What Can System Administrators Learn from Programmers?
Although we often hear about program bugs and techniques to get
rid of them, we seldom see a similar focus in the field of system
This is unfortunate, because increasingly the reliability of an IT system
depends as much on the software comprising the system as on the support
infrastructure hosting it.
Continue reading "What Can System Administrators Learn from Programmers?"
Efficient Human Multitasking
I sometimes hear colleagues complaining that they can't get anything done,
because they have too many tasks in their head.
I've found that in order to increase the efficiency of my work
I need a moderately large selection of pending tasks.
This allows me to match the type of work I can do at a given moment
with a task in the most optimal way.
Continue reading "Efficient Human Multitasking"
I first admired this ingenious method of locking a car in
Mr. Bean series.
A few days ago I saw it in real life.
Continue reading "Boot Lock"
Quality, Democracy, and Code
Edwin Fine recently posted on amazon.com a review of my
Code Quality: The Open Source Perspective.
In the review he complained about the quality of proofreading and copy editing.
(The errors he noted are now listed in the book's errata.)
His comments sparked off a delightful discussion on the reasons behind
the falling quality levels of various products, the philosophical importance of this phenomenon,
and its effect on coding standards.
Continue reading "Quality, Democracy, and Code"
Choosing a Programming Language
A language that doesn't have everything is actually easier to program in than some that do.
— Dennis M. Ritchie
Computer languages fascinate me. Like a living person, each one has its own history, personality, interests, and quirks. Once you've learned one, you can use it again after years of neglect, and it's like reconnecting with an old friend: you can continue discussions from the point they were broken off years before. For a task I recently faced I adopted a language I hadn't used for 15 years, and felt enlightened.
Continue reading "Choosing a Programming Language"