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Grounding Design for the Real World

One common rabbit hole that programmers often fall into is creating designs for abstract capabilities that then prove to be useless in real life. To avoid this, we must focus on concrete real-world examples when designing capabilities. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2017 in Design, practice

 

Don’t Write Insulting Error Messages

Error messages are incredibly important in communicating to the user when something happened that the program was not designed to handle.  Programmers usually write these messages, and there are common pitfalls to avoid. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 14, 2017 in Coding, Design, practice

 

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Extreme Precision Programming

What is “Extreme Precision Programming”?  It is a style of programming that aims to perform the intended function, while being very noisy about anything that deviates from the intended mode of behavior.  It is nothing like a complete methodology, but rather a philosophical leaning to guide choices at the implementation level. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2017 in Coding, Design, practice

 

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It’s OK to Ship Tests with Product

A product is a product, and testing is testing, and they should be kept separate, right?  The thinking goes that consumers would never want to test the product.  Of course they don’t, but they are not the only people in the field. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2017 in Coding, Design, practice

 

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When are “best practices” less than best?

A “best practice” is a heuristic which is used to guide early stages of a project, in order to set some patterns.  When should you use them?  More important: when are you justified in ignoring a best practice? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 3, 2017 in Coding, Design

 

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Is Non-existence an Error?

You call a method to retrieve information about an object with a  particular ID, but the record does not exist.  Is this an exception?   Or not?  It is hard to answer. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 29, 2017 in Coding

 

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Lots of Folders != Project more Organized

Making a development project with lots of folders does not mean that the project is more organized.  However, there is a seemingly irresistible desire to make a folder for every possible purpose, and then put the one or two files that fit in there, all in the name of keeping the project organized.  This might make the programmer feel good, but it is a large pain for anyone new who has to join the project or review the source for any reason. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 18, 2017 in Coding, practice

 

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