Thoughts And Lessons In Software Development, By The Gurus

  • “In our desire to please everyone, it's very easy to end up being invisible or mediocre. Far better to please the right people.”, Seth Godin (link)
  • “2004 study of four Army divisions that had just returned from tours in Iraq found that most leaders had strong technical and tactical skills. What set the best leaders apart was interpersonal skills.

    The study, headed by Walter F. Ulmer Jr., a retired Army general and leadership specialist, identified what it called the “Big 12”—a set of behaviors exhibited by officers best able to achieve operational excellence and motivate good soldiers to stay in the Army.

    At the top of the list: keeps cool under pressure; clearly explains missions, standards, and priorities; sees the big picture, provides context and perspective. The ability to make “tough, sound decisions on time” was also among the most prized skills.

    Despite the growing value of collaboration, military leaders know better than most that, ultimately, hard choices need to be ­made—­sometimes with lives hanging in the balance—and only one person can be in charge.”, Holly Yeager, The Wilson Quarterly (link)

Employer's Attitude
  • “Don't try to race sheep,
    Don't try to herd race horses”, Jeff Atwood (link)
  • “Smart recruiters know that the people who love programming wrote a database for their dentist in 8th grade, and taught at computer camp for three summers before college, and built the content management system for the campus newspaper, and had summer internships at software companies. That's what they're looking for on your resume.”, Joel Spolsky (link)
Employee's Attitude
  • “However, when you are doing professional development, then your motivation is
    Make a game that will sell and make the company money
    This is the purpose, and it is the only purpose.

    If you make a 96 Metacritic game that wins all the Game of the Year Awards, yet it only sells 200,000 copies when the forecast was for five million, then you have failed. No ifs, ands, or buts. The game was a failure.

    An inspiring work of art? Sure. But for the purpose it was created? A failure. Your team, your department, maybe your entire company, is now in jeopardy. You may go out of business, and all of that talk about game mechanics and aesthetics goes right down the drain along with your paycheck.

    Go check the job listings and tell your family no more dining out for a while.”, Brice Morrison, Going Pro: Differences Between Indie/Student Development and Professional Game Development (link)
    Programming
    • “The best code in the world is meaningless if nobody knows about your product”, Jeff Atwood (link)
    • “When interviewing candidates for programming positions, I always look for someone who is brave enough to say "I don't know" when they need to. Candidates who can't or won't do this get red flagged; those types of programmers are dangerous. "Can-do" attitiudes have a superficial allure, but they're actually poison in our field.”, Jeff Atwood (link)
    • “A chunk of code in a disabled state just causes uncertainty. It puts questions in other developers' minds: * Why did the code used to be this way? * Why is this new way better? * Are we going to switch back to the old way? * How will we decide?”, Ned Batchelder (link)
    • “Data structures, not algorithms, are central to programming………"Premature optimization is the root of all evil."………If your data structures are good enough, the algorithm to manipulate them should be trivial.”, Unix philosophy (link)