “and having a good time with it. I’d love to do that much more, but we’ve got a great guy here who I’ve been trying to get into this role for 10 years now.”

Above text quoted from: SDTimes newsletter
Official announcement from Sun
'Scott, you are a hero to us all' - Jonathan Schwartz

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Friday, April 14, 2006

Dilbert has the best job in America?


Generally I try to avoid reblogging, but I coudn't resist this one. Software Engineering has topped the CNNMoney.com Best Jobs in America list!
Full credit to original blog post on this.

2 Comments:

Blogger Chris Loosley said...

Ahead of college professors, no less! Isn't that the ultimate vindication of your career choice, no matter what people may think about the merits of working in industry or academia?

Works for me, anyway (since its too late to switch now)!

12:03 PM  
Anonymous Steve said...

I was just thinking about the average salary of software engineers and the possibility of this average being increased by retaining a minority of those with high compensation while offloading coders who are paid less.

Engineering of software is great in any case.

5:44 PM  

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Prefactoring: Why I Look Forward to Reading the Book



Ken Pugh's Jolt award winning book Prefactoring has got off to an unfortunate bad start, judging from a bunch of nasty response it has generated from the blogger community (example 1, 2, 3). It seems most of these are based on an Amazon review, which Ken Pugh says 'not approved by me and was full of marketing hype'. In addition, I also noted that many of these detractors haven't actually read the book!
I haven't read the book either, so I'm not going to take sides here. But I dare say I'm really looking forward to getting my hands on the book.
My initial impression: Although prefactoring and refactoring may not be worlds apart, they are NOT the same thing either, and they are NOT competing techniques.
While I fully believe in refactoring mercilessly, I'll also go out on a limb and say that the right mix of prefactoring and refactoring should win the day. Who cares if Ken gave a name (BTW, catchy name) to something any good programmer would do anyway?
On a separate note, I also look forward to any response from the refactoring folks (such as Martin Fowler).

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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

My daily dose of "blogs from the trenches"



While I'm an avid reader of what I call blogs from the gurus (i.e., blogs by software luminaries who once in a while lay a golden egg of a post), I've also been looking for my daily dose of what I call blogs from the trenches (i.e., blogs of software engineers who 'work in the field'). After monitoring community blogs for a while, I think I've found my fix in the thoughtworks blog. It seems to have a continuous trickle of blog posts (some better than the others of course) - just what I need to keep in touch with the 'stuff' going on in the industry...

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Friday, March 31, 2006

Jolt Awards to Continue...

In response to my post on the possibility of Jolt awards 2006 being the last, fellow blogger lupus said...

"Rosalyn Lum told me the awards are going to continue. She's already planning for next year"

I checked with Rosalyn (Technical Editor, SD Magazine) myself. It's confirmed. Jolt awards will be continued, which is great news indeed. Thanks lupus for your heads up.

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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Intentional Programming - It's not dead yet...


I was going through Martin Fowler's article on Language oriented programming, which mentions that Intentional programming is still in the works (operating under the radar, Intentional Software is developing it). Couple of years ago I came across IP in one of the courses I took (my fav, CS6201 Software Reuse) and liked very much what I saw. Generally, I'm curious about anything that promises productivity benefits. IP indeed promises a lot of that. The man behind IP is Charles Simonyi, the same guy who invented the Hungarian notation. After watching the their website for a while, I got the impression that IP is a lost cause. But apparently not. And that's good news indeed. It seems JetBrains (Intellij folks) is also cooking up something similar called MPS, and so is Microsoft (called Software Factories). If you have any interests in Domain Specfic Languages, Generative Programming, or Meta-programming as much as I do, you may also want to stay tuned...

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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The Beloved Gang Member!


Today I chanced upon this wiki on John Vlisssides (who passed away on November 24, 2005 after a long-term battle with cancer). In case you didn't know (shame on you!), he was one of the 'Gang of Four' who wrote the book Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software. According to this wiki, what others remember most about John is echoed by the following exact words from Steve Abrams (IBM).

"The essence of John's greatness was not in his technical accomplishments – it was in his humanity"
Being a big pattern fan myself, I've read and re-read the GOF book (recommended reading for any software engineer, IMHO). Although I never had the pleasure of meeting him in person, I was nevertheless very much saddened by his untimely demise. John, may you rest in peace!

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Sunday, March 19, 2006

Did Russians Really Use a Pencil to Write During Space Travel?


The following story may sound familiar at first, but read on - it may not be the version you've heard!
There's a marvelous story of technology and consultants gone wild, developing the Fisher Space Pen. The story goes that the U.S. Government spent millions of dollars of taxpayer's money developing a space pen—a pen that the astronauts could take to the moon that would operate in the harsh conditions of weightlessness, extreme heat and cold. Technology rushes to the rescue, and develops a miracle pen that can write upside down in a boiling toilet.

The Russians, by comparison, decided to use a pencil.

A marvelous tale of an inappropriate solution, except for one small problem. It's not true. Both the Russian and the U.S. astronauts used pencils at first, but there was a danger of the leads breaking and shorting out electric components, and the wood of the pencil itself was combustible as well. In a pure oxygen atmosphere, that's a really bad thing. The Fisher corporation realized this and, at its own cost, designed the Fisher Space Pen, which it then sold to NASA at reasonable cost. After the disastrous Apollo One fire, NASA made the Fisher pens mandatory.

Fisher listened to the real requirement, even before the client knew it. In time, NASA came to realize that they were right. It was an appropriate use of high-technology to solve a very real problem.

If you found the above good reading (I sure did), you may want to check out the article The Art in Computer Programming By Andrew Hunt and David Thomas, at developer.*

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Friday, March 17, 2006

Jolt Winners are Out! For the Last Time!!


SDMagazine has announced The 16th Annual Jolt Product Excellence Award Winners

Some picks from the Winners:

A related (sad, but not surprising - according to some!) news is the death of SDMagazine. So this may be the last Jolt awards as we know it. Let's hope not.

4 Comments:

Blogger lupus said...

Rosalyn Lum told me the awards are going to continue. She's already planning for next year.

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Sunday, March 12, 2006

How I improve my Software Engineering knowledge, while my wife chooses clothes...!


Recently (well sometime back, just didn't get around to blog it) I found a great way to productively use the time I'm forced to waste doing other, sometimes rather unpleasant, things (e.g., commuting, jogging, and of course, waiting for my wife to chooses clothes at clothing sales!). It's simple really: just download audio recordings (podcasts, as some call them) of interviews with various software 'guru's and listen to them on an MP3 player (I use the inbuilt MP3 player of my Motorola 680i). If anybody didn't know about this already, following are two great places to start:



Note: Many thanks to my friend and ex-colleague Harsha (at hSenid) for bringing podcasts to my attention

3 Comments:

Blogger Himath said...

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5:21 PM  
Anonymous GC said...

Well, u shd have told me earlier ;-p

9:46 PM  
Blogger Aj said...

time to get an ipod I would say :) I've been listening to podcasts while commuting for some time (thanks for the tip on two great podcast sites BTW)
If you are on windows or mac(unfortunately not for linux yet. not sure whether you can wine it) you can use iTunes to manage your podcasts which I think is very nice. Right now I have the auto sync mode enabled for podcasts and whenever I sit down I plug in the ipod. so whenever I pickup the ipod later it has all the latest podcasts are synched up.

4:12 AM  

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