Rails

4 Game Changers

Please take a look at my latest column for Government Computing News where I describe the four technologies that have most revolutionized software development in the last decade–with one notable absence. Just to give you an idea, here is the unedited introduction. In his blog post The Great Works of Software, Paul Ford enumerates five applications that excel in longevity, popularity, and usefulness. Pac-Man made the list, so you know it’s a good one.

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You Must Unlearn What You Have Learned

While in the middle of his Jedi training with Master Yoda, Luke Skywalker discovers his ship has sunk into the Dagobah swamp. Ever the whiner, Luke complains about how difficult it will be to salvage the ship. That’s when an exasperated Yoda bestows some unforgettable wisdom. The iconic line from this scene in The Empire Strikes Back is “Do. Or do not. There is no try.” That’s an awesome line worthy of every t-shirt and Big Bang Theory reference.

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You Know What Really Grinds My Gears?

There is an episode of Family Guy where Peter Griffin gets a segment on the Quahog 5 News called “What Really Grinds My Gears.” During the segment, he opines on random things that bother him in his own hilarious and offensive way. When it comes to software projects and technology, I have my own list of pet peeves that continues to grow. While not quite as hilarious though potentially just as offensive to some, here are a few.

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Testing-1-2-3: My First Post on GCN

In the wake of the project management and technology debacle that is HealthCare.gov, I just published my first post on Government Computing News, the leading online publication in federal IT. The topic? Testing is much more nuanced than has been suggested by recent commentary. Developers, testers, and domain experts can work together to leverage a combination of open-source tools, automation and discipline in order to build quality into their applications from the start.

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