March 25th, 2013

Ctrl+Alt+Del - Scott & Ted

Being a good developer: Knowing where to draw the line

One of the biggest aspects of being a good developer is knowing where to draw the line.

When an inexperienced developer gets their hands on Design Patterns its not uncommon for them go wild and start implementing them exclusively, everywhere, and by the book. This can lead to complexity in situations that didn't require it or a lack of flexibility for new situations that aren't covered by existing design patterns.

Developers and architects might also ban certain practices in order to prevent newer developers from falling prey to specific circumstances. For example, banning all ternary operators because some less experienced developers may see them and make them more complex. If this line of logic is followed then we end up with coding standards that forbid compound criteria in if statements in favor of multiple levels of if statements or a series of if/elseif/elseif/elseif/elseif with repeating actions, or we have template engines that don't allow any logic in order to prevent designers and developers from 'accidentally' putting business logic in the frontend.

Knowing when something is okay, and accepting that someone is bound to try to break the rules until they're shown better, is part of designing a good application and mentoring new developers. If we always err our designs on the "but someone [else] might do it wrong!" then we end up with overly simplified applications that likely cause us more time and effort.
Ctrl+Alt+Del - Scott & Ted

Why I don't drink alcohol

This comes up rather often and I explain some of these each time, but I don't think I've ever written down all the reasons why I don't drink alcohol. Occasionally I wonder even just to myself why I don't so now seems like as good as any to list at least a few of them. They won't be in any particular order of importance.
  • I haven't started already; why start now.
  • Alcohol is expensive. I've seen restaurant bills double or triple just because of alcohol.
  • I've never drank so I don't know how much I can handle.
  • I don't have anyone I trust to be around when inebriated.
  • I don't trust myself to know what would happen if I happen to get drunk.
  • Alcoholism may run in the family; both of my Uncles were alcoholics for a very long time (if not still).
  • I don't believe alcohol should be required as "social lubricant".
  • I dislike social events that revolve solely around drinking and talking about things drunk people have done.
  • Most of the time I consider drinking is when I'm alone; absolutely wrong time/reason to take up drinking.
  • Added: Something about the smell of beer is repulsive to me. No idea why; maybe it's psychological.
  • Added: I'm somewhat paranoid about doing something risky sexually if impaired. (I'm paranoid about that in general too)
Well, while I'm here let's make a list of why I should start drinking:
  • More choice in beverages and flavor variety.
  • Less awkward at social functions when declining alcohol.
  • Might make approaching guys or just being social a little easier. Might.
Uh, yeah. That's not much of a reason to start.