171 reputation
4
bio website marnen.org
location Somerville, MA
age
visits member for 3 years, 4 months
seen Jun 17 at 13:56

I'm a composer, performing musician, and programmer; currently I'm a graduate student at New England Conservatory. I mostly develop Web applications (these days primarily with Rails, though that wasn't always the case), and I write algorithmic music software as well.

Note: If you're downvoting something I wrote, please have the courtesy to explain why.


Sep
24
awarded  Autobiographer
Feb
18
comment Rewriting GPL code to change license
That would be Xerox PARC, not Bell Labs.
Sep
26
comment Client will not pay after software project is complete
@MarkBooth Actually, speaking as a programmer, I don't mind if my client changes requirements (within reason)—iterative development generally works better than Big Design Up Front. But for that very reason, I don't do fixed-bid work anymore; instead I charge hourly and get regular payments. That means I'm not working for free, and it means the client can monitor his budget and cancel the project if necessary.
Apr
2
comment Must developers understand the business domain or should the specification be sufficient?
That's not my main point of disagreement. My main point of disagreement is your claim that access to a domain expert will not help programmers figure out what they need to build. In fact, it is exactly this access that will most help programmers -- and I know because I've done this very thing on various projects.
Apr
2
awarded  Commentator
Apr
2
comment Must developers understand the business domain or should the specification be sufficient?
As a freelancer, I assure you that I have to understand my clients' businesses at least well enough to talk to them intelligently about the features they want. The idea that you can write a spec without understanding the business is a pipe dream. So is the idea that you can write a perfect spec and throw it "over the wall" to a developer.
Apr
2
comment Must developers understand the business domain or should the specification be sufficient?
"For the same reason, even expert programmers with no domain knowledge are powerless at figuring out what they needs to build, even when they have a 24x7 access to the best domain expert who is not also an expert at software development." -- No. The programmers get the domain knowledge (in part) by interviewing the domain expert. The domain expert can tell the programmers what he wants built. The programmers should learn enough about the domain to be able to discuss features with the domain expert.
Mar
24
answered Are there serious companies that don't use version-control and continuous integration? Why?
Nov
30
comment How can I deal with the cargo-cult programming attitude?
Well, you do want to discourage hacks; OTOH, resourcefulness should be rewarded...
Oct
10
comment What's the worst programming book you've ever read?
I'm surprised the Pragmatic folks aren't just advising everyone to switch to Git.
Oct
10
comment What's the worst programming book you've ever read?
UML is horrible. How would one write a good book on it? :)
Oct
10
comment What's the worst programming book you've ever read?
The interesting thing is that Ed Yourdon is an otherwise reasonable, well-respected author, or so I understand. He just made a colossal blunder with his estimation of the impact here.
Oct
10
comment What's the worst programming book you've ever read?
Yikes. I'll have to find a copy of this just out of morbid curiosity.
Oct
10
comment What's the worst programming book you've ever read?
And the emphasis on Web programming? WTF? Who the heck uses C++ for that?
Oct
10
comment What's the worst programming book you've ever read?
Many O'Reilly books -- perhaps most -- are excellent. But not all are...
Aug
15
awarded  Supporter
Aug
15
awarded  Teacher
Aug
14
comment Is SQL important if I know ORM frameworks well?
High-level languages are built in such a way that they prevent you from having to know about the underlying architecture, true. That's possible because the domain is commensurable with the underlying architecture. ORMs, however, are a different matter. I'm a huge fan of ORMs, but I don't think a day will ever come when you can use one without knowing SQL (or whatever the underlying DB uses). The object and relational models are fundamentally incommensurable, and I think there will always be concepts that don't translate from one to the other. Besides, I'm talking about today's ORMs, not future
Aug
14
answered Is SQL important if I know ORM frameworks well?