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Hi, I'm Scott. I'm a software engineer/programmer based in NYC. Work is mainly focused around Voice Assistants and Voice UI.

Ribbonfarm reader since I found Gervais Principle on Slashdot. Also a huge fan of Breaking Smart (excited for season 2!).

My current side projects are focused around new ways to explore, read, and understand code. Starting to prototype some AR ideas around it as of yesterday.

Does anyone remember reading something about how we keep trying to make new technology humanlike: rosie the robot to do our dishes, or animal-like: flying like birds. But instead we get dish-washing cubes in our kitchens, and just shoot fire out of the back of metal tubes.

I feel like it was on Ribbonfarm or Breaking Smart but can't seem to find it...does it ring a bell for anyone?

Scott boosted

Test Driven Development is to software engineering what double entry is to accounting. They seem unnecessarily tedious at first, but eventually you'll realize it's the only way to not have bugs everywhere

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@scottwerner @akk

The green fields of a new language definitely help. Why would I write bundler if ant or maven already exists, even if ant or maven have serious issues? It's a much harder bet to make when there's an alternative, no matter how bad it is.

Scott boosted

@scottwerner @akk

In some ways I think this may have hurt Clojure and will hurt compiles-to-JS langauges: getting access to e.g. the Java ecosystem is great, but it really takes the wind out of the sails to build better replacements for some tools.

Just starting The Machine That Changed The World: The Story of Lean Production - It feels like they're explaining lean in context and as an evolution from mass manufacturing, itself an r/evolution from craft production.

Struck me that in software, we haven't had the mass production revolution yet and are trying to go craft production -> lean production rather than craft -> mass -> lean.

Finally started reading "Patterns of Software" from a toot from @alec. It looks like its going to be slow going since I'm basically highlighting every other line.

It is kind of depressing that these ideas that have been around so long haven't really broken into the mainstream.

Just finished "How to Not Lose at 4D Chess" by @vgr - One comparison I couldn't shake throughout was to no limit holdem poker tournament strategy.

Not exactly "avoiding trying to win", but if you're at a table with players who are a lot better than you, one way to neutralize their advantage is to adopt an "all in or fold preflop" strategy. Basically turn the game into a single decision rather than multiple decisions in multiple rounds.


I'm usually one of only a few voices arguing that cucumber is a great tool even though it really isn't ever used by stakeholders to write specs.

Just came across this book today that uses it in a different way to test drive an API:

Need to get the book and try it out, but from my initial impression it seems like it is going to end up being the main example I show for how Cucumber can be used well.

Scott boosted

web dev, opinions 

I'm almost certain you don't need a SPA/ajax/FancyJSFramework for your site that mostly displays text. If the biggest names in SV can't pull it off gracefully, you probably can't either.

Scott boosted

Debugging insight of the day:

Focus on solving the problem, not the mystery.

There is a trade-off between deep understanding and fast problem solving.

When deadline looms, don't nerd-snipe yourself and keep a flexible mind, focused on the problem.

Scott boosted

“Patterns of Software” explores the work of the architect Christopher Alexander as it relates to the creation of software.

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“We need to
learn how to write software “before” we worry about development methodologies —using principles and approaches of a fine arts education in creative writing”

Scott boosted

So You Think You're Customer-Driven? 

In which I take an existentialist torch to theaters of "customer-driven"
behavior. | | | | When somebody tells me they're product-driven, I
generally believe them, but when somebody tells me they're customer-driven, I
assume they're lying. And usually in the most dangerous way -- to themselves.
I've made no secret of my strongly partisan belief that being [product-driven
is a far superior stance than being customer-

@vgr any chance there's a recording somewhere or have you written more about the ideas in this presentation: I've shared slide 42 in a bunch of conversations lately and would be really interested to hear/read more about what you have to say about it.

Scott boosted

@vgr The core concept IMO are functions that can return functions, or “doing things that can do other things” or true trust/delegation. The typical “bad boss” reduces humans to functions that can only do one thing rather than more higher order things.

The y-combinator specifically uses this trait in a way to allow the non-named to be pseudo-true-named by having the function/company use itself as an input/bootstrapping-factor. It allows “self actualization” of its inputs.

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"Anyhow, that’s the setup. We’ll dive in next time."

was cliffhanger at the end of the 2015 piece "The Boydian Dialectic" :refactored:

boost to peer-pressure (acylote-pressure?) Venkat into finally publishing the follow up ☯

Scott boosted

More data cleaning horror stories:

an empty address field gets turned into a null, which gets turned into a Python None, which gets turned into the string "None", which is then turned via Google Maps API geocoding into "44.934329, 7.5238781".

That is the latitude and longitude of "None", a small town southwest of Turin, Italy. 🤦

Have any of you found any programming livestreams that you enjoy and watch consistently? I’m about to start, but curious if anyone has come up with a project/style that’s entertaining.

My current idea is to pick a bug in an open source project and just livestream solving it in 1hr sessions. Maybe trying to also do it as a pair programming session so there’s more opportunity to keep a conversation going.

I was thinking about the eigenyou from @vgr and realized there’s a similar example in music.

If you look at billboards top 100 from the beginning, the number of artists and styles of music really expanded over the last ~100 years after starting at like single digits.

Technology has expanded the possibilities for potential eigenyous but so has the liberalization in what counts as “music”

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