# Friday, 30 November 2007

The lone developer

Why Your Development is Crazy.  

Kathleen makes some great points about how Development is really, really hard.

Why Your Development is Crazy - Leaning Into Windows

I STILL see that many clients think a single hacker in a weekend can crank out the software equivalent of "War & Peace".  I find this incredibly frustrating when talking about my hourly rate and that it is going to take about 10x more hours to do the work than they seem to think it will.  Granted this is not always the case, but it still pervades the small business world.

Tools are getting better, but at the same time, the demands for what the code should do keeps getting more complex.

... the sheer number of alternatives we have to do things today is staggering. Can a Lone Developer survive in today's world?  Yes, but its certainly not easy.

 [via SteelePrice.Net]

I think its the learning curve - back in the day a flip through K&R and a DOS Programmers Manual and off you went. Not only are there too many choices now, the API surfaces are so obscenely huge that no-one can possibly know them all. You don't make an informed decision anymore - you look along a path until you see a solution that will do and you have to be satisfied with that. There is not the time to pursue all paths, or worse, even a meaningful range of possible paths and the consequence is, you remain a little scared that there may be a much better solution round the next bend.

Its the hope you can't stand. That what you have just spent an age getting to grips with won't be made obsolete and dumb by the next pre-pre-pre announcement prior to CTP availability that comes before the beta of the anticipated release of something that will actually turn out quite different in three years time.


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Its 'is it usable?' ok?

WS-* is to REST as Theory is to Practice.  

I was composing a response when I stumbled on James Snell’s notes on the recent QCon conference that captures the spirit of my “conversion” if you want to call it that. He wrote

... over the last two years I haven’t written a single line of code that has anything to do with WS-*. The reason for this change is simple: when I was working on WS-*, I never once worked on an application that solved a real business need. Everything I wrote back then were demos. Now that I’m working for IBM’s WebAhead group, building and supporting applications that are being used by tens of thousands of my fellow IBMers, I haven’t come across a single use case where WS-* would be a suitable fit. In contrast, during that same period of time, I’ve implemented no fewer than 10 Atom Publishing Protocol implementations, ..... The applications I build today are fundamentally based on HTTP, XML, Atom, JSON and XHTML.

... Since then we’ve reached a world where thousands of applications being utilized by millions of end users are built on RESTful Web services on the public internet. My favorite example of the moment is the Facebook developer platform and before that it was Flickr and Amazon S3. Compare that with the number of SOAP and WS-* interfaces that are being used to build real developer platforms that benefit end users on the Web today.


At this point I realize I’m flogging a dead horse. The folks I know from across the industry who have to build large scale Web services on the Web today at Google, Yahoo!, Facebook, Windows Live, Amazon, etc are using RESTful Web services. The only times I encounter someone with good things to say about WS-* is if it is their job to pimp these technologies or they have already “invested” in WS-* and want to defend that investment.  [via Dare Obasanjo aka Carnage4Life]

So much time has been and is consumed on geeky theoretical wonderfulness and not the practicalities of what is actually useful and more importantly useable.

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Ensuring it "will never happen again"

There are going to be, in every system, some errors made [via BBC NEWS | Politics | Brown 'had no idea' about donors]

Ummmm, good, so they finally recognise that "we will ensure it will never happen again" is empty rhetoric.

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# Tuesday, 20 November 2007

I want my identity back

"Where does the buck stop after this catalogue of disasters?"  [via BBC NEWS | Politics | Darling admits 25m records lost]

Gordon Brown.


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