Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


Math is no Harder than Drawing

Posted by Elf Sternberg as Uncategorized

I recently read an article on the economics of ancient Rome that suggested that, while the written arts, especially those that involved education or erudition, were highly valued, the visual and performance arts were not. The visual arts, especially, were regarded as the work of the lowly and demeaned, as almost all the arts we […]

I realized the other day that my role in my current job requires that I do something very, very strange, as far as I’m concerned. I realized there are some things I have to avoid learning, and I have to avoid them quite strenuously. I have to know they exist, but I have to not […]

Human beings approach every new experience with a set of expectations, a mental model of what that experience will be about, and the more experienced we are, the more concrete that mental model is going to be. Going to a superhero movie, we expect lots of brawling, and when test driving a new car we […]

I’m 53 years old and still consider myself a software engineer who’s professional job isn’t writing code, it’s producing value using coding skills. I took a year off to learn recently to go back to school, and trying to find a job when I’m 53 turned out to be a challenge. I do think I […]

At the ${NEW_JOB}, we’re going through the processing of leveling up, and one of the steps of “leveling up” as a software company is watching Robert Martin (aka Uncle Bob’s) Clean Code Video Series, where he presents his ideas about how code should be thought about, organized, and written. A lot of the material is […]

One of my biggest roles at my new job is mentor, and I’ve quickly learned a five-word phrase that my peer-students have come to understand and respect: "I don’t know that yet." The team I’m mentoring consists mostly of QA people who are moving into SDET roles, with a healthy side of SDET tooling development. […]

The big news So, the big news: I’ve been hired!. This is a huge relief. I was worried for months that, having taken a year off for schooling, I was going to be out-of-phase and out-of-date with respect to the industry and of no damn used to anybody. Being over fifty also means that I’ve […]

Status: Floating Point Escapes Me, and Carving Seams This week I’ve been involved in two different things: the first is giving up on the Buddhabrot generator. There were two implementations. The first is the "Naive" implementation, which works okay, but is, well, naive. Ultimately, we want to render an image, and in the naive implementation […]

At the last interview I did, I was not given a take-home test. Instead, I was sat down with someone to do a pair-programming exercise where the objective was, "Given this collection of unit tests and this mess of a class, refactor it into something more maintainable." The class was in Python. I quickly identified […]

It occurred to me the other day that there’s more than one thing professional programmers can learn from kinky people: we can learn how to ask things of our peers. The first thing the kink community taught software developers (and other groups) is the code of conduct. Kinky people have been dealing with offensive, intrusive, […]

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