The 'Stack OverFlow Effect'

Tue Apr 15 2014

Stack OverFlow LogoYes, that's a term I just made up on the spot.  Any software developer knows what I'm talking about though.

How often in recent times have you had any sort of programming question?  Bet I know where you found the answer (or at least a solid hint).  It seems like you can't even search for a programming related question or term without seeing a Stack Overflow page in the results.

This brings me back to the title.  Is there a sort of Stack OverFlow Effect that we have all been exposed to?  Are we now worse at remembering solutions to problems, since we can just look them up?  Think for a second; What would happen if SO just up and disappeared?  I know I hate programming with no internet access.  Unless I'm programming something with absolutely no new concepts (what's the fun in that?) I usually have to look something up before it's done.

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Developer Workflow Education

Mon Apr 14 2014

How many other developers feel like they are stuck in an endless loop of terrible workflows?  I can't say much from my limited professional experience, but I'm sure this is a wide-spread problem.  Unless you are working for a large software specific firm, is proper workflow important?  I feel like it should be, but maybe that's just me.  

When I was in college, I don't think I ever even heard the word workflow.  Could have been where I went to school, but we certainly weren't taught the "right" way to do things.  The most we got told to do was to write up a plan document before writing code.  (OK, I admit I hardly ever did that either.)  There was no Source Control 101, Introduction to Deployment, or anything of the sort.  Write your project, zip it up, and send it away.

Is this common in education?  Obviously your professional situation will determine the workflow later on, but should we be given a baseline early on?  I work for a small company, with less than a handful of developers.  We occasionally follow minor source control practices, but usually we just handle everything with a zip file for each version.  Granted we don't roll back or share versions amongst ourselves often, but tracking changes is a headache when you need to figure something out.  I think our system works for us, it would probably take more effort to change it.  I just wonder how normal this is across the board.

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BuckMeUp - The internet's First Merit-Based Marketplace

Thu Apr 10 2014

BuckMeUp is a User-Price Marketplace for small services. 

BuckMeUp is an innovative, Vancouver-based start-up focused on providing freelancers with a “merit-priced” marketplace for their services.


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What I'm Working On vol. 1

Thu Apr 03 2014

It's been a while since I made a post here.  I have a tendency to get engrossed in my projects, so why not just write about them?  I'm going to try and publish some "What I'm Working On" posts when I'm working on anything interesting.

So, What Am I Working On?  I'm working on a game engine for a concept I've been thinking about for a long time.  I'm not going to say too much about the concept yet, that would ruin the surprise.  But, I can tell you what the technologies are.

It is a multiplayer game, and I'm using it for learning new technologies.  So, the technologies might not be the best fit, but I don't expect anything big out of it anyway.  I am using my favorite tool Node.js for the backend.  The datastore is implemented in MongoDB using Mongoose, but one of my next tasks is to abstract that away so it might change later on.  One of the big things of the server is I am writing it in a way that makes it modular, so multiple machines can run individual sections of the game server happily.  Client communication is going to be handled by WebSockets (likely Socket.io).


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The Computer Guy

Sat Mar 15 2014

How many of you have been known as "The Computer Guy?"  I know I have sometimes.  And it can be a good thing, or it can be a bad thing.  It feels good sometimes to be able to help someone out.  Other times, it can be a pain in the butt.  This commic from XKCD sums it up perfectly:

Tech Support Cheat Sheet

Obviously, this isn't the case all the time, but usually it's pretty close.  Things like virus removal, cleanup, and tune-ups are obviously more complicated, but you get the point.  That brings me to the other things about being "The Computer Guy," when you ask for services like that, don't expect things to happen right away.  And, most importantly: when someone fixes your computer, do not make them responsible for anything else you might screw up in the future.


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