Mike’s Dump

July 27, 2005

Where is the Apple Juice!

Filed under: Uncategorized — mikesdump @ 1:26 pm

My younger daughter Erika is nearly two years old and is starting to say quite a few words. Usually she prefers to point and grunt to try and get what she wants. Depending on her mood at the time I may keep asking her what she wants until she talks. If she just wants some milk and she is crying and banging her head against the fridge hoping that I’ll get it for her it is pretty unlikely that I’ll get her to say, “Milk please”.
Today while we were sitting eating supper she looks at me and say, “Dad, apple juice”. I think food actually dropped out of my mouth when she said it. The last time she asked me for juice it was, “ju”. I said juice, get it for her, and everyone is happy. I was so excited to hear three words strung together (that make sense) that I jump up and run over to the fridge to get her some. As I’m about to open the fridge Isabelle yells over we don’t have any.
I try to explain to Erika there is no more juice would you like milk or water. Of course she is not a happy camper. “NO! JUICE” she yells back at me. I know when I tell her there is no more juice she is interrupting it as: no, I’m not going to let you have juice. Just like, no, don’t stick your hands down your diaper to explain to me that you’ve pooped. Or no, don’t use my shoulder as a Kleenex (use your mom’s). At this point I’m looking around the kitchen for anything other than milk or water and I notice she started eating again. I quietly sit down and start eating again trying not to draw any attention to the fact that she got nothing to drink… Sometimes short attention spans can be useful.

July 24, 2005

Show, don’t tell – Link from Coding Horror

Filed under: Uncategorized — mikesdump @ 1:51 pm

This post over at Coding Horror is about the introduction to The Best Software Writing I: Selected and Introduced by Joel Spolsky (also lists off the posts that make up the book). What’s great about the introduction is it the demonostration between “showing and telling”.

July 20, 2005

WinForms UI Thread Invokes: An In-Depth Review of Invoke/BeginInvoke/InvokeRequred – Link

Filed under: Uncategorized — mikesdump @ 9:30 am

Good reference article on properly accessing GUI components from other threads.
http://weblogs.asp.net/justin_rogers/articles/126345.aspx

July 19, 2005

Hurts So Good

Filed under: Uncategorized — mikesdump @ 11:35 am

I started reading Joel on Software this morning. While I was reading the introduction I came to a part that said, “Managing software projects has nothing at all to do with programming”. I laughed (cried a little inside) and kept on reading. I was thinking a lot about that statement as I came home on the bus today.
On a really good day of coding I could reflect and say I kicked ass today. I worked 10 hours straight building this component or finished debugging a really difficult problem. After that my brain would be mush, but it was a good mush. It hurt so good.
To me it is kind of like jogging. When I wasn’t so lazy I was going to the gym a couple times a week and I would jog on the treadmill for 25 minutes. Each time I would push myself to go a little further. Near the end of the run I would try to crank up the speed and sprint the end. When it was done I would feel like I wanted to puke but that was ok if I could beat my best distance because I felt like I accomplished something.
To me the same applies to coding. After a good day of coding my brain feels like it has been through the Egyptian mummification process and it feel great because I’d have something to show for it. The beer at the end of the day would be the icing on the cake. Those were great days.
Today I also experience that same brain liquefication but without the natural high of coding something really cool to dull the pain. There were some good parts of the day that I was able to help a couple people out with their projects but then there were the others. The meeting request from hell that I bitched about last week showed up again (the good news is I don’t have to go (insert dance of joy here)) but there was no updated agenda 🙂
Then there is dealing with people that only have RAM. When these individuals go to sleep mode what was stored in RAM is lost. Everything that people have tried to cram into their RAM throughout the day has been wiped out and we are doomed to go through the same process at a later date. I’m personally starting to feel that trying to re-educate these individuals will only lead to my insanity (isn’t the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results?). I could try permanent marker… that could be fun. Important information that should be shared with the client could be written directly on the face. That way what is communicated to the client is the same thing communicated to the development team… I think I’m on to something here. I’ll pay for the markers myself I just have to talk a couple developers into holding them down while I write.
Some days it is harder to pick out what I accomplished but the more I think about the today the more I realize that it hurt so good, it was a good day.
Bottom line, Joel is right. Programming has nothing to do with software project management (not that I’d classify myself as a PM, just somewhere in the middle). The highs are different and the lows are different but at the end of each day the beer tastes just as sweet.
Now sing it!
Hurts So Good
John Cougar Mellencamp
(John Cougar Mellencamp/G.M. Green)

