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Something that I didn't know about until now is that you can help build models for google earth. Interesting... you could model a bunch of "important" buildings and your own house. Cool.
Now that's another thing that I can add to the list of "if I had more spare time I would..." :-P
Tools are always great when they help build software faster and cleaner. Code generation can be great, if used well.
The 2 different times that I think that code generation is good is:
1) generate the code as a framework to save typing. This gets checked into your project and follows the same rules for naming, style, documentation, and coverage as if a developer wrote it. If the code needs to be "tweaked", that's cool. It should never be re-generated.
2) code that is generated as part of your build. This is generated every build. This code isn't checked in, it should never be tweaked. If you have to, then you'll either have to wrap those classes, use a factory, subclass them. Just no tweaking.
There is a 3rd way. An evil and broken path to go down. It's a hybrid of the other 2. It's when you have to occasionally regenerate the code and then tweak it to get it to work. Manually tweaking it, over and over again. Evil. This technique is to be hunted down and exterminated like code without tests.
"When you treat people like idiots, they’ll behave like idiots."
- Hans Monderman
If there is something that's going to make me poor, it's going to be Traveller's Tales. I see that they are coming out with a lego Batman in September. *sigh* I am almost finished with the Indiana Jones game and now I see this. Don't they understand I can't spend all my time playing lego games? I mean, I've got more important things to work on in the future.
Everytime I see someone with a ear piece for their phone, I think of this comic where we get a little explanation from Lobot from Star Wars. If you're actually using the ear piece, I don't think that it's that bad. It's not even that bad if you're wondering around alone and I can only assume that you're expecting a call. However, if you're walking around at Greekfest with your wife and 2 small children, take the ear piece off.
It just seems disrespectful to me. It seems like you're telling your kids that they are less important to listen to with both ears than a potential phone call.
Just take it out and interact like a normal human being.
Laura and I went to see Wicked last night at the NAC and it was wonderful. The leads were so expressive and had the timing down pat. The small jokes were funny. Overall it was just a great show.
It was such a great story I'm not going to go out and look for the book.
... but only if you learn from your experiences. Ryan sent me a link to Jeff Atwood's post of Quantity Always Trumps Quality via Hey! Heads Up. Go read Jeff's post before continuing with this one. Don't worry, I'll wait.
All done? Good.
The gist of it is that if you write lots of software and learn from your mistakes, you'll become better at writing software. But from my observation, the learning is the hard part, not the writing of software.
My current boss gave me a great analogy about "years of experience" and how it's a really crappy way to evaluate someone. One candidate might have 5 years of experience in job X, and a second might have 20 years. But for those 20 years, it could be the same year over 20 times. The person with 5 years, it could be 5 totally different years.
I'm not sure if I've explained it well. The differences in the 20 vs 5 years is if you learn from your mistakes. If you keep on writing software how you did last year because you were able to get it to work last year, then that means you're probably putting yourself into an experience loop. If you're writing software and go "how can I do this better / faster / cleaner than last year?" that shows you've move ahead.
For me, it's a shitty day when I don't learn something new. For example, I've been working with java for a while and yesterday I learned that I should be using Integer.valueOf(...) instead of new Integer(...). I didn't learn that because I stumbled across that blog post, but because I was trying out pmd in an effort to learn how to make software better.
Make Software Better.
Today I was pulling into work when I realized that I had left my bike lock at home. Unhappy words followed. I biked over to the sporting goods store to see if I could buy a new lock, but they were not going to open for another hour. More unhappy words followed.
So I turned my bike and went home.
I came back to work, but I really didn't want to. I'd much rather have stayed at home, but you can't have everything I guess.
I often think of working from home, but then I think that I'll miss bike commuting. Yes, I said that I would miss commuting. Crazy, but when it's fun that makes all the difference. It's even fun in the rain (sans lightening).
I can't freaking believe it. It's raining all the time. Crazy amounts in a short time. It wouldn't be so bad if it didn't mean that I have like 3 hours of possible outdoor working time per week. It sounds like a lot, but when it's sunny I'd rather be enjoying the sunshine than cutting the lawn.