Thursday, October 23, 2014

I'm already used, you know?!

Every once in a while I come across a type that it is documented as being used by another type:

 * Used by {@link SupremeCook} to bake supreme cakes.
public class NewFlavor { ... }

As the author of a blog takes pride into having his posts read by many individuals, it would be the pride of the author of a type to have it reused as much as possible within the codebase.

Practicing over-documentation, the author of the type above softly coupled it with another type, defeating the above stated goal by making potential new users think the new type was not designed for reusability ...

3 years have passed by ...

Miles and miles away from our programmer, in a remote conference room in a remote part of the world, upon being advised by his lawyers, the young entrepreneur decided to withdraw the flavor packages still on the supermarket shelves to make the following correction to the usage instructions:

Friday, July 18, 2014

not by the book

How would you cope with entering an idea brainstorming meeting and the very first words the organizer says are along these lines "Welcome, here is an idea I had this morning, please help me refine it"?

Today I've wanted to make people approach something ordinary (be in a meeting) into an out of the ordinary way (not be aware of any meeting process or outcomes).

So I entered the room. And I said something along these lines "Welcome, here is an idea I had this morning, please help me refine it".

So they were all ears, then timidly contributed to the idea, but there was something missing in the air. Then one person did the unimaginable: my meeting co-organizer broke a deal I had made with him hours before the meeting: that there would be no slides.

He professionally waited until the conversation paused a little. Then there they were:


The slides I've tried to part with. I could, but he could not. Or maybe they could not.

I imagine he could not stand the situation anymore. Or he noticed that others could not stand the situation anymore, and he wanted to avoid a failed meeting. Because they needed


They attentively watched the 4 slides unrolling before their eyes, and then all was fine. The sky was clear again. Ideas started flowing, 6 in one hour. Astonishing. 3 people left the room to attend other duties or answer the phone and came back. One KPI checked. It was a "really good, 4/5 meeting" said one of the participants afterwards.

But in the thin air _they_ were still there. Waiting to bite us again. 

What do we do with these ideas?
Who is taking this further?
When can we expect results?
This was a closed-door meeting, how will we let the others know about such next meetings?

They needed


But there is a line. Cause we only need just enough rules to allow us to have no rules.

Cause we don't need a formal email to let the others know what we did today. They will hear it from the participants if they left the meeting excited.

Plus I and my co-organizer will repeat the same meeting with another group, possibly half of today's participants and half first-comers. Why half of the ones from today's meeting? Simple, because they already know


Friday, March 7, 2014

are you the next FA (3)?

Every now and then I can not help but admire what StackOverflow has become. Tricky errors scare no one anymore. Badges make you feel stronger than ever. People take pride in contributing there. Resumes display the reputation.

So if the word Functional in the job title Functional Architect is not music to your ears, and you long for the more handsome System Architect title, take note that it is the functional aspects that made StackOverflow what it is today, what made the difference between the other thousand forums with the same intent of helping users in trouble and StackOverflow.

Monday, February 17, 2014

the tools that saved the OS ...

... with no decent console.

... until some Windows lover coded Total Commander and another Windows lover coded Cygwin (although I have my doubts about the real object of love for the latter). Navigate folders easily in TC, script your day out in a *nix shell.

Here is a very simple and updated (older tricks here) guide of how-to open Cygwin in Total Commander's current directory (tested for TC 8.01 x64 and Cygwin 2.819 x64):

1. create a start menu command in TC and use the original invocation line the Cygwin installer uses:

2. add this to your ~/.bash_profile
cd "$OLDPWD"
Then you'll be able to use this power key (Alt + s + c, notice the &c in the menu title) to open Cygwin in your current folder.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

get some drawing lessons

It was not my intention at all, but I somehow "stole" the best idea of the morning meeting today. To my defense, it was only the order of the speakers that determined that the good idea was first to be uttered by another participant.

QA practices around automated tests had to be changed, so we had to convince the QA manager.

At one moment, THE IDEA was uttered. By someone else from my team. The idea that would start to change the game. Beautifully decorated with solid arguments. Verbal arguments. Things became uncertain, the manager started frowning. So we threw in more words. He needed to think, he would come back to us.

Then I did the drawing.

The drawing that we looked at during the rest of the meeting. That we pointed at when bringing in more and more arguments. That made it my idea:

In the software world, the question is simple: can you or can you not draw?