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The code you wrote six months ago

We have this trope in programming that you should hate the code you wrote six months ago. This is a figurative way of saying that you should be constantly learning and assimilating new ideas, so that you can look at what you were doing earlier this year and have new ways of doing it. It […]

Separating user interface from work

Here’s a design I’ve had knocking around my head for a while, and between a discussion we had a few weeks ago at work and Saul Mora’s excellent design patterns talk at QCon I’ve built it. A quick heads-up: currently the logic is all built into a side project app I’ve been working on so […]


Barely 4,000 years ago, documents were written on heavy, clay tablets. The Epic of Gilgamesh, one of the earliest known works of fiction, was written on 11 such tablets with a 12th added later. There was only one thing you could do with these tablets: read. Fast forward to the 21-st century and things are […]

Could effortless lecturers make everything seem too easy?

From the British Psychological Society blog: Engaging lecturers can breed overconfidence. The students who’d seen the smooth lecturer thought they would do much better than did the students who saw the awkward lecturer, consistent with the idea that a fluent speaker breeds confidence. In fact, both groups of students fared equally well in the test. […]

The Liskov Citation Principle

In her keynote speech at QCon London 2013 on The Power of Abstraction, Barbara Liskov referred to several papers contemporary with her work on abstract data types. I’ve collected these references and found links to free copies of the articles where available. Dijkstra 1968 Go To statement considered harmful Wirth 1971 Program development by stepwise […]

Talking about talking

I recently gave a talk to my colleagues about giving talks. Here is an annotated collection of the notes I made in preparation. – What do you want the audience to get out of the talk? As you’re constructing your talk, ensure that you’re actually satisfying your mission. If you want to inspire people, make […]

On community

This is a post that had been boiling for a while; I talked a little about the topic when I was in Appsterdam earlier this year, and had a few more thoughts which were completely supplanted and rearranged by watching

How people learn

Don’t you hate those times when you go to a talk or article that says “you should be doing this”, but then doesn’t explain how to do that? I just wrote one. In “Coding. Standards.” I explained that what software engineers should do is to learn and analyse from all their experiences and interactions. But […]

Thoughts on Tech Conferences

This post is being, um, posted from the venue for GOTO Copenhagen 2012. It’s the end result of a few months of reflection on what I get out of conferences, what I want to get out of conferences, what I put into (and want to put into) conferences and the position of tech conferences in […]

TDD/unit testing video training for iOS developers

I recently recorded a series of videos on unit testing and test-driven development for iOS developers with Scotty of The videos and associated source code is now available for purchase and download.

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