Brent Johnson

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Michael Feathers

Control structures have been around nearly as long as programming but it's hard for me to see them as more than an annoyance. Over and over again, I …

Meet “badBIOS,” the mysterious Mac and PC malware that jumps airgaps

Like a super strain of bacteria, the rootkit plaguing Dragos Ruiu is omnipotent.<p>Three years ago, security consultant Dragos Ruiu was in his lab when …

What Are You The World's Foremost Authority Of?

It started with schools of fish, then butterflies.<p>I was given a series of animals, with some art for each, and my job was to make them move around in …

The Second Coming of Java: A Relic Returns to Rule Web

Biz Stone called it "one of the most special days in the history of Twitter." And as it turned out, it was also a notable day for Java, a relic of …

Improving Etsy for iOS with server-based logging

Posted by on September 11, 2013<p>One of the major challenges the Native Apps group faces at Etsy is maintaining and debugging a large codebase with a …

bliki: TellDontAsk

tags:<p>Tell-Don't-Ask is a principle that helps people remember that object-orientation is about bundling data with the functions that operate on that …

JavaScript

Introducing BDD

<i>History: This article first appeared in Better Software magazine in March 2006. Links to translations are at the end of the article.</i><p>I had a problem. …

bliki: CannotMeasureProductivity

tags:<p>We see so much emotional discussion about software process, design practices and the like. Many of these arguments are impossible to resolve …

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How to Choose (or Build) the Perfect Desk for You

Wooden desks, glass desks, treadmill desks, and more—desks come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and styles. But how do you select or build the right …

Algorithm of the Week: Modeling Complex Cause and Effect with Bayesian Networks

What problem am I trying to solve?<p>Let’s not be <i>too</i> tool oriented. Let’s start from the problems I hope to solve and I’ll offer up a couple solutions. …

Empirical Analysis of Programming Language Adoption

Leo Meyerovich has some hard data on the factors that affect programming language adoption, in a paper in the upcoming OOPSLA 2013. For anyone …

Seven signs of dysfunctional engineering teams

I’ve been listening to the audiobook of Heart of Darkness this week, read by Kenneth Branagh. It’s fantastic. It also reminds me of some jobs I’ve …

The Perfect Workspace (According to Science)

The spaces we occupy shape who we are and how we behave. This has serious consequences for our psychological well-being and creative performance. …

Ergonomics

Haskell for Web Developers

<b>This blog post is somewhat dated and may not reflect changes to the ecosystem since 2013.</b><p>The perpetual myth persists that Haskell cannot be used for …

Having Some Fun with Code Review

Let's face it: Making code reviews enjoyable for all parties can be a difficult task. In fact, when not handled carefully, they have the potential to …

bliki: ThrownEstimate

tags:<p>If you're using XP style planning, you need to get rapid consensus estimates from developers. Throwing the estimates lets you quickly tell when …

Story Point

Story points are a common name for sizing stories in agile projects. Combined with XpVelocity they provide a technique to aid planning by providing a …

PHP Doesn't Have Date Functions Either

We recently brought you the touching story of Shaun, and his coworker's mistaken belief that Perl has no built-in methods for working with dates. …

How Religion Destroys Programmers

I discovered something about myself—I have an amazing gift to always make the very best technology choice.<p>No really, it is quite amazing.<p><b>When I look</b> …

What Does It Take To Be An Expert In Computer Programming?

First off, I’ve never met anyone who has mastered C++. I doubt that even Bjarne Stroustrup is a master of C++, and he made it. There are even serious discussions about whether C++ semantics can be formalized, that is, whether it is mathematically possible.<p>Anyway, there are five prongs to becoming …

What are "futures", and why should you care?

Motivation<p>Last week we were discussing, among many other things, ways to speed up Firefox during startup. One obvious option was to move more of our …