Some thoughts about coding

I recently came across the following post: Learning to Code

There are some struggles described which I believe every programmer/developer/coder will at some point struggle with the points described there. There are several flame wars ongoing. Tabs/spaces, Emacs/Vi, Windows/Mac/Linux/Unix, SQL/Non SQL, etc.

You get the idea.

At some point in my career we had to change our mail software. The change was from ‘your choice’ to Lotus Notes. We had an uproar in our company. If we had to change then we should change to Outlook … ahmmmm or Thunderbird … ahmmm or other free software.

During one of this discussions one of my colleagues stated it simple: The company decided for Lotus Notes so we will use Lotus Notes. It is no way to waste our time in discussing this. And don’t forget every single alternative mail program has similar abilities. So why worry?

Several years later I have an idea why people get worried about changes: They have to leave their comfort zone and learn something new. This is a huge change in a company and affects in the way how we work. But just until we know our tools.

If I think back to the start of this post. Help with the struggle can be found in asking: What are the standards for the company I work for. It’s not depending on flame wars. It’s depending on how we can help to get more successful in our daily work at the place we work currently.

Fonts and Colors

Last week one of my class colleagues asked me why my Visual Studio environment was black. I told him because I like it. But perhaps the better answer is because I can do it.

With the color themes it is really easy to change the colors to a theme which you like. Not only the colors also the fonts can be changed. And if you are at this point … there will be many more possibilities to extend your IDE to your likings.

Code Kata’s :Code Kata:

This are my thoughts about the Code Kata’s introduced by Dave Thomas or PragDave. I will work through this Kata’s during the next few days. Ok I will perhaps need rather weeks than days. But essentially I will work on them to get more understanding of some aspects of programming which I wouldn’t touch otherwise.

Most of the idea what a Code Kata is will be covered with the first Kata. Feel free to read it on the website of Dave Thomas. The idea(s) behind Code Kata’s are very impressive and logical for me. So far the hardest point for me is to find the time to do it as expected. Quick, fast, reliable, and produce output which will cover my own expectation of a program.

The second Kata is called ‘Supermarket Pricing’. I believe that all questions asked here can fill a whole book. And even worse some will be different to answer in other countries. For example does rounding exist? For me the answer is sure. But I’m not sure if this will be the fact in Canada. Why I’m sure? I’m grown up in Switzerland and there all prices are calculated to 5 Rappen. If you will compare this value to dollar this will be 5 cent. Everything has to be rounded to an end value of 5 or 0. What will the formula be? It depends on the customer. Will he earn the difference or will he give the difference to his customer? A simple calculation we sell 1’000 eggs with a price of 0.52 sFr. If we sell it 0.50 sFr we will loose 20.00 sFr. If we sell it for 0.55 sFr we will win 30.00 sFr. Now take this game further to every article you will sell … Quiet now Canada is in the process to loose the 1 cent coin. There are several rounding rules on it. The result will almost certain be that more people will use plastic money more. Dear customers what is better use plastic money (and look that the credit card companies earn money with each transaction) or use money and help the shop to spare the transaction to earn more by them self?

This where some thoughts to this theme. For me the answer will be in a pragmatic sense: the customer should be involved in the project team and help the team with the correct decision. I talk out of my experience. I had to re-implement this rounding problem several times in my career.

Hello World

My very first blog post 🙂 I’m not sure what I will say in this blog. Not yet. I think it will get a documentation on my journey as a pragmatic software developer. With some hints about how I will use Emacs as my editor of choice, about books I have read and will read, about agile themes. And so on. For the moment I don’t know exactly where my journey will lend me. But as said Bilbo Baggins in Lord of the Rings:

The road goes ever on and on
Down from the road where it began.