I’m kind of infatuated with micro.blog. The idea of “micro” blogging is right up my alley (with my limited time and attention to a full fledged site). So much so, that I’m not starting a new feed for these types of posts.
That's a Hell of an Old Hound Dog You Got There
On January 18th, 2017, I made one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made in my life. After a short battle with cancer, Ashley and I decided to put down Buckley. We adopted Buckley in March of 2008. Buckley has been a great companion. He knew all of my fears, anxieties, and secrets. We had many highs together and very few lows. On Wednesday, I quipped that I wish I had many little Buckleys. However, the truth is if I had many Buckleys, then he wouldn’t have been as special. I love him so much and I miss him greatly.
I think this is an interesting idea, but it’s a bit short sited. I can’t emphasize this enough, but Computer Science != software development. There is definitely overlap between the two, however, it is certainly possible to have one without the other. I have met many software developers who were excellent at writing software that didn’t know the first thing about the time complexity of a given algorithm. I feel that distilling computer science down to what equates as process training is a disservice to the Computer Science field (says someone with a Masters of Engineering in Computer Engineering and Computer Science).
I do think offering courses with development methodologies in the curriculum is a worthwhile goal for college course work. I’m embarrassed to admit that fresh out of my college course work, I was fairly unfamiliar with source control. I had classes that taught us how to create UML diagrams to map model relationships for our OOD assignments, but I had not learned how to properly use source control, or how to plan a project, or what constitutes a good bug report. Shortly after landing my first job, I felt shame in what I didn’t know. I felt like a failure because I was unfamiliar with some of the technology stack. I felt inadequate around coworkers even though I held the highest degree. I remember being bitter towards my education.
Over time, my bitterness faded. I learned the different methodologies, different languages, and different tools of the trade. These came easy to me with a little patience. I still wish I would have had professors who had pushed us to use some of these tools/methodologies in our projects, but I eventually forgave them. I learned to be proud of my Computer Science background and it eventually set me apart from others in my field. It alone does not make me a better developer, but it’s an extra tool in my toolbox that others may not possess. I think this appreciation for my education has turned me off toward some of the formal education bashing that resides in my profession. There are many developers who tend to negatively view a traditional education. That’s okay. It’s their right. I just want to point out that those things are not equal, but they also don’t have to be mutually exclusive either.
How'd That Get in There?
A few weeks ago, Ashley and I were watching John Oliver’s piece on the state of Puerto Rico’s economy. One of the contributing factors in Puerto Rico’s current state is the limbo in which the territory finds itself. It’s not quite a state and it’s not quite a sovereign nation.
One of the more interesting revelations in the piece is that there were laws passed that hurt Puerto Rico that were buried in a larger bill. This intrigued me. My initial thought was, “Why would congress allow seemingly unrelated proposed laws in a larger bill?” I then immediately thought of all the terrible commits I’ve had in projects where I bury some seemingly innocuous change in a patch for a completely unrelated issue and it comes back to bite me on the ass. Suck.
Prince Rogers Nelson
I was generally aware of Prince and some of his music in high school. It wasn’t something that I listened to, but I was aware of his more well known music. At an impressionable time of my life, my brother and I made a playlist of Prince songs. He was much more of a fan than I was and he set me up with a playlist of what he considered to be Prince’s best work. That playlist blew my mind. The CD I burned that playlist to didn’t leave my CD player for months. I listened to it for many hours. I loved the sound. I thought the lyrics were clever and very smart.
I don’t really care if anyone reads this. This is for my own self-therapy. I came across Prince’s work at a very important time in my life and it influenced my musical tastes for the rest of my life. I never met you. I never had the good fortune of seeing one of your shows. I enjoyed your work and it had a huge impact on me. Thank you.