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Are You Running from Problems or Solving Them?

Back when I was a manager inside organizations, I had many days that looked like this: Meetings at 9am, 10am, 11am. Working meeting through lunch (noon-1pm) Meetings at 1pm, 2pm, 3pm. I finally got a chance to check my email at 4pm. That’s when I discovered the world had blown up earlier in the day! (This is before cell phones. ...

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Okay, everybody who touches Java bytecode

The Oracle v. Google holds that copying the Structure, Sequence, and Organization of the Java APIs is a copyright violation. And a copyright violation is not just the act of copying, but also applies to all the intermediate parties that have a copy of the work. That’s anybody who writes/compiles any JVM language and anyone who has a JAR file ...

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Programming for Change

It has become cliché to say that the only constant in life is change, and most people accept it as a given. However, we often don’t take it to heart when we code. We prototype something together using “Magic Number” hard-coded values, we use a new library by making calls directly into its functionality, we cut-and-paste a function that does ...

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GIT Pull Requests Using GitHub

Old Habits We’ve been working with git for more than a year. The SCM was migrated from SVN, with all its history. Our habits were migrated as well. Our flow is (was) fairly simple: master branch is were we deploy our code from. When working on a feature, we create a feature branch. Several people can work on this branch. ...

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Writing Clean Tests – Naming Matters

It is pretty hard to figure out a good definition for clean code because everyone of us has our own definition for the word clean. However, there is one definition which seems to be universal: Clean code is easy to read. This might come as a surprise to some of you, but I think that this definition applies to test ...

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The Index You’ve Added is Useless. Why?

Recently, at the office: Bob: I’ve looked into that slow query you’ve told me about yesterday, Alice. I’ve added the indexes you wanted. Everything should be fine now Alice: Thanks Bob. I’ll quickly check … Nope Bob, still slow, it didn’t seem to work Bob: You’re right Alice! It looks like Oracle isn’t picking up the index, for your query ...

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Cheating on the N Queens benchmark

Many Solver distributions include an N Queens example, in which n queens need to be placed on a n*n sized chessboard, with no attack opportunities. So when you’re looking for the fastest Solver, it’s tempting to use the N Queens example as a benchmark to compare those solvers. That’s a tragic mistake, because the N Queens problem is solvable in ...

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Test coverage using testing tools and methods

Overview: To define “Test coverage” we have to talk about the topics stated below: The purpose of test coverage. Different types of test coverage standards. Test coverage metrics Unit test coverage Test coverage tools Advantage and disadvantage of test coverage. The purpose of test coverage Test coverage is an estimate utilized in software testing. It gives details about the level ...

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The Low Quality of Scientific Code

Recently I’ve been trying to get a bit into music theory, machine learning, computational linguistics, so I ended up looking at libraries and tools written by the scientific community – examples include the Stanford Core NLP library, GATE, Weka, jMusic, and several more. The general feeling is that scientific libraries have mostly bad code. I will not point fingers, but ...

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Lawyers and Developers, not so different

Really I have been developing software professionally since 1978. I went to law school (BU Law ’91). I think that computer programming technology and the law are really, really similar. At the end of the day, both law and computing is about wrapping abstractions around very complex interactions such that the rules are comprehensible and the outcomes are predictable. At ...

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