Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

I’m going to use the word “abstraction” in two different ways, but bear with me for a moment and consider this: Every startup is based on an insightful abstraction of a complex idea. Every software abstraction is leaky in some critical way. Uber is an abstraction of taxis. How do we abstract “what a taxi […]

One thing that irks me beyond all reason is Robert Martin’s seething dislike for databases. In every presentation he’s ever given, the one thing he’s sneered at is people who “write their code around a database.” In one of his lectures he says, “I don’t want to see a database in your design. I want […]

Uncle Bob has a passage early in his book where he criticizes the function below, calling it “too long” and “missing context”. I agree that it’s cluttered and hard to read, but his representative solution is, frankly, absurd. He turns this into a C++ class with static methods for providing the modifiers to the text, […]


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 […]

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