Showing posts from January, 2020

Programming and kids (or how I learned to love code)

I have three boys that I want to share some of my passion for coding. I don't need my children to be programmers, but I want to share what I find so enjoyable about what I do, but I struggle with where to start. So, I have been thinking about how I learned to code and what drove me. 
Coding was something that I first encountered as a boy of about 11 with my trusty Commodore 64. To do anything, you had to use Basic. I had no idea I was using Basic when I told my computer to load a program. I just knew that `LOAD "*",8` would start the process of loading my favorite games from my attached disk drive. 
From there, curiosity led me to more commands. I could sense the magic behind the little bits of English, numbers, and punctuation. Something amazing would happen that was more than just letters on a screen. It was a child's curiosity that pushed me forward. I was hooked on the machine and the magic of code behind it.
Computers were limited in 1984. They didn't have fanc…

3 problems with quality code

I have been thinking a lot about software quality lately. I’m passionate about building software that does what it is supposed to do, is extensible, is readable by future people (including me), and leaves me with a sense of achievement (a bit selfish, I know). While I love building great software, I freely admit that creating quality software can be a pain. Below are the three main things that suck about writing robust code.
Good code takes time Creating working software can be shockingly quick. Want to build software to detect some bad words in English text? It is easy to have something working in a few hours or less that accomplishes this. Voila, we have a naughty word detector. It won’t be pretty, and it will, probably, be missing a few things, but you have just created a small logic machine that does something relatively miraculous. 
Heck, you could probably build one for each language you need at a day apiece, and you would have something that would meet most or all of your needs. …

Bigger than the cloud?

I have a colleague that says that IoT will be bigger than the cloud. Depending on how you slice it, the statement is true. A Business Insider article from January 2019 says more than 64 billion devices by 2025. That is a lot of programmable things going around. Each of them needs to be managed, secured, and updated. It is a lot of work. This is a new kind of work for most of us in software.

Of course, all of these new devices will need to be managed from somewhere, and that somewhere is the cloud. IoT will drive cloud adoption further into manufacturing than it is today. Cloud is the only way for most companies to manage the scale and distribution that IoT provides. In that sense, the cloud will be bigger than IoT to encompass all of the new information flying around.
Having an IoT strategy without a cloud strategy is unworkable for any but the biggest players: Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, etc. It is also interesting to note that three of the companies that I thought to list …