Pyramidal Objects

Lately I’ve been mulling over a thought experiment for what a new fundamental object model for programming might look like, and that has me scheming about pyramids. All kidding aside, the concept of a four-faced object is an interesting idea. Face #1: A visual representation of the object, whether that’s HTML+CSS, text for the command […]

Exploration vs. Production

There is a delicate balance between exploring ideas and producing shippable work. Those who get it wrong inevitably end up dealing with a whole lot of friction. The first step to getting on the right path is to realize that exploration and production are fundamentally different kinds of activities. Exploratory work yields the best outcomes when it […]

Visualizing the long haul

This is what I’ve gone to bed to and woken up to every day for the last eight months, and what I expect will continue to decorate my walls for at least another year. From left to right, here’s what you’re looking at: The first page of eight chapters of the Programming Beyond Practices book, […]

Hofstadter’s Law

Hofstadter’s Law: It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter’s Law. (From Gödel, Escher, Bach) In the past, I have taken the idea of Hofstadter’s Law as a sort of cynical statement on our inability to predict and plan our work with certainty–combined with our tendency to have greater ambitions than we […]

Regulating Alchemy

Some call software development a science, an engineering discipline, or a profession. But in fact, the current state of the field more closely resembles alchemy. Let’s not dig too deep into the metaphor–just let alchemy stand for this combination of things: dangerous processes that poisoned people and blew stuff up, fantastical goals to turn things […]

The Rules of Art and Work

The topic of “code as art” nearly always devolves into a question of “What is Art anyway?” which in turn devolves into philosophical grumbling and mumbling. Let’s see if we can strike at the root of this question once and for all, by using a simple and minimally controversial heuristic. Ready? Here we go! See […]

The outside view

Many tend to be inward focused, and I suppose I am too. But I am also very much obsessed with what I like to call “the outside view” of any situation I find myself in. Establishing ‘the outside view’ is related to empathy, but I think that term is starting to get quite overloaded. Also, empathy […]