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September 2009

Pair Programming: Lone Programmer Shoots Back

photo credit: Johnathan! I got a few angry and scolding comments on my last post on pair programming. Let me address each of the issues in turn: Programmers are not lazy – Rather, they are no more or less lazy than any other type of worker. Why do the peak usage times of most web sites, including Facebook and the like, coincide with business hours? You can look at the studies that reinforce this finding, but th
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Authlogic: after the initial hype

photo credit: sammy may On my rails projects, I’ve used restful_authentication before and I am using authlogic now. Even though I have passed the initial hesitation phase with authlogic, I can’t say that I am totally sold. What I like about authlogic is it refrains from providing any controller/view level support and handles model layer better. Instead, it provides a solid model functionality that is simi
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How Not to Market Your SEO Company

  Cold Caller: I just Googled “Software+Developers+Chicago” and your company didn’t show up on the first three pages. You can use our help! Me: I just Googled “Search Engine Optimization Consultants.” Your company didn’t show up on the first three pages either. Cold Caller: Thanks for your time, sir.
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Pair Programming in the New York Times

photo credit: albany_tim When scientists and engineers explain their esoteric disciplines to the general public, they reach for analogies. Sometimes those analogies are apt and serve to clarify what is hard to understand, sometimes they are less apt and serve to obfuscate and confuse. We certainly use our fair share of analogies in software development — construction, manufacturing, brain surgery — and so
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A Pair of Kings Beats A Single Ace: Pair Programming, Agile Rails, and You

A lot of pair programming chatter this week. Starting with a New York times article describing pair programming at Hashrocket. It’s an interesting article, with a tone that could be described as “anthropologist describing the strange, yet quaint customs of the native tribe” Obie Fernandez followed up with a list of 10 reasons why pairing doesn’t work in most cases. It’s actually a list o
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Art vs. Design, the Art of Design, or the Design of Art

A couple of days ago I happened upon an interesting article about the difference between art and design. The author makes a lot of interesting points, and whether you agree or not with the statements he makes, the article does make for a great conversation starter. Art and design are two different words, and some say two different worlds as well. The use of each often comes with a distinct connotation. I could go on
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Ruby on Rails Internship

If you’re an ambitious new Rails developer in Chicago who wants to work along side Dr. Noel and our other sage Rails developers, check out our Rails Internship.
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Rails DateTime.to_time, Time, and a case of 'Why do you need to do that?'

The problem: I needed to display a warning to a user if the data they were looking at was more than 90 days old. The solution: Create a method that takes 2 dates (either DateTime or Time), and returns the number of days, or hours between them. def self.difference_in_dates(date1, date2, unit = 1.day) return nil if date1.nil? || date2.nil? || unit == 0 (( date1.to_time - date2.to_time ) / unit).round.abs end The proble
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Software Development: Importance Doesn't Always Equal Effort

I’ve worked on more than a few software projects over the decades and one of my favorite little misunderstandings is the Importance versus Effort disconnect. That’s where non-experts assume that because a particular part of a software system is more important than another, it must also take more effort to develop. That is rarely the case and, in fact, importance — however that is defined — is
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Corners of the Rubyverse: RVM and MacRuby

Please continue reading after the next sentence. I installed Snow Leopard a couple of weeks ago. Wait — don’t stop reading. This isn’t a post about how to install MySQL or a post about whether or not Snow Leopard is the Greatest Thing Ever. There are plenty of other places on the Internet where you can get that information. I wanted to talk about two cool corners of the Ruby universe that I started
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