July 29, 2006

Smart Mouse - sorta

Thought this was interesting. I always wondered when I should let go of the mouse:


Until next time

July 27, 2006

Code is not the problem

When most people think about software engineering/computer programming they think mainly of long, encrypted pieces of sequences of numbers and letters that make up code.  But honestly, that mysterious code that is written throughout the lifecycle of an application is one of the more simple aspects of what software engineers do.  So what’s it really about?  Problem solving.

For a while now the signature for my personal email has had the quote, “learn to code if you must, but first learn to solve problems”.  I’m not sure where that came from.  I don’t remember reading it anywhere, or hearing anyone say it.  But I don’t think I can take credit for it completely because I’m sure I heard/saw something very similar that inspired me.  Since college I’ve felt that I would have benefited from that statement a lot during my education.  I always seemed to approach assignments as tasks in learning to write code.  And if that is all I got out of it then all I could say on my resumé that college taught me to write C++ code.  Though to the inexperienced ear that may sound like a hirable trait, it doesn’t get you very far in the real world.

Writing code is no different than writing a simple paragraph.  Typically a well defined language is used.  All that’s needed is a little knowledge (heavy emphasis on little) of the syntax and reserved commands/words and voila; you’ve got code.  Why should I play down such a big part of software engineering?  Is what I do not that important?  If all I do is sit and write code then I’m not really doing my job.  Trust me I’ve seen some code out there that looks like it was written just so someone would have something to do.

What am I getting at?  Oh yeah, problem solving is the point.  Typically people approach coding as the puzzle.  And that leads to bad code.  Coding should just be a task, but a task that can’t be carried out until the problems at hand have been properly addressed.  

There are many approaches to good problem solving, so I won’t go into that here.  But proper problem solving techniques are what help the software engineer make coding a simple task.  And remember, coders are a dime a dozen, problem solvers are the ones who get it right.  Coders are the people you work with who are afraid to even look at a different language/tool.  Problem solvers will address the need and figure out what language/tool should be used when the planning is finished.

Until next time

July 20, 2006

Dog days...

Well, it is official. The dog days of summer are here. Not saying that it is as hot as it is going to get, but if we hit the zenith and headed down from here I promise I won't complain.

Well, the company is notifiying people at work that internal audits have shown that we are running Firefox and we need to uninstall it to meet company standards. Yes you heard me correctly. We are not allowed to use Firefox at work, we have to use the inferior Internet Exploder with all it's glorious security risks and lack of usability. Oh well, no use crying over it.

Caught Superman Returns last weekend. Not a bad show, although it didn't turn me into a Superman fan, he's just not my style of fictional hero.

Java is keeping me busy. Whether it be in my cup or on my screen I keep it flowing (I'm not going to comment on quality :-p ).

Until next time

July 18, 2006


Can't believe it has been over a year now being with Hertz. It was a great journey and experience to have come this far. We started out as the "Gang of Ten". Now, we are only the "Gang of Nine". What other surprises will we see...

July 8, 2006

One Year!

Happy one year, gang!


July 6, 2006

Gang of 10?

Many (all 2 of you that read) may wonder why this blog is titled Gang of 10 when it seems that there is mostly only one author (yours truly). Well, if you haven't gone back to the original posts then here is a bit of a trip to 1 year ago.

One year ago this Saturday (08 June 2006) I began working for my first salary job. I was hired along with 9 other up and coming cohorts to write software for an international rental car company. We went through seven weeks of intensive Java Enterprise training in Dallas, TX. During our time in training I thought that a good way to show each other and people back home and at the company what we were learning was to start a blog that we could all contribute to. Thinking of things to call the group was the usaul: something cool, something trendy, something catchy. At first it was a name that was oriented around the company that hired us, then a brainstorm hit. We studied so many software development patterns over this seven weeks that we were patterned out. Many of the patterns we discussed were known as the famous Gang of 4 Patterns (popular software development book by 4 renown software authors). So, since 9 plus myself equals ten I figured a copy-cat handle was appropriate.

So it stuck, we are the Gang of 10. At first it started with more contributors than myself, but alas, I am pretty much the author of the blog now. Albeit, there is the occasional word from a couple of the others.

For what it's worth.
Until next time