Other articles

  1. Multiplier

    Read The Mythical Man Month quite a long time ago. One of the assertions in the book, since much repeated, is that “super programmers” are an order of magnitude more productive than average programmers.

    While I know that I have always been more than usually effective, an order of magnitude felt like an overstatement.

    The last project offered two examples that seem to confirm the multiplier.

    At the beginning of the project, I assigned the simplest part of the project to the team member whom I suspected was the least capable (and who later became the group manager). A few months in he was joined by a new hire just out of college. Their assignment was to write a thin ...

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  2. Conversion

    Converted my weblog from WordPress to a Pelican (a static site generator), recently. Did a bit of clean up today. The original conversion (several weeks ago) was very rough. Better … but still needs work.

    Several years back I bet on WordPress as an intermediate solution. Looking at the implementation, I never trusted WordPress to be secure … and it was not. (Never put your code into the web-addressible / writable space.) A weblog is not exactly mission-critical. With offline backups, it was good enough.

    Still, the poor performance and regular corruption was an annoyance. The static weblog generators improved over time. Time to move over.

    Apologies for any (very likely) broken bits. :)

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  3. Coming up to speed with OpenStack

    Was asked to look at OpenStack a few months back. Had read a bit prior, and was impressed with the velocity and vigor of this open source cloud platform and project.

    Made the mistake of starting with OpenStack. Read a large chunk of the OpenStack documentation. Stood up instances of devstack both on virtual and physical hosts. Not everything made sense.

    OpenStack exists because of Amazon Web Services (AWS). Amazon does an excellent job hosting cloud applications, and is the largest player. As a developer, building a cloud application for AWS makes good sense.

    Some organizations want to host cloud applications in-house. Hosting an in-house cloud can make sense for a variety of reasons, ranging from performance through cost, control ...

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  4. David Keirsey died

    This is about missed connections, absurdly close.

    Seems that David Keirsey died, about a year ago. He wrote a book on personality types Please Understand Me that might well have changed the course of my life.

    Of my own interest, I read rather a lot of books on Psychology, in high school and for a time after. By the time Keirsey’s first edition of “Please Understand Me” came out, I had stopped those readings.

    More recently, after what amounts to a prolonged social accident, I started readings around psychology, again. Read the latest of Keirsey’s books, and suddenly the prior confusing social episode seemed to make sense.

    The year 1978 was when Keirsey’s first edition book on ...

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  5. Observation, delayed

    A regular exercise. Sit in an outdoor patio at a restaurant, for lunch, and watch. There are patterns. Most for which I do not have names. There is something about big purses, and small women, not interesting. High heels worn wobbly, or slow, or fluid. (Reading a book about the Red Queen, which seems applicible in this context.) Low modest heels and clothes. Clear conformity (boring). Awkward mashups. And occasionally a woman walks past whose appearance and dress seem coherent and well done.

    Differing combinations.

    From psych readings on personality types, and how appearance reflects type, could I be picking up on type?

    Then there are times when my mind goes back later and asks … what was that?

    Thursday. Eating ...

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  6. Great Love Debate, Long Beach

    Another random excursion…

    Saw an event offered on a MeetUp group: “THE GREAT LOVE DEBATE comes to LONG BEACH!” Title sounds a bit whack. Never been to that venue, so … bought a ticket. No particular qualification needed.

    There is a Facebook page … completely disused, aside from the promoters. Also, turns out, there is a untitledwebsite.

    Very odd. Lots of girls. Less than half as many guys. From the description:

    100 of Southern California’s most dynamic SINGLE WOMEN. 100 of its most ELIGIBLE BACHELORS.”

    Well, there were certainly more than 100 women present. Some possibly very nice. (Dim light, mass setting, not much to go on. Apparently could have gone much earlier, but did not know beforehand.)

    Considerably less ...

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  7. Social mapping/accidents

    Early evening, sitting alone on a restaurant patio at an outdoor mall, watching girls, looking for patterns. Pretty girl from inside parks in front of me, holds an entire phone conversation. Waitress comes out, asks if we(?) are ready to order.

    Group of four girls, one very nice, and smiling slightly, walk past in the direction of a cluster of restaurants. Several minutes later, they walk past again, leaving. Two of the girls are slightly behind and closer, one ahead on the far side of the smiling girl … and watching me.

    Not enough time to shop or dine, so … ? Just how aware of watching eyes are a group of girls? And if so, what did they expect?

    Friday, went to ...

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  8. Gender balance


    Most recently Tim Bray posted about Moving the Gender Needle relative to the genders in our profession.

    Weeks before I was called a “sexist” by a group of guys in a Programming thread on Google+.

    At the same time I was discussing sexual harassment with a well-written, well-expressed girl.

    I have a very intelligent daughter, who is about to enter college. She has considered tech fields, and could do well easily (her opinion and mine), but at present has a slightly different direction. I raised my kids to make their own choices, and I respect the choices my daughter makes.

    Two sides. The genders are not “equal”, in a strict mathematical sense. (I have a lot of math in ...

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