Friday, 21 November 2008

Interesting articles on programming and management

The following are informative and frequently humorous resources for those of us working professionally in software development:

Anyone who fits the hacker archetype described in the Hacker FAQ may also find The Bipolar Lisp Programmer interesting.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

My quest for waffles

As a child we had an old-fashioned waffle-iron. It was a two-handled affair that you would pour the batter into, close, and then cook over the stove. I favored my waffles with maple syrup and ice-cream.

Now that my children are eating solid food and enjoying occasional Sunday pancake (really crepe) breakfasts, I find myself pining for waffles, and wanting to share the experience with them.

So I am on a quest for a waffle iron, and I am torn: Do I go for authenticity and purchase a waffle iron of metal -- perhaps even an expensive Italian one that brands the maker's-mark into the waffle -- or a modern jaffle-like contraption that promises more consistent results, and easier cleaning?

Yesterday I bought a waffle at the local food-hall, and while adequate and not cheap, it was re-heated and not ideal.

Stay tuned. Meanwhile here is an article about the ancient and noble history of waffles.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Promoted: The Kibitzer becomes the Kibitzed

Around the start of the month I was promoted from Lead Software Developer to Chief Technology Officer at Austhink Software. [Look ma, I' m a CTO! If only we had an executive washroom. ;-)] I will still be hands on -- designing, programming, pairing, etc. -- but with the new title comes some additional power and responsibilities. In particular, I now have a hand in setting technology strategy plus additional leadership duties.

An interesting effect of the promotion has been that where previously I was the kibitzer -- giving unsolicited and sometimes unwelcome advice -- I have now become the kibitzed! The guys on my team -- Ben and Aaron -- are becoming increasingly assertive in stating to me what they think should be done. And that's fine with me. It seems to me that the allied challenge is to become a better communicator: Both in listening closely to the kibitzs (advice) and kvetchs (complaints), and in clearly articulating the over-arching priorities, so that we can all work together in setting and executing our plans.

Other than that, my motto since making the change has been: "Review, re-focus, and get on with it." The review part has been about taking stock of where we are, the re-focus is about articulating concrete changes in approach, and getting on with it is all about moving forwards.

So I expect that there will be a change tone in future entries, arising from my new perspective at work. OTOH: Whenever I run out of ideas I can always look back over my old blogs for inspiration!

What Ella wants for her 3rd birthday party

  1. Cupcakes: No icing
  2. Pink icy-poles
  3. Mozzarella
  4. Cheese sticks
  5. Apricots
  6. Snakes
  7. Chocolate frogs
  8. Lollipops
  9. Birthday cake