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I just got off the phone with my dad. He's now officially old as he's in his 60's now. I still remember the red toy firetruck he got for his 40th birthday...
It's weird how things like age sneak up on you. A co-worker today was surprised that someone else's kid is 9 now. He said "but he was just 6, like 3 years ago!". He meant it as a joke, but it's kind of funny how kids change so quickly while "aging" seems like a static process for adults. It's like how next year it'll be my high school 10 year reunion. Now that's messed up.
Many things xp seem to turn into a religious discussion. "True believers" of agile and related things see it not as a tool, but as something that you should follow without questioning. Admittedly this turns some people off, just like any hardcore religious discussions.
Why do I think that people should follow the agile way? Because I believe that it works and you end up with a higher quality product for cheaper. Do I have numbers to back this up? No, I've got nothing personally that could be submitted as part of a published paper.
Do you *need* to do things like write unit tests? No you don't. If you don't, that doesn't mean your project will fail. However, I consider it to be a basic engineering tool. Sort of like when you go to the doctor your chart or their stethoscope are basic tools. If the doc doesn't have them, it doesn't mean you're going to die, but it's a lot better for you if they do.
If your doctor doesn't write your info down in your chart because they can keep the context of your illness in their head, is that any good to you as a patient?
Think of basic tools in any profession and then imagine how you'd deal with someone not using those tools.
I've far too long this morning trying to figure out what's wrong with my keyboard (Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000). Something that I didn't know about is this magic "f-lock" key that messes up what the F keys do. I couldn't use alt-F4 to close windows, F5 in textpad didn't allow me to do searches... wtf?!?
I finally found the f-lock key beside F12... For once I almost sympathized with the people looking for the "any key".
While it will be good to have html 5 and all the additions that they added to it, some thing about it made me pause. They'll have all these input types do you don't have to do client side validation with js hacks etc. The UI won't even allow you do these in your browser, js or no. Does this mean that there'll be a lot more possible server hacks because people are not validating their input anymore? Will this matter for the most part, or will the app just kack and throw a 500 error? Do we care to have a nicer error message than that?
It'll be awesome when you'll be able to put an annotation (in java) on an attribute and have this validated in the browser, server side mvc layer, db layer before the persist (via jpa validation)... Hell, in 5 years java might have all that magic that rails has 3 years ago... :-P
I don't know if it's my imagination or what, but it seems that people are adopting a writing style of "write outrageous, messed up statements and see how people react". Basically just stirring up shit.
I'm not sure if it's (always) intentional or more of a symptom of our "internet age" (imagine finger quotes). Basically everyone can write / publish, so to be a content provider these days means less than it used to. The only way to be noticed seems to be that you provide something that gets under people collars and they react.
I think that in the old days (i.e. paper based), the time that someone read, thought about, got some paper and a pen, found the address, and mailed the feedback allowed people to think a lot more about the original writers purpose. Now it's more "hey! That makes me angry! I'll click on the comment form and rip them a new one!". It's all reactive without thinking why the person seems to be stirring the pot.
When the only reaction that you can count on is instant, negative emotion by doing something like kicking puppies, you know people are just going to be looking for the cutest puppy in order to drop-kick.
And I'm getting tired of it.
I've been meaning to do a review / summary of the people that we dealt with for our wedding but I never got around to it. Better late than never I guess. We found that reading about other people's experience was really helpful to us, so I'm trying to pay the favour forward.
For reference, we had our wedding in Ottawa Canada, May 2007. Like with most couples (I assume), we made the decisions together, but Laura had a stronger influence on the decisions than I did. Laura didn't have any "story book" image in her head. We wanted it to be "us" (not too formal), and lots of fun. Those were the main criteria.
Sometimes at work I feel like I'm actually winning. I feel like things are improving. More and more people are becoming test driven, or at least writing tests. CI tools are in place and the build process is starting to stabilize across all apps. Communication tools are being used (IM) and consolidated (only one wiki). People from different work places are telling us that we've got a lot of stuff figured out (that part scares me). We're moving ahead.
It's a good feeling.
Some things that were said at Scott's funeral I'd like to capture because I thought that they were very "Scott".
They stories that his sister told where he tied her up to a tree when they were young and then left her for a while. When he came back, he asked her why she was crying to which she said "you tied me to a tree!!". He simply replied "It's no use crying about it. Get yourself out."
When they were in highschool and she'd walk down the hall, he'd call out "Hey, hot girl!". She knew it was Scott, so she wouldn't turn around, but all the other girls would. He'd tell them "No, you're all ugly. I'm talking to her" and point to his sister.
His sister pointed out that he hated ceremony and didn't show up for any graduations: highschool or university. He probably wouldn't have show up to his own funeral if he had a choice.
For some kids in their family this Christmas he got registered education plans for them. His sister said "how are they going to play with that? They're little kids?!" to which he replied (wagging his finger) "They'll really appreachiate it in 20 years"
What Scott was doing didn't always make sense at the time. He somehow always had long term plans with the best intentions.
The memory that sticks out in my mind is when Scott told me about this family that he knows where the whole family can unicycle. He thought that this was the dumbest / funniest thing he had ever seen. That's why he decided to learn how to unicycle. When I think of that, the word that pop's into my head is "dumbass" and then I smile. I think that Scott would too.