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Jonathan Starr's Blog Thoughts on C#, Ajax, WCF, LINQ, Agile et al. Critique
Coding With Comments
improve my => 'code' Jeff Atwood wrote an interesting post today about Coding Without Comments. If you didn't catch it, he basically says that if a coder uses excellent naming conventions in his code, the code is eminently readable. So the need for comments is obviated. Partly true, I say. But there are significant exceptions to consider. If you have external customers using your code, public methods should have have lots of comments. With summary tags filled so your customer know what the methods ......

Posted On Friday, July 25, 2008 5:48 PM

Who Is An Average Developer?
Every blogger I read claims to have superior coding skills, and every place I have worked claims only to hire superior developers. In my current position and in my prior one, my employers say they interviewed more than twenty candidates to fill each position. If that's so, where are the average coders? I heard one theory - they are all unemployed! And they keep trying to get jobs but they can't. So interviewers have a skewed sampling of coders. I will confirm that in my current and previous position ......

Posted On Friday, May 2, 2008 7:24 PM

The Sesame Street Presentation Rule - Not #1
I just read through Jeff Atwood's recent post - The Sesame Street Presentation Rule - and it warrants a reaction. The most important feature of a presentation is that it communicates how you can benefit your audience. People are not actively trying to fund cartoons or quips as much as they are looking out for their own very personal needs (whatever that is). So, it is vital that we analyze our audience for their needs - as needs differ. Employees are generally interested in security, and possibilities ......

Posted On Monday, January 21, 2008 2:53 PM

Automatic Properties in C# - A Critique
improve my => 'code' In the latest release of Orcas, one of the new features provided is "Automatic Properties" which allows developers to use a shorthand like the following: public class Person { public string FirstName { get; set; } public string LastName { get; set; } public int Age { get; set; } } and the compiler knows to interpret this as public class Person { private string _firstName; private string _lastName; private int _age; public string FirstName { get { return _firstName; } set { ......

Posted On Tuesday, January 15, 2008 8:00 PM

Critique of Richard Bookstaber's, “A Demon of Our Own Design”
I just finished Richard Bookstaber's new book, A Demon of Our Own Design: Markets, Hedge Funds, and the Perils of Financial Innovation, and he makes some fair points. He asks a very important question in the book, in my opinion, “Why have economic cycles become less extreme while financial cycles have become more extreme?”. After all, our knowledge of financial instruments has increased over time, we use computer applications to help us hedge risk in better ways today, and we have better and more ......

Posted On Friday, January 11, 2008 6:27 PM

An Inalienable Right to Privacy - My Reaction
I was just reading through Jeff Atwood's excellent blog post, An Inalienable Right to Privacy, and I could not agree with him more. We as consumers must demand that our privacy be respected by (1) not providing information when it is not needed and (2) purchasing from vendors that respect our privacy. I will go further, however. We need to have laws on the books that allow us to sue corporations and individuals who abuse our private financial information and contact information. The Do-Not-Call list ......

Posted On Monday, December 31, 2007 4:50 PM

Size is Half the Enemy
improve my => 'code' I just read Jeff Atwood's post - Size is the Enemy - and I think his contention that Size => Complexity => Bad Application, is partly true. But not entirely true. How does an application become large in the first place? If an application is successful, and is widely adopted, there is a greater chance that the same application may be reused for more purposes than originally intended. To handle the new use cases, custom code is added and we get code bloat. This may be ......

Posted On Wednesday, December 26, 2007 1:49 PM

5 Hour Energy
I started to use this product to work on multiple projects at one time. It's done wonders for me so far... As the advertising goes, I get a couple more hours of focused concentration from using it, and I have not crashed afterwards, or gotten the shakes after using... but are there long term effects? Are any of you using 5 Hour Energy? Thanks for your comments and help- Jonathan Starr ......

Posted On Monday, December 24, 2007 8:58 PM

Liquidity is Undervalued ...
.... but not as much as Ranjan Badhuri implies in his article in allaboutalpha.com Ranjan writes about a game where liquidity pays: The game consists of a hat that contains 6 black balls and 4 white balls. The player picks balls from the hat and gains $1 for each white ball, and loses $1 for each black ball. The selection is done without replacement. At the end of each pick, the player may choose to stop or continue. The player has the right to refuse to play (i.e. not pick any balls at all). Given ......

