7,140 reputation
11430
bio website sites.google.com/site/…
location Boston, MA
age 38
visits member for 3 years, 6 months
seen Apr 28 at 23:12

I'm a software task manager, formerly a software engineer. My career has been the unity of digital security, Java Enterprise development, and being a system-level thinker. I'm a jack of all trades, master of none. My strongest skill is communication.

These days, my main goals are making the right big picture choices for my team, building a solid team of great engineers, and making sure that the rest of the world leaves them alone long enough to get good things done.

When I'm not doing software stuff, I study medieval India, study dance, and work in the Burlesque scene.

I'm currently an Engineering Manager at Akamai - I have to admit, it's simply cool to finally work in a company with a real social media policy that will let me be public about where I work! But all views expressed on this or any site by me are my own, for better or worse.


Apr
27
comment Are long hours and no benefits the norm for a junior programmer?
I'm hoping for a crunch, too. Midway through code/unit test isn't unheard of in a waterfall project, although it could mean that your company has a habitual problem with scope creep. 2 months can mean a danger zone if you guys truly have to do this for the rest of the year. People just can't ignore their personal lives that long without having the personal life and/or the work life fall apart - and when life falls apart, work gets even harder, not just for the person, but for the team.
Apr
20
comment What are the main things a programmer expects from the senior programmer?
Aw thanks gang!
Apr
20
comment What specific branches of Mathematics are useful for a programmer to learn?
Yep. Sorry about that (apparently it's already been edited - thanks Tim!)
Mar
29
comment How do you cope with the dynamic nature of high-level software development?
I agree. I actually work a bit behind the edge myself, and I like knowing that others have batted their heads against it for a bit before I have to try it. :)
Mar
29
comment What about all those coding rules?
Absolutely - and I think if you stick with the advice to focus on why you need the rule, then if you figure out you don't need the rule, you know the team or person came at it from an open mindset, rather than just being defensive due to an inexplicable rule process.
Mar
28
comment More job responsibilities, yet still entry level?
@user21433 - yes, be more assertive. It's great to have your work praised - but you need to get a handle with your bosses on what it means to move upward and why you haven't. It may well be that if your company's main product is not software, that they haven't figured out what to do with you yet and may have to update how they classify jobs.
Mar
28
comment Test task : real tasks or not?
I'm confused - do you mean "is it OK for a company to ask job applicants to test the product as part of the interview process?" or "is it OK for company to ask the programmers it has employed to do test tasks?" When you say "programmers, I'm not sure if you mean programmers employed by the company or people interviewing to join.
Mar
28
comment Turn away a bug if no reproducible test case exists?
@seansilver - My best advice in the caes where you are recording bugs for someone else to try to fix is two fold: 1- get absolutely as much information about the user and their environment as you can - with the knowledge that this can come down to pure luck - often a customer will have done something that they did not know was significant that can totally change the nature of the issue. 2) learn as much about the area of the problem as you can from the developers - including any data or logging diagnostics you can do.
Mar
9
comment Not getting paid for hours you've worked?
@Merchf - great work if you can get it! Congrats on having a rare position that never demands overtime. I'm just saying that after 10 years in the industry, I haven't seen overtime-free to be the norm.
Mar
8
comment How do managers know if a person is a good or a bad programmer?
@pythagras - my counter question would be "which manager?" A manager of 40 people - no, of course not. A manager of 10 people - probably wouldn't kill you to sneak in 1 hour per person scanning code in known to be critical areas. 1 hour per 10 employees over 6 months seems easily doable.
Mar
8
comment How do managers know if a person is a good or a bad programmer?
@Jigar Joshi - don't know how every manager does it - this is what I've done when asked to do performance reviews or make recommendations.
Mar
7
comment Why aren't we all doing model driven development yet?
@KeesDijk - UML, for sure! Particularly Rational Rose, but also a bit of Rational SW Architect.
Mar
7
comment Do you have to be good at math to be a good programmer?
@Job - who said I was a PM? Also... I didn't quite say I liked it. Good at it does not equal liked it. And I was good at it only in a relative sense.
Mar
3
comment How would you explain multi threading to a seven year old kid?
I think the only thing I'd add is maybe change "jobs" to "games" or playing with toys or doing chores or homework.
Feb
28
comment How would most programmers feel about the bugs they wrote?
I'd add just one thing - a way to see a bug found before a release is "it could have been found by a customer - this is a win!" - every bug the team finds is a bug the customer doesn't find.
Feb
8
comment Software Developer Interview Question - Fair or Unfair
Adding one more - whether they described the job title accurately or not, chances are good that these questions reflect the reality of what the people they are hiring need to know. Saying, in effect "what you want to know isn't important" suggests the potential new hire doesn't get that this is part of the job.
Jan
10
comment How to persuade programmers to follow the basic rules
My favorite example is consistent test environment setup. I didn't HAVE to enforce a Right Way. I had a guy in charge of the install document. I said - "it's all you- you can do whatever it takes to make an install mechanism that ensures consistent install - everyone is empowered to bug you if the install is messed up". In less than a month we had a solid tool and a very short document. And the tool was installed as a short cut on every desktop. I didn't need enforcement, proper installation was already the path of least resistance. Now our goal is to remove the shortcut, making it automated.