Blog of Rob Galanakis (@robgalanakis)

The low status of software engineers

A couple weeks ago I read an article by Michael Church titled “How the Other Half Works: an Adventure in the Low Status of Software Engineers“. It is the story of Bill, who had two very different experiences interviewing for two different positions at two different companies: one as...

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A short letter to a unit testing newcomer

One of my friends asked how to get started with unit testing and Test Driven Development and figured I could write a short post. I also mention TDD a few times in my book so I think it could use some more attention. I got started with unit testing...

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A manager’s primary job is to build trust

While interviewing for my new position at Cozy, I was repeatedly asked what the job of an Engineering Manager is.* By the end of the day, I had decided (for myself, anyway) that the most important job of an Engineering Manager** is building trust. Senior engineers must trust you....

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“Do you expect too much from people?”

Last year, a coworker asked me if perhaps I expect too much from other people. I thought about it a moment and said: No. I do not accept the argument that I’m somehow inherently superior to most others. In fact it is because I¬†know I am not superior that...

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You must manage what you can’t measure

We all know the quote: You can’t manage what you can’t measure. The quote is often incorrectly attributed to W. Edwards Deming. Thank goodness, because that sentiment is absolutely ridiculous, and Deming is one of my heroes. In fact, a more accurate Deming quote is: The most important figures...

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Portland, here we come!

Tomorrow, my family leaves on a four day trip to begin a new life in Portland, OR, as the Engineering Manager at real-estate startup www.cozy.co. I am incredibly excited to join the company for all sorts of reasons (the role, product, team, founders, location, pretty much everything). It’ll also...

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Code separators and headers are more than a matter of style

IDontCareIfYouPreferPascalCase, ifCamelCaseIsForYou, or_if_you_prefer_lowercase_underscores. They all have their merits. However, there is one element of many style guides that I have come to vehemently disagree with: function/class headers* and separators. I bring it up because I’ve encountered them in pretty much every codebase I’ve worked with, but never found it...

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Everyone should take vacation at the same time

Throughout my career I’ve always seen people struggle with taking vacation. People are too wrapped up in what they’re doing. Managers can’t allow critical people to go missing. There are weeks of trepidation and handover and “I don’t know how to fix that” emails. To a large extent, this...

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Practical Maya Programming with Python is Published

My book, Practical Maya Programming with Python has been finally published! Please check it out and tell me what you think. I hope you will find it sufficiently-but-not-overly opinionated :) It is about as personal as a technical book can get, being distilled from years of mentoring many technical...

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goless 0.7 released, with Python3 support and bug fixes

goless version 0.7.0 is out on PyPI. goless facilitates writing Go language style concurrent programs in Python, including functionality for channels, select, and goroutines. I forgot to blog about 0.6 at the start of July, which brought Python 3.3 and 3.4 support to goless (#17). I will support pypy3...

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