Posted On Sunday, December 23, 2007 4:58 PM

Doris Lessing and Why Literature is Overrated
So, I was recently referred to Doris Lessing's acceptance speech for a Nobel Prize in Literature, and on one hand it's a touching story of how people from impoverished areas in India and Africa continue to read literature and try to 'educate' themselves even under adverse conditions such as lack of potable water, or exterme poverty. But are all forms of knowledge useful when your basic needs are not being met? One of the women in her speech is pregnant "with two kids clutching at her legs', and a ......

Posted On Monday, December 17, 2007 8:54 PM

Kindle is not the next iPod... yet
With the success Apple has had rolling out the iPod, Amazon is trying to follow suit. They just released a new eBook device called the Kindle, and most reviewers are not taking kindly to it. They cite the high cost ($400) for the gadget as well as its limited web access (only to certain blogs, nytimes.com and amazon.com) as significant drawbacks. The glare reduction engineered in the product, and the fact that it saves trees are pluses. Generally I do not want to bring a laptop when I go on vacation ......

Posted On Saturday, November 24, 2007 12:59 PM

My My MyGeneration Baby...
improve my => 'code' Okay, I admit it. I don't like to use generation software tools - mostly because I know I can always do it better by hand. Also, cut & paste seems to be the most error prone way to write software - you end up writing everything twice that way. In my latest project, however, the sheer volume I had to write and test in a short period of time had me scrambling to use UltraEdit, Visual Studio Macros, Visual Studio snippets - everything but the proverbial kitchen sink - to ......

Posted On Monday, November 19, 2007 7:03 PM

HAI WORLD (LOLCODE)
Apparently people will write compilers for anything... Kudos to the author for exending the CLR for .NET... LOLCODE Compiler Yeah, it's hilarious and hip according to the author... I also say he would be better off without the ALL CAPS coding style ......

Posted On Monday, October 29, 2007 11:05 PM

Sex and Religion and Other Thoughts in 1984
I just finished listening to the audio version of George Orwell's dystopian book, 1984... While I first read this in seventh grade (MANY years ago), I was fascinated by how many more things I caught this time. 1. It looks to me that Winston was safe until he was corrupted by Julia - which harkens back memories of the Garden of Eden story where Eve convinces Adam to eat an apple from the Tree of Knowledge. (Remember that Winston's first secual episode with Julia is in the fields where Winston is reminded ......

Posted On Saturday, October 27, 2007 3:34 PM

Reaction to "Why Atheists Are Not Very Bright"
I just finished reading Dinesh D'Souza's essay Why Atheists are Not Very Bright which is also an excerpt from his book, What's So Great About Christianity. I am not an atheist, but I can certainly see atheism as a reasonable point of view. Consequently I am responding to his piece. Dinesh starts out parroting an argument from Kant that we cannot know everything about the world because we only come to know the world throught the filter of our senses. According to D'Souza, this implies that (1) we ......

Posted On Thursday, October 25, 2007 7:32 PM

Reaction to Jeff Atwood's "Why Does Software Spoil?"
Jeff Atwood wrote an interesting article recently Why Does Software Spoil? In the article, he notes that most software becomes bloated with extra features over time to the point of absurdity. I think that one of the most interesting things about software (and computer hardware) sales is the way it differs from other products. The word "New" has always been one of the most powerful words in advertising, but it much more powerful in the software industry. A company that is using MS Access 95 is considered ......

Posted On Saturday, October 20, 2007 10:51 AM

Critique of Paul Graham's Essay "How to Do Philosophy"
I was just reading through Paul Graham's article on "How to Do Philosophy" (http://www.paulgraham.com/... He mentions that philosophy has twisted in the wind for a while because so many smart people who realized that most articles lacked substance did not raise the alarm to others - mostly because it is very difficult to criticize works that are so hard to read. Agreed... But the greater reason is that there is no use in criticizing an essentially useless activity... I studied math as ......

Posted On Thursday, October 18, 2007 6:51 PM

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