How to Report a Bug


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As mentioned in my last post, us programmers are an easily infuriated bunch. Another thing which infuriates us is badly reported bugs. “The checkout page isn’t working”, “emails aren’t working”, “[enter feature here] isn’t working”. What then has to follow … Read more

Daily Journal for Work


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I recently came across a blog post which advocates maintaining text files while you work, to journal what you are doing, what you are thinking, decisions you are making and so on.

I’ve been trying this approach for a couple … Read more

Googling for Code


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The modern day programmer turns to Google for answers. A lot. This is sometimes frowned upon. In fact, during one phone interview I was explicitly told that they didn’t want someone who would just Google for answers. What they should … Read more

The Importance of the Functional Specification


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Functional specifications are important. We all know this, or at least we all acknowledge that we are supposed to think they are important. We are supposed to always write one, or if someone else is doing the writing then we … Read more

Back to Basics – Readability


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nio leyendo libros

Arguably the most important skill in a programmer’s arsenal, yet possibly the one which he receives the least training in, is the ability to write readable code. This skill was barely touched on during my formal education, and I don’t … Read more

VBA and and the Power of the IDE


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Over the past few weeks I have been working on my first significant project in VBA, building a complex MS Excel application which makes use of a .NET dll for some complex maths. It has been a very interesting but … Read more

The Natural Planning Model


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Perhaps my favourite technique from David Allen’s excellent book, Getting Things Done, is something he calls the Natural Planning Model. This is an informal approach to project planning which can be used on projects of any size or type. … Read more

A Proposed Approach to Estimating


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“Estimation (or estimating) is the process of finding an estimate, or approximation, which is a value that is usable for some purpose even if input data may be incomplete, uncertain, or unstable.” (Wikipedia)

Estimating how … Read more

Does Inline CSS Make Me A Terrible Person?


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Inline CSS Confession

There is a lot of dogma in programming. I don’t know if there are similar levels of dogma in other forms of engineering, but the adamance with which some programmers subscribe to certain practices and approaches can be quite disturbing. … Read more

My 3 Favourite Productivity Tools


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Over the years I have been something of a productivity tool junky. Like many programmers I love trying out new productivity tools and utilities, but 90% of them don’t stand the test of time. I will generally try something out, … Read more