Blog of Rob Galanakis (@techartistsorg)

Programming

On choosing software by “what is best for the business”

When people are discussing what language/framework/library to use for something, the general criteria people talk about is “what best solves the business problem.” This criteria is used to justify rewriting backend services in Go, rather than sticking with Python. Or not. It’s used explain why you wrote a new...

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Automated testing shows a respect for employees

In the tech-artists.org G+ community page there was a comment on a thread about unit testing: A key factor in TA tools is the speed at which we need to deliver them, and our audience is considerably smaller than, say, engine tools code. Therefor it becomes somewhat hard to...

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Change should be the ally of quality

In The Beauty of Testing, Steven Sinofsky writes: …great testers understand one the cardinal rules of software engineering—- change is the enemy of quality. This is not a cardinal rule. This is a outdated and obsolete mode of thinking. Change is how you discover great UX. Change is how...

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Technical debt metaphors get it so wrong

In my previous post about technical debt, I explained how modern definitions of technical debt are harmful. Now I turn my attention to equally harmful metaphors. Viktoras Makauskas made the following metaphor in a comment on my last post. This is a pretty perfect stand-in for metaphors I’ve read...

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Building Sphinx documentation for unfriendly code

Some Twitter friends were discussing how to get Sphinx to work with mayapy to build documentation for code that runs in Autodesk Maya. I’ve had to do this sort of thing extensively, for both Maya and editor/game code, and have even run an in-house Read The Docs server to...

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Undefining “technical debt”

For me, technical debt is defined pretty loosely as stuff you don’t like in the code and need to change to keep up velocity. However, I’ve seen lots of articles lately discussing a precise definition of “technical debt.” I would sum them up as: Technical debt is incurred intentionally....

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IKEA instructions are the best

I don’t say it with a hint of sarcasm. I’ve put together a lot of furniture lately, and IKEA instructions are the only instructions that are consistently correct and unambiguous. In dozens of units, I’ve confirmed one case of an ambiguous step. But even in that case, I was...

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We’re not so different, you and I

Ben Sandofsky wrote a post about why QA departments are still necessary, specifically with regards to mobile app development. He makes a good point: mobile apps create a distribution bottleneck that makes very rapid iteration impossible. I agree, and this is a good angle to think about. I would...

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Grabbing for good enough

Uncle Bob, who I consider my favorite programming writer, had a post a few weeks ago titled “Thorns around the Gold“. In it he describes how writing tests for your core functionality first can be harmful. Instead, Uncle Bob prefers to probe for “thorns” around the “gold” first. I...

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Qt Designer is harmful, exhibit A

Last week, iker j. de los mozos posted a Qt tutorial on his blog. The post was retweeted a number of times, so I figure people liked it. The post exemplifies what is wrong with the Qt Designer, and also how a little more investment in learning can pay...

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