random notes


I’m moving my blog from Laughing Panda to wordpress.com, as Laughing Panda stops doing blog hosting. It’s a pity but Pebble proved to be too much work for the admins who are anyway running Panda as a hobby. And anyway the real purpose of Panda is to provide the infrastructure for open source software projects.

Update: now all the old Panda posts should be here, with the original dates (though not necessarily times), and lamentably without comments, as I didn’t know how to import the comments in a reasonable way from the Pebble XML.

I am starting to write a weblog, or more accurately writing the first post that will hopefully have something that follows it, because writing about what I do and think is something that helps me a lot in reflecting on it in a productive way. This must happen a lot with us literal types that need to struggle to say a few a words, let alone intelligible ones, but will joyfully whack away a couple of several-hundred word emails on whatever triviality that makes us twinkle.

Writing is also the obvious form for a programmer to express what she does and thinks. A lot of what is traditionally seen as programming is effectively doing thinking writing, especially nowadays with the exploratory mock-powered test-driven development that allows one to refine her ideas on the module at hand by writing code. In the end of the day, writing code is a big part of what they expect from us. And because it’s important to think about what you write, it’s great when you can write in an exploratory way, thinking by writing. Perhaps word processors and digital cameras have directed natural-language writing and photography to similar directions as the modern software development tools have directed programming:

In reality, the act of writing the source code has never been the only necessary part of producing good software. The focus on people does it for me big time in the agile school of thought, albeit accelerating the feedback cycle on all different levels of actions is at least as important. I want to excel as a programmer, an emphasis that some much more highly esteemed software professionals underline, steering away from management and office applications towards coding and development tools. But as I believe that face-to-face communication is the best way to educate the programmers on requirements, I strive to keep close to the stakeholders even as a mere “coder”.

I intend to use this blog as a vessel for reflection on programming as a real-world activity.