Blog of Rob Galanakis (@techartistsorg)

Archive for December, 2013

Multiple return values and errors

I was pointed at a rather simplistic article on arstechnica about why most programming languages only return a single value from a function, and thought about my “first class tuples” post from a few weeks ago. Python can effectively support multiple return values due to its built-in tuple unpacking,...

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TDD via Tic-Tac-Toe

For the last few years, I’ve done a fair bit of teaching of TDD, usually 1-on-1 during pair programming sessions but also through workshops. I’ve tried out lots of different subject matter for teaching TDD, but my favorite has been Tic-Tac-Toe (or whatever your regional variation of it is). It...

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Reflections on porting Planet

I use the Python Planet software to generate the RSS feed and static site  for planet.tech-artists.org, like is done for planet.python.org. I’ve been using it for several years and recently got the urge to do some open source work, so I “forked” the original Planet code (actually, the Bazaar...

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Removing external hiring as a tool (Part 3 of 3)

In this post I hope to explain how hiring externally as a tool for fixing problems ultimately leads to a weaker organization. When I began writing this post, I was having a hard time. Whereas the post talking about what a bad idea firing is was easy, the situation is...

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“Delighting customers” is Lean’s secret handshake

Whenever I see the words “delighting customers” (which is, let’s face it, an awkward phrase) in a non-Lean context like a job description, I can feel the author winking at me. It tells me “we try to be Lean and if you get our drift you probably want to...

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All languages need first class tuples

I was doing some work on a Flask app today and built up some chart data in Python that had a list of two-item tuples like [(<iso datetime string>, <value>), ...]. I needed to iterate over this same structure in JavaScript and of course was reminded how great it...

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Removing firing as a management tool (Pt 2 of 3)

So in my last post, I wrote about the possibility of taking hiring and firing off the table as a management tool. In this post, I will focus on the firing. Firing itself has two halves: individual dismissal as a way to fix performance problems, or layoffs as a...

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Removing hiring and firing as a tool (Pt 1 of 3)

Inside of Mike Bland’s response to my Project as a Ship post is this comment of how he organized his Google Grouplet: I had no power to hire or, truthfully, even fire anyone. The best I could do was persuade whoever was interested to participate, to give them the clearest...

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