How Much "Magic" Are We Comfortable With?

Our Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) build system (that we recently implemented) is truly a joy to behold, but it's also basically magic from my perspective. Check some code in, wait a few minutes, something happens, and then BOOM it's on the dev server. I know that it works, but I don't know exactly how. Should I take the time and effort to find out? I'm a completionist, which means I'm also a naturally inquisitive person. I want... Read more >

Time Slides - The Problem With Being A Completionist

My wife and I were fortunate enough to be able to purchase season-long passes for us and our kids to our local water park. Since we live in a desert and our summer lasts half the year, this park is a perfect place for all of us to go and cool off for a little while. The kids love it, we get out of the house (which can be hard to do when it's 110F/43C outside), and we all... Read more >

Be Like Us Or Else - Desperation, Failure, and New Job Regret

I've only held three full-time software development jobs since graduating from college, including my current one. The second one was supposed to be my big breakthrough, my time to shine and become part of a well-oiled team of kickass programmers. That was not what happened. What actually happened was six months of frustration that ended with me sobbing in my car. This is a story about ignoring red flags, feeling like an outsider, and how while desperate unhappiness drove me... Read more >

Do Something Else

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects. - Robert Heinlein, Time Enough For Love (emphasis mine) Programming is not my life.... Read more >

Personal Time != Company Time

A junior programmer (let's call him Luis) and I were working to find a particularly stubborn Heisenbug (a bug that seems to disappear when you attempt to study it) this last week, and it was kicking our collective butts. This thing was just impossible to pin down: it seemed to only happen under very rare conditions, and no one on the programming or QA teams had been able to replicate those conditions exactly. We knew it was happening, though, because... Read more >