Foolin with Flickr

IMG_0863

Originally uploaded by mdstamps

I just figured out how to blog about a photo that I uploaded to Flickr. So now you all get to see Cindy and me from this summer on Vancouver Island. Not sure which of the kids took it but it turned out OK.

As the kids get taller the angle on the pictures look better too!

Two Programmers, One Medium

Alan Cooper has published and excellent article on why the results of software projects are so unpredictable. His point is that there are two types of programmers — design engineers who like to design elegant solutions to problems and production engineers who want to develop code that is rock solid and able to be used by the wider public.

The problem, as Cooper sees it, is that both ‘engineers’ use the same medium for expression — source code. This is different than other disciplines, like bridge building, where designers use paper and computers and production folk use iron, bricks, concrete, etc. When you use the same medium it’s tough to differentiate whether you’re doing design or production work, which leads to problems.

The article is part 1 of 2, so I hope part 2 talks about how to better split up the roles, because I think he’s made a really good point. I’ve certainly been in situations when we thought we were done the ‘production engineering’ when in reality we had only really completed the design (in working code form.) We just launched it anyway and were surprised when the results were less than expected.

If any Agile Programmers are reading this — how does Cooper’s article line up with your experience?

Google Maps Has Transit Info

I’m a winter bus rider and one of the things that bugs me is how tough it is to get transit information. Yes, our city transit authority has a web site but it’s touch to navigate, with a user interface that was poor in 2002, let alone today.

But today I read that Google Maps has expanded to offer transit information as part of their mapping service. If your transit organization submits the data, bus stops and stop times will be displayed on the map.

I’ll notify the appropriate authorities and am just jiggly with anticipation…

UPDATE: Well, it was harder than I thought to leave a comment on the Regina Transit site but it’s done. If you’ve got some time on your hands, check out the ‘contact us’ process here which sends you here, here and finally here (three screens of info to fill in including manditory country and home phone number fields!)

June 16: Email Detox Day!

I stumbled across some really interesting posts by Tim Ferris about how blackberry addiction and, by extension, email addiction is wasting far more time than it’s saving.

Tim’s idea is to declare Father’s Day “Email Detox Day” where we’ll all go for 24 hours without checking email even one time. I’m in.

Spread the word!