When I was a young boy,
Said put away those young boy ways
Now that I’m gettin’ older, so much older
I love all those young boy days.
With a girl like you, (with some code like you)
With a girl like you, (with a compiler like you)
Lord knows there are things we can do, baby,
Just me and you.
Come on and make it
CHORUS:
Hurt so good.
Come on baby, make it hurt so good.
Sometimes love don’t feel like it should. (Sometimes deployments don’t feel like they should)
Hurts so good

July 18, 2005

Dad, they fell off the couch

Filed under: Uncategorized — mikesdump @ 1:01 pm

Girls on Cushions

I walk downstairs and before I can open my mouth Isabelle says,
“Dad, the cushions fell off the couch”. Trying not to laugh I ask how
the cushions made it under the chairs. Of course there is a shrug of
the shoulders and “I don’t know”. I guess that the chair on the carpet
just isn’t comfortable enough. I feel kind of responsible for this because they don’t know any better.
Sandy wasn’t home and it was the perfect opportunity to teach the kids
a good lesson, one that they would never forget, what the cushions are
really for… building a fort!

July 13, 2005

Dynamically Writing and Executing Native Assembly in C#

Filed under: Uncategorized — mikesdump @ 12:24 am

I thought this was kind of cool (geeky cool of course). Don’t know if I’d ever have a need for it but it is still cool.
http://blogs.msdn.com/devinj/archive/2005/07/12/438323.aspx

July 12, 2005

The Game is Afoot – Eric.Weblog

Filed under: Uncategorized — mikesdump @ 12:16 pm

There is a lot of great information in this post .
A couple parts below:
Experienced people know that execution is more important than idea. In fact, the more jaded and cynical folks in our industry would say that software product ideas are worthless. Without a doubt, great execution on a good idea is far better than poor execution on a great idea. If you want to beat your competitors in the market, focus on being a team that can get things done. Perfect execution on a terrible idea will get you exactly the results you should expect.


There are two groups of people who have opinions about which software product is the “best”:



  • Us. The developers. The geeks. The people who create the products.
  • Them. The customers. The normal people. The people who buy the products.


Here’s the lesson that developers must learn: The customers hold the only opinion that matters. Sometimes their choices don’t seem to make any sense. They prefer one product when we know the other one has better technology
It is a long post but worth the read.

July 11, 2005

Another Monday

Filed under: Uncategorized — mikesdump @ 11:43 am

Now I don’t mean to complain… wait… maybe I do. No actually I do, this drove me nuts today.
I received an email and meeting request (from different people) from outside of the group that I work with. Both of these made me shake my head. In the email was a document that was setting the expectations for our project managers. The section that caught my eye was:
On-time
On-budget
Customer Satisfaction � quality
Adherence to process
I’m probably just being anal but putting “customer satisfaction � quality” third on the list? Did anyone read it before sending it out? Is this really the order of priority that projects should be run? Project managers should be rated based on these criteria? Now of course a customer isn’t going to be happy if the project goes way over on time or budget but if crap is delivered on-time and on-budget that won’t help customer satisfaction. If the project is going to go over on time and/or budget project managers will be in a better position with the customer if the quality is good.
My second gripe of the day was related to a meeting request (oh ya another one). Yes of course this meeting request didn’t say what the meeting would be about but it did say that it would be updated two days before the meeting on what would be covered (that is good). I think what really got to me was the fact is without having an agenda it is already planned that this meeting is going to need 3 1/2 hours! Now I can’t give an exact time but I’m pretty sure that my brain shuts off after about 45 minutes (can’t say for sure because my brain is off) so when I see a 3 1/2 hour meeting request I want to cry. I’m actually hoping that after seeing the agenda I can somehow argue that there is no reason for me to be there. It is probably unlikely that I can get out of it and even if I do I had to push off a two hour meeting to attend. This isn’t sounding like a win-win situation.

