There is a great post circulating this week on the definition of readable code and one quote really stuck out at me:
All software gets developed under time, budget, management, requirements, and skill constraints that prevent doing anything perfectly. We should keep those constraints and limits in mind when we look at code and immediately conclude the code resists understanding, or that only fools would have produced such software.
Having moved teams internally I’m in the unusual position of being the ‘fool’ who wrote the software someone else needs to maintain and still being around to explain why it is the way that it is. This has reminded me that when reading a codebase you often only have part of the context and when you are writing how important it is to document your decisions.
This New Year, I wish you more blank slates. May you have more blank white pages sitting in front you with your favorite pen nearby and at the ready. May you have blank screens in your code editor with your absolutely favorite color syntax highlighting. May your garage work table be empty save for a single large piece of reclaimed redwood and a saw. – The Builder’s High
IMPORTANT – In the time it took you to read this email, you could have been out the door and on your way to the slopes or the beach. The good news is, it’s not too late. Slowly shut your computer off. Act like you head toward the restroom. Then make a break for the door. If you don’t look back, the obstacles will never stand a chance. See you out there.
Once again in January I headed to the Excel centre in London to attend NDC. NDC (the conference formally known as Norweign Developers Conference) has been my conference of choice for the last few years, I feel it provides a great mix of technical and soft skills sessions, great networking and the best conference food going.
The conference organisers go to the fantastic effort of recording every presentation and making these freely available on Vimeo. So below is my list of attended sessions and the links to the recordings, I’ll try to update these as the videos come up. In my list below are a few sessions I missed in person but heard good things about or spotted on the talk rating board (yes, there is a board in the vendor hall showing the best rated talks).
IoT and Cortana Analytics – a winning combination – Chris Hewitt Outline
Pragmatic development at Stack Overflow – Marco Cecconi Outline
A system is not a tree – Kevlin Henney Outline
How to deal with culture divide – Internal Advocacy with Distributed Teams – Laura Czajkowski Outline
Shall I Compare Thee to a Line of Code – Lauren Scott Outline
Analyzing GitHub commits with R – Barbara Fusinska Outline
Autonomy, Connection and Excellence: The Building Blocks of a Knowledge Work Culture – Michael “Doc” Norton Outline
Ship it! How to do what not to do – Ed Blackburn Outline
Introduction to IdentityServer – Brock Allen VideoOutline
Learn. Reflect. Repeat – Melinda Seckington Outline
Acceptance Testing for Continuous Delivery- Dave Farley Outline
Test Automation without a headache: Five key patterns – Gojko Adzic VideoOutline
50 Shades of AppSec – Troy Hunt VideoOutline
Testing with No Harm – Enrico Campidoglio VideoOutline
Don’t Make Me Feel Stupid – A. User – Liam Westley Outline
The Quest for the Next Evolution of Infrastructure Management – Paul Stack Outline
Cryptography in .NET – Stephen Haunts Outline
.NET Rocks Live (containers and microservices) VideoOutline
What’s next? How we use feedback to decide what to build – David Simner Outline
5 Anti-Patterns in designing APIs – Ali Kheyrollahi Outline
Business Mapping: turning the lights on – Dan North Outline
No excuse user research – Lily Dart Outline
Beyond Features – Dan North Outline
IoT: Gold Rush or Wild West – Niall Cooling Outline
Making Hacking Child’s Play – Troy Hunt VideoOutline
Everything i know about computers, I learned from the movies – Mark Rendl VideoOutline
While looking for the videos for this post I saw that the session videos from ProgramUtvikling Security Day have also started making an appearance on their channel so I’ll be making my way through those also.
Yesterday saw a second defeat for the snoopers charter this time as a late set of amendments to a counter-terrorism bill. There is more detail from the EFF here and the Open Rights Group here. Yesterday’s session served as a reminder that why due process and debate is needed; while we saw points from lords with little understand of what they were trying to legislate such as Lord King we also saw solid counter argument for balance from others such as Baroness Lane-Fox of Soho.
While watching the back and forth on twitter during the debate the John Perry Barlow Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace crossed my mind. While the language is a little dated it’s still very relevant to the issues being discussed.