Top 25 Bad Book Titles

I’m sitting here waiting for a half terabyte drive to format on Vista (apparently quick format should be “quick” format). So I’m trying to figure out what to do. It’s towards the end of the day and there’s not much my brain could do right now that would be worth starting. Yesterday, there was a trend on Twitter about “boring movies”. So, why not do something on boring/useless/pointless/wrong book titles?

How chickens and programming are kind of related

I believe that everyone should work on a working farm for at least a month. There are a few reasons for that. Firstly, it would probably make a bunch of people shut up about a bunch of pointless things. I heard one person say “a chicken is a person too” once. That person has clearly never been around chickens in their full glory. The person who said it had about a half dozen pet chickens. “Pet” chickens (wearing diapers, for what it’s worth) are not what chickens are truly like. Chickens are vile creatures that poke in their own fecal matter looking for a scrap of something worth eating. They are also cannibals. Thankfully, they are yummy too and so they do have some redeeming qualities, none of which are present in their live state.

Programming skillz for life… and programming

Never schedule a meeting 30-60 minutes after you’ve started drinking coffee.

Ask for a raise based on your quality of work, not based on how much you think you deserve it.

If you don’t clock out at the top of the hour you are more committed than 50% of your co-workers (see point #2).

If you clock out 45 minutes after the end of the day you are more committed than 90% of your co-workers (see point #2).

Don’t consider gaming time as part of your work day and then complain about how many hours you need to work. Gaming at work can be good, but it should not be counted as work.

If you work on Linux, learn strace.

If you ever do anything over a network, learn Wireshark.

If someone asks you for a feature, ask why they want it.

If you are not a good designer, don’t do design. Pay someone to do it. (I should take this advice myself).

Take your own advice.

Usually the best answer actually is “it depends”. As long as you can answer why.

Get a desktop background that is not a woman. Sorry, but she’s way out of your league and having her on your desktop makes you look like a loser.

Take a break (I should take this advice myself).

Sit under a tree without a computer.

Sit under a tree while programming. Call it Green Programming and claim discrimination if someone complains.

Expect failure. You’re not as good as you think you are.

If I don’t click on a link in your marketing email within 3 sends, I probably don’t want your email. Unless you’re selling gear. Then it’s gadget pron.

Don’t be an ass. This is why I’ve limited my exposure to Ruby. Seriously. I’d like RoR more if I had met nicer developers.

Download the source.

Use the source. Seriously.

Don’t delete your email. It is evidence of other’s wrongdoing.

Managers: learn at least a few Star Wars quotes. If you change the deliverables say “I am altering the deal. Pray I don’t alter it any further.” Star Trek quotes are OK too, but Star Trek doesn’t have a lovestruck wannabe Samurai who was previously thought to be a dark lord before people knew the back-story.

Google is a development tool.

If you are in Netops, don’t block access to Facebook or Twitter. We will not be more productive if you do that. Anyway, it’s the administrative assistants who waste time on there. Plus we’ll just find an open proxy and use it to get there.

HTTP is the worst protocol for transmitting information, except for all the others that have been tried. Paraphrasing Winston Churchill (I think).

Don’t expect much from the Oracle/Sun merger. Ecclesiastes 1:9. 😉

When you come to an XOR in the road, AND it.

Open Source Interdependency

Several months ago I was talking with some Java developers who were being forced to move onto PHP. They were actually quite open to the idea but had some questions. One of them was on how you would set up a page counter. In the Java world what you would do is define a static property within a class, synchronize it, and increment it for each page that hit the site. In my explanation I went through the myriad of ways that you could do that, probably confusing them even more.

The ElePHPant in the room

I have a thing for charts. Charts have the ability to convey very complex scenarios in a single line, or a few lines, if there are multiple considerations to be made. But the reason I have an interest in charts is not because of the information they convey, but the information that they don’t convey. I find that the information that is left out of a chart is often the most important piece. This is because statistics can be made to say pretty much anything. You’ve probably heard the line “Lines, Damn Lies and Statistics”. When I start hearing things like “60% of people think X” or “20% of people think Y” I tend to switch off. Interestingly enough, I do the same thing, though. Probably because that’s the easiest way to make a point. It sounds scientific. It sounds like you’ve done your research, even if you really haven’t.

Zend Framework and the Use At Will architecture

I was doing some talking with some gentlemen last night over several adult beverages and fine tobacco products. They worked for a partner of ours and had brought up an interesting point concerning Zend Framework. It seems as though people who ask them about their product set and how it fits in with PHP were asking about Zend Framework and whether or not you had to use the whole framework to be able to integrate with their software.