Why Elixir is the next Great Tech

Elixir, because: I think of Elixir as an idea whose time has come; or rather, a great gathering of ideas. Erlang has solved the problem of distributed computing (and therefore, of concurrency) decades ago, and now concurrency is a very desirable tool, as the amount of data we crunch regularly has increased exponentially. TDD has brought a more functional approach to a lot code, and that is the paradigm Elixir espouses.

The value of estimates for a team

What this entry is and is not about This entry talks about estimates in a relatively perfect world. This entry does not talk about problems that teams run into when dealing with estimates in a world where estimates are often misunderstood and where parties try to pile up additional meanings and metrics to estimates. Why talk about estimating at all Estimating work to be done before it is done. Great if you know what the work is.

The code showed that I understood a wall existed

Someone I worked with once said, "The code didn't demonstrate that I hit a wall, just that I understood a wall existed." This colleague had been using the technique of Test-Driven Design (TDD) to methodically get the codebase up to a point where it could be refactorable and, at the same time, to a point where a problem with the current design decisions could surface. He was happy because now that he was up to that point, the future decisions for the refactors were much more clear.

Lesson from emacs: keep data easy to manipulate and easy to present

Spreadsheets Spreadsheets are evil. And do you know why? Because they're too powerful. Here is the sweet spot of spreadsheets: tables of related data on which calculations need to be made. Here is not the sweet spot of spreadsheets: everything else. Spreadsheet software is so powerful nowadays that you can make visualizations for almost anything. And some people are happy to spend a really long time creating and maintaing those, but I am WAY, WAY lazier than those people are.

Shu ha ri and evolution of a skill

Shu Ha Ri comes from the world of Japanese Noh theater, and has been since attached to the world of martial arts and Agile development. Roughly, "shu ha ri" means "learn / detach / transcend". The link has some words about that meaning. I'd like to talk about my particular take on Shu Ha Ri, which came out of a parking-lot conversation with a martial arts teacher friend of mine: