I found the best gadget. Amazon just released the Kindle and this thing looks great. Its an ebook reader with some additional features that distinguish it from the rest. Firstly, this device has a EVDO built in. What does this mean? No need to find Wifi to download a book, Kindle connects like a cell phone to the amazon store to get your books. Actually, Amazon even opens up Wikipedia access so you can look up articles on the go. Secondly, this device is created by amazon. They are a company in the right position to see that a large quantity of their books make it to correct format for this device. One complaint, so far the price of the technology books is still prohibitively high. These books are still greater than 20 dollars, which I still see as a large amount to pay for an electronic document. Can’t wait to see this thing in action, though. Maybe that will change my perception of the cost.
As competition season is fast approaching and my front through to layout still needing work, I decided to start re-working my Roundoff handspring full again, to make sure I had at least something to throw for our first competition. Well, I started a few weeks ago with throwing layouts, but to no real success. The layouts timing was off. What do you expect after a nearly 6 month break from working on them.
Regardless, I pursued. I continued to work on my layout, and finally figured out I was forgetting to flick out of my back hand spring. Even with that, I have not felt ready to throw my full. With only 2 practices left for me before we compete, I today had to be the day to throw it. I had no choice in the matter.
First running pass was a layout, very fishy, but the height was there. Second pass, I went for it, and nailed it. Now I know I only did it once, but still, after not having thrown something in about 6 months, getting it back is a sweet feeling. Well, that was my day 😀
I’ve been meaning to make a trip west for several years, but have never gotten around to it. That is about to change. I will be heading out to the west coast around the Thanksgiving holiday. First, I’m heading to Colorado to see a side of my family I have not seen in many years. My fathers brother and sister are out in Fort Collins, Colorado. My parents have actually been out there several times in the past years, but due to other circumstances I have been unable to make it out there. I’m going during thanksgiving so I can see my grandparents and my step cousins who will all be in for the Holidays. Once I’m done in Colorado I will be heading to northern California. My good friends from both college and high school have found themselves in the same relative area. Both left almost immediately after college. I have not made it out since they left. This trip is long overdue and I can’t wait to see how they are getting on out there. So, if anyone happens to be out in Colorado or Cali, let me know!
I could get started on some of the most interesting things I’ve done when I was tired (like talking to a telephone poll) but I would like to share a quick story. A friend of mine and I were taking the subway the other evening when she walked right into the turnstile and it did not turn. She looked down at the darn thing wondering why it blocked her entrance. After a few seconds of puzzlement she realized that she had forgot to swipe her metrocard.
Okay, okay, not rest on my friends embarrassment, I would just like to add that sleep tends to have a profound effect on people. In the past I’ve read that sleep allows you to convert short term memory into long term memory. Sleep allows me to focus and remember more. I shoot for 8 hours a night and when I get that, I’m much more on my game. When I miss it I do silly things like walk into a turnstile (or worse).
I was having a conversation with a couple of friends the other day, when the topic of Software Engineering came up. I have been working in the software industry for over two years. I do not consider this to be a large amount of time. Nevertheless, I have learned a significant amount of software engineering.
Let me back up. In college, most computer science students take a class on how to design and build software, titled Software Engineering. In this class they give you a textbook and teach you the different “models” of software engineering. They present this Utopian view of the software engineering process that I have never seen implemented in the real world. Most of what I see is similar to this graphic I found:
The biggest problem with the software engineering designs is that the business side does not understand the benefits of software engineering. It might be a good idea to force the business people to take a class in the pitfalls of software engineering. I have heard countless stories of people creating rush prototypes of a project, showing it their business sponsors, and their business asking for it be in production the next day. Most prototypes are not designed to be released. Often times they are missing key components of functionality(like login validation).
Now, I’m not saying that software design is useless. It is necessary to to have an idea of what you are building before you begin to code. What I’m saying is that I don’t think that the software engineering process that are described in the software engineering books in school is valid the work environment. It is good to teach them, but teachers should also stretch the variations that occur in the real world.
One last thing, I’d like to make a plead for my favorite design methodology. Test-driven design is a wonderful idea. There are problems with it, the design ends up being only as good as the tests that are written. Most of the time the tests that are written in the beginning before construction of the code are not sufficient for a fully functional program. I feel this stems from the fact that businesses are often rushing to produce something and you don’t see any results while writing tests. I myself have been guilty of rushing people through designing tests when I was in a business role.
To all people who are reading this from a sponsorship position, please allow your developers the time they need to ensure good design. In the end it will help you products.