Check It Out

We use IBM Rational Clearcase for source code control on our project. We do not do anything fancy in Clearcase. However we got it set up to only allow one person to reserve a copy of a file at a time. Other people can make checkouts. But only the first one gets the reservation.

I started working on two efforts we are making in a maintenance round. The first one got handed off to another developer to code. I took the next one. As soon as I figured out what files I was going to change, I checked the files out.

The other developer completed coding. She had a bunch of Clearcase problems. I had not heard back from her about my checkouts preventing her work. I got a bit worried. Eventually she came forward and asked for help. She got the warning message that I had the files reserved. She just did not understand it.

I was able to undo my checkouts to let her put her code in first. Now I will need to merge my changes with hers. That's okay. At least I know we are both working off the same branch. Check your files out early. Check them out often. Use this as communication with other developers as to what you are changings.

Going Github

I finally got around to creating a Github account. Maybe I was reading something that strongly encouraged it. It is time to put some of my code online for all to see. I was glad they had a free account option.


Started out by creating a repository. Okay. Now how do I get the code on my hard drive up there? The operations did not seem self explanatory. Had to Google to figure it out. Turns out an easy way is to get Github for Windows.


I was able to create a respository and get all my code into Github with the Windows client. Good stuff. Now should I just create a ton of repositories for all my code? Or should I spread it out over the year. Not sure. Just know that I am now on Github.

College Courses Helpful

I recently got assigned a new task at work. The bosses wanted me to create a tool that would generate large test files. The thing needed to run on a Linux server. The files needed to be in some XML format.

I was told I could choose any programming language I wanted. Great. I had always wanted to develop some professional experience in the Python programming language. Now was the time. I never got to take a college class in Python. But I did read a book and work through a couple sample problems on my own.

The good news is that I did take a class on XML. I am hoping that the target Linux box has Python installed on it. Otherwise I might need to fall back to using Java. I have taken a couple college classes in Java. The most recent one was a really good one.

I am amazed at how easy it is to read, manipulate, and create XML files with the Python standard library. Good stuff. Now I just need to hunker down and figure out the business rules. Those are the ones that always take up the design and development time.

Coding House Expose

These days you hear a lot about coding dojos. Get immersed and learn code quick. Of course you got to put in a lot of work. But they promise to turn you into a junior developer that can make a lot of $$$. Recently I read a scathing review about the Coding House. The review was written by Jose. You can find a copy online.

Here is a summary of the problems that Jose encountered. He paid a whopping $14k for the program. It was supposed to last for 60 days. Coding House is different in that you live in the house where you learn. Full immersion.

Jose was initially promised a chef on site that would cook all the meals. Then the meals turned into catered meals. Finally they ended up eating Costco microwave meals. That's not the worst of it though. Jose says a lot of his training was online. Other times he was told to Google the answers to his questions. Doh.

Jose says he was unable to get a job after attending the Coding House. There was supposed to be a money back guarantee if you could not find a job. However that guarantee apparently had a lot of string attached. Jose did not receive a refund. Instead he got a cease and desist letter to take down his review.

I know there is not really any shortcut to being a developer. Still a coding dojo might provide a quick onboarding to get your started. You must choose wisely. I bet some of these programs are scams. And they might also be trying to control bad reviews about them, as it seems Coding House is doing with Jose.

Hot Technology

I read a couple articles on the technologies associated with high paying tech jobs. And I saw a couple trends emerging. One is that of your software development process. Scrum and Kanban knowledge will do you well. But surprise surprise. So will the waterfall method.

All things Java seemed up there on the list. You should learn Hibernate. Know your JSPs. Even old school Java technologies such as JDBC can help you get a good salary. And of course app servers like jBoss can give you a kick up in pay.

I am hearing more and more about DevOps. Not quite sure I get it yet. But knowing Puppet, Chef, and Jenkins can put you in the running for a lucrative career.

Then there is the Hadoop corner. I don't know all the details. But good buzzwords are Hive, Pig, and Hbase. Heck. Even the base technology of MapReduce is still a desired one by employers paying the big bucks.

Finally there is the noSQL camp. Turns out Cassandra is one of the hottest implementations of a noSQL database out there. Hot trends are always changing. But it is good to try to learn a thing or two in the hot sector.

Spell Check Your Resume

I got an email from a guy at my company who is looking for a project. I guess he needs to get placed or he is out of work. So I took a peek at his resume. One of the first things I saw was that he listed his maticulous [sic] trait. Oh boy. We might be in trouble.

It was a bit funny but sad too. How meticulous can you be if you cannot spell meticulous? At least run your resume through a spell checker and correct the problems before blasting your resume out to strangers. Otherwise you will face peril.

I took a closer look at the resume. Seems like the guy is going to college to get his degree. Not sure how my company hired him. I tried to get a rock star college student hired. Was told that we only hire college grads from good colleges here. Go figure.

Middle Management

When I first joined my company, there was a team of managers on the project. They worked hard. There was a lot of work to do. I got used to them. Then something happened. I suspect they got tired of working hard. What did they do? They hired their replacements.

Well replacement might be the wrong name. They hired new middle managers and called them the delivery management team. Now the senior managers sit back and let the middle managers handle all the muck. We have a lot of middle managers working hard.

My own team has been dwindling down due to attrition and reassignment of team members to other initiatives. We each have more responsibility. Oh well. My team is now small. I took a vacation last week. When I came back, the team lead had also taken some time off.

The delivery manager in charge of us seems to have a plan of his own. He wants to delegate down to the team leaders. And when my team lead is out, I guess the buck stops with me. Now doing management by itself might not be evil. But I don't want to manage when I also need to turn around and do most of the actual work.

I call shennanigans. Definitely don't want to end up doing a middle manager's job. Not at all.