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Apple co-founder Steve Jobs (February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011) passed away this week, and the world lost a great business and technology innovator.   There’s a lot that Steve taught us about how high tech should be done, but in this post I’ll focus on just one thing: Knowing when not to listen to your [...]

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Steve Wozniak wrote BASIC for the Apple computer in binary

June 15, 2011

Programming is tricky stuff. Programming in Java, C, and other languages requires real skill and diligence. Programming in machine language requires an even more intimate connection between machine and programmer.  But programming in 1’s and 0’s?  Here’s what Steve Wozniak told me - in his own words:
“If you wanted to write a computer program like the programs [...]

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Innovation & Perspiration

May 4, 2011

A lot of people have good ideas, but few have the fortitude to carry them through to completion. I loved what Linus Torvalds (creator of the Linux operating system) had to say about it during his interview with me—not just because I agree with him, but because something about his open source cultural perspective eschews [...]

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Please join me on March 16 for a free software career webcast

March 15, 2011

Please join me for a free Safaribooks Webcast on March 16, 10 a.m. PST.  I’ll be discussing some of favorite ideas from “Making it Big in Software”
 
 Click here to register for the event!
 

 
 

 
 

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Why to choose a professional career in software

December 14, 2010

Software is an amazing place to build a professional career. In few other domains can you have so much fun with so much positive potential to change the world, while pulling down a decent living to boot. Software has made complex technology accessible, and allowed us to control systems and processes in a way that [...]

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You need to be happy to be successful, not successful to be happy

November 23, 2010

During the interviews I did while writing Making it Big in Software, I had the privilege of speaking with some of the world’s great visionaries, innovators and business leaders.  None of them were as fast as a speeding bullet or leaped tall building in a single bound. It turns out that celeberities (even executives) are people too. [...]

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Job skills for geeks. Dr. Peter Grogono’s review

September 16, 2010

Dr. Grogono is a professor of Computer Science at Concordia University.  Recipient of the Engineering and Computer Science Faculty Teaching Excellence Award, 1998, and the Concordia University President’s Award for Teaching Excellence, 2007. He authored several books about programming. I recently came across his review of “Making it Big in Software”, and thought it was [...]

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The evils of polymorphism

September 2, 2010

Polymorphism is an object oriented model that allows objects within a class to have theor own versions of a method (function).  It’s an elegant mechanism that has some positive benefits, and some serious detriments that few in the OOP community like to discuss. 
For example, you can imagine a base software class called “data”. This may [...]

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Seth Godin’s bullfrog in china shop, and other animal stories.

August 5, 2010

Seth Godin blogged recently about being a “bullfrog in a china shop”. Man, I like Seth.  He has a nack for nailing things. Here’s what he had to say about bullfrogs in a china shop:
“They make a lot of noise but don’t break anything. They’re annoying but not dangerous. They create a swirl but no [...]

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What really motivates workers? Don’t believe the Harvard Business Review

August 4, 2010

After a recent talk on “Making it Big in software”, one of the attendees sent me a link to an article by the Harvard Business Review about breakthrough ideas for 2010. The top idea was an article by Amabile and Kramer about what really motivates workers. Their thesis was that people are motivated by “progress” [...]

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Recommended for every serious programmer

August 4, 2010

There are a lot of qualities that separate a serious software engineer from a rank and file developer. It’s what I’ve called “development at scale. “Scale” comes in three dimensions:
a. People. How many engineers are working on the code?
b. Code. How much of it and how old?  The more there is and the older it is [...]

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Great review of “Making it Big in Software” from JavaRanch

August 4, 2010

JavaRanch’s Jeanne Boyarsky reviews Making it Big in Software: Get the job. Work the org. Become great.
Jeanne gave the book a 5 star rating on Amazon.com and a 10/10 rating on JavaRanch, calling it  “Several great career books all in one place”
Thanks Jeanne!
Here’s the review:   http://bit.ly/9AszRJ

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Avoiding software project overruns: watch the ratio!

August 4, 2010

In Making it Big in Software I discuss 11 reason why software projects run late (see Chapter 13).  In this post I’ll mention just one – my favorite. It’ my favorite because it’s ubiquitous, subtle and is fundamentally about programmer psychology. 
  
Software developers are notoriously poor judges on how long things will take.  Fred Brooks  (author [...]

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