Blog Posts

The Signal and the Noise

Recently attorneys for Facebook, Twitter, and Google were called before the Senate Judiciary Committee to answer for the role their companies played in amplifying the messages from Russian actors that influenced the 2016 American Presidential election. The details surrounding this issue have profound consequences for the nation politically, geopolitically, culturally, financially, legally, and technologically. Vidya is a technology company, so let’s focus only on that last one and leave it to others to address the rest.

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Talking Trends at Tech Talk DC

I will be speaking at Tech Talk DC on October 25th in Arlington, Virginia, on Here’s What’s Trending In Software Engineering. Whether you build software, manage projects, or run enterprises, you’ll discover techniques and technologies that will give you an edge in the years to come. If you saw me speak on this topic at Code Writers Workshop in the summer, rest assured this talk will be different. First, I have added some wrinkles to the original list you will likely find compelling.

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It's Not Only About the Benjamins

The 2017 Stack Overflow Developers Survey had the most respondents since they began the project in 2011. You really should take a look. They cover a lot of ground, and the findings across geography and demographics are fascinating. It’s interesting most developers report feeling underpaid. That isn’t surprising to me, but it might be counterintuitive to people more accustomed to Stark Industries than to Pied Piper. It’s natural to follow up by asking which programming languages pay the most, and those answers did surprise me.

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Vidya Reloaded

Welcome to the first new post on our brand new website! Thank you for checking it out. At Vidya we pride ourselves on embracing emerging technologies and helping our clients leverage them to realize their potential. This website proves we practice what we preach. We built it with Hugo, a stunningly fast static-site generator built on Google’s popular Go programming language, which continues to shoot up the Tiobe Index.

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Speaking at Code Writers Workshop 2017

The Code Writers Workshop is taking place outside Washington, DC on June 9th with the theme “Software Leadership in a New Era.” The speakers are a diverse, distinguished array of industry leaders who have done great things around the world. The keynote speaker, Kara DeFrias, was Director of UX for former Vice-President Joe Biden! The surprising thing is they’re letting me speak too. I have the honor of speaking on the topic “Here’s What’s Trending in Software Engineering.

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ScrumMaster++

Anyone with a basic knowledge of Scrum, and certainly everyone who has taken Agile Software Project Management With Scrum, knows the role of the ScrumMaster–to be a servant leader, to act as guardian of the Scrum process, to remove obstacles for the delivery team, to negotiate any tension between the Product Owner and the delivery team, to encourage the team to self-organize and be cross-functional, and so on. These are so well understood they’re almost clichés.

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A New Strategy for Scala

Alvin Alexander is a renowned software engineer and author. His Scala Cookbook was invaluable when I got started with Scala, and that book and his prolific blog posts have remained essential reading even as I’ve gotten better at it. One of Alvin’s most recent posts, How Scala killed the Strategy Pattern, is the latest iteration of an old criticism of the Gang of Four (Go4) Design Patterns by functional programming (FP) advocates–that you don’t even need them if languages provide sufficient abstractions.

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Going Retro With Style

I was recently at an event hosted by the Agile Leadership Network of DC (ALN) called Reflective Retrospectives To Build High Performing Teams. It was an interesting presentation with a highly credentialed speaker–Certified Agile Coach, ITIL, PMP/PMI-ACP Coach, Protector of the Realm, Breaker of Chains, and so on–but what really struck me that evening was a question from the audience. The question came from a fellow software engineer, who began by noting that ALN events typically engage executives and managers rather than engineers, and can be paraphrased this way:

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Welcoming Webster & Fredrickson, PLLC

Vidya is proud to work with Webster & Fredrickson, PLLC, a law firm based in Washington, DC, specializing in the practice areas of whistleblower protection and employment, bankruptcy, and commercial law. Since the firm’s inception, Webster & Fredrickson has won millions for clients who have suffered discrimination, retaliation, harassment, and fraud at the hands of business and governmental organizations. Our first priority was to develop a website suited to the Webster & Fredrickson brand.

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Clowns to the Left of Me, Jokers to the Right

News broke recently that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) contracted the development of an iPad app called the Randomizer that eliminates any hint of profiling by airport security by simply directing travelers according to an arrow onscreen that randomly points left or right. That’s it. No, really. An arrow that points left or right. At random. Over and over. The cost? $1.4 million. Yes, that’s dollars. Naturally, the Internet sprung into outrage.

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