Reading Between the Lines – link

Filed under: Uncategorized — mikesdump @ 11:37 am

I just started reading this blog a few days ago and there is some pretty good stuff in there. This post was on the importance of giving clear (corrective) feedback.

July 8, 2005

Why do we fall?

Filed under: Uncategorized — mikesdump @ 4:38 pm

Why do we fall?

“So that we can learn to pick ourselves up”. That was from Batman
Begins. Normally I have a hard time remembering anything really
specific about a movie but that really jumped out at me. I think it was
because I started thinking about all the stupid things that I’ve done.
In most cases when I’ve picked myself up again I could say that the
experience changed me or I learnt something. Looking back I would not
want to avoid the fall if I could because for better or worse it has
help shape who I am today.

Today, I have been considering another question.

Why do we die? Yeah I know, your thinking how much “defense” did Mike
drink today? (under the news section some may have noticed it says,
“the best defense is a strong beer”)

The best that I’ve come up with is:

To remind us life is a limited time offer. Act now; don’t miss your
chance to live it. Do the things that are really important and not just
important for the next quarter.

I was reminded of a song by William Shatner
. It was one of my least favorites when
I heard the album but reading the lyrics it says it all (well today it
does).

You’ll Have Time – William Shatner/Ben Folds

Live life
Live life like you’re gonna die
Because you’re gonna
I hate to be the bearer of bad news
But you’re gonna die

Maybe not today or even next year
But before you know it you’ll be saying
“Is this all there was?
What was all the fuss?
Why did I bother?”

Now, maybe you won’t suffer maybe it’s quick
But you’ll have time to think
Why did I waste it?
Why didn’t I taste it?
You’ll have time
Because you’re gonna die.

Yes it’s gonna happen because it’s happened to a lot of people I know
My mother, my father, my loves
The president, the kings and the pope
They all had hope

And they muttered just before they went
Maybe, I won’t let go
Live life like you’re gonna die
Because you are

Maybe you won’t suffer maybe it’s quick
But you’ll have time to think
Why did I waste it?
Why didn’t I taste it?
You’ll have time
‘Cause you’re gonna die

I tell you who else left us
Passed on down to heaven no longer with us
Johnny Cash, JFK, that guy in the Stones
Lou Gehrig, Einstein, and Joey Ramone
Have I convinced you?
Do you read my lips?
This may come as news but it’s time
You’re gonna die
You’re gonna die

By the time you hear this I may well be dead
And you my friend might be next
‘Cause we’re all gonna die

Yeah, oh maybe you won’t suffer and maybe it’s quick
But you’ll have time to think
Why did I waste it?
Why didn’t I taste it?
You’ll have time
You’ll have time cause you’re gonna die
Yes, you’re gonna die
You’re gonna die, I tell you
You’re gonna die
You are gonna die

‘Cause maybe you won’t suffer maybe it’s quick
But you have time to think
Why did I waste it?
Why didn’t I taste it?
You’ll have time ’cause you’re gonna die

Live Life
Life life like you’re gonna die
Because you’re going to
Oh yes
I hate to be the beater of bad news
But you’re gonna die

Maybe not today or even next year
But before you know it you’ll be saying
“Is this all there was?
What was all the fuss?
Why did I bother?
Why did I waste it?
Why didn’t I taste it?”
You’ll have time, baby
You’ll have time
‘Cause you’re gonna die
You are gonna die
Oh yeah

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