• Startup Sheep Vs. Non-Startup Goats (Or Transitioning From Coder to Founder)

    There is some famous research, by Saeed Dehnadi and Richard Bornat, about “programming sheep and non-programming goats.” The gist is that educators find that there are two populations of students, those who can program, and those who can’t. Each population has it’s own independent bell curve. This “double hump” persists despite variations in programming language, application type, IDE, and student motivation.

  • Be a Paranoid Pessimistic Programmer

    We aren’t copy writers or social media experts; we’re programmers. We need to constantly foresee and prevent problems before they happen. Cultivating a healthy paranoia and a heavily pessimistic attitude is the path to becoming a better programmer.

  • Scientifically Proven Tips For a More Productive Office

    Research shows that reordering your office can significantly boost productivity. Here are four simple tweaks, all backed by scientific research, that you can make to your work environment today to increase your productivity.

  • Interview: Lynne Jolitz

    This is the second interview in an ongoing series of interviews with famous programmers and authors of books that should be required reading for any serious developer. Lynne Jolitz is an accomplished author, 386BSD hacker, Silicon Valley entrepreneur, and all-around geek. She has long been a figure in the tech community. Regular readers will remember that she was included in the analysis of famous programmers. Lets get to the interview!

  • Interview: Rebecca Heineman

    This is the first interview in an ongoing series of mini-interviews with famous developers and programming authors. Rebecca Heineman has kindly agreed to be the first interviewee. She has been a games programmer for almost 30 years – she has written and designed many titles over the course of her career including a Bards Tale III: Thief of Fate, Battle Chess, Wasteland, and Tass Times in Tonetown. Rebecca was also a founding member of Interplay, Logicware, and Contraband Entertainment.

  • The Power of a Programming Portfolio

    Portfolios have been used for years by architects, artists, and designers, but why not for computer programmers? A programming portfolio is a great way to showcase your best work, and highlight your involvement in challenging projects. It provides a great talking point during an interview, and gives more insight into your work than a resume alone could. A programming portfolio can help you stand out from a sea of other candidates.

  • Become a More Satisfied Programmer. Today.

    In the first post in this series, I talked a bit about different indicators of job satisfaction and how you can rank your own job for each of those criteria. In this post I’ll list simple steps anyone can take to improve personal job satisfaction in each of these areas: quality of projects, work-life balance, bureaucracy & politics, recognition & respect, compensation, and teamwork.

  • Measuring Programmer Job Satisfaction

    Are you satisfied with your job? Are you satisfied with where your career path is taking you? These are important questions, and I try to take time to think about this every 6 months or so. Its usually trivial to make a general statement rating job satisfaction: “Yeah I like my job.” or “My career is going nowhere.” But what factors influence programmer job satisfaction? How can hackers become more satisfied with what they do?