Alan Cooper has a great piece of advice for software companies: "Code is not an asset... it's your relationships with your customers and vendors and the knowledge of your people that are valuable".
The last company I worked with clearly had not grasped this concept. They let one veteran programmer after another leave without any knowledge trail for the rest to pick up. Human resource investments lost en masse.
And apparently, it was of little concern. It was always about the code. About getting it ready for another imaginary release date -- everything else expendable (people, quality, documentation).
Combining free and subscription-based content went from a largely untested to a proven succes thanks to Salon's managing director Scott Rosenberg. In Inside Salon Premium Rosenberg explains how the company used JavaBeans and JSP to built that subscription service.
I'd love to be involved in a project that would make it easy for smaller content sites to follow Salon's lead. Takers for such a task, get in touch.
My first real programming job as a freelance have involved a fair share of regular expressions, and I constantly found myself working on a mess that would only stay readable in my mind for a few minutes at a time. Once it left, I had to play the decipher game to get it back - wasting several minutes every time.
As I care about code readability, for the sake of maintenance and aesthetics, it troubled me. Especially because I know it doesn't have to be this hard. Simple solution emerge by thinking long and hard. I obviously hadn't thought long or hard enough.
Enter Mark Pilgrim, who comments every single step of his expression, syntax and intent included, to keep himself out of trouble. What an astonishingly simple solution.
Thanks Mark, I'm now free to blink and code regular expressions simultanously.
Good teaching delivers knowledge without self-congratulating commentary. Teachers, formal or otherwise, who needs to tax their lessons with belittling or distancing remarks should stop teaching. I listen to learn, not to be insulted on my own or others behalf to boost the ego of the teacher. Don't be a show-off; teach me to the best of your abilities.
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