Best excuse for slacking…

The webcomic xkcd is so good I have to resist the urge to blog just about every strip, but the latest one is just too good not to share.

Top excuse for slacking programmers


This of course applies not only to programmers, but sys-admins and DBAs as well. I mean really, some of those Oracle installs take a long time!

slacker, technology, compile, programming, code, excuse

Programming Language Inventor or Serial Killer

Here’s an oldie but a goodie. Think you can tell the difference between a programming language inventor and a serial killer just from a picture? Take the test and see.

Take the Programming Language Inventor or Serial Killer Quiz.

Compliments of Matt Round’s weblog. If you’re into web design check out his main page. It’s quite a bit different from your average blog.

Thanks to Don Burleson for sending this on to me.

fun, funny, quiz, programming language, programming, development

Nine things developers want more than money

Software by Rob has compiled a fantastic list of Nine Things Developers Want More Than Money and from my experience he’s hit the nail on the head!

Many of the developers I know have been programming since they were in junior high. Whether it was building text-based games on an Apple IIe or creating a high school football roster app in Visual Basic, it’s something they did for the challenge, for the love of learning new things and, oh yes, for the chicks. Ladies love a man who can speak BASIC to his Apple.

College graduates face a sad reality when they leave the protective womb of a university and have to get their first real job. Many of my friends found jobs paying around $25k out of school, and were amazed that the starting engineering and computer science salaries were nearly double that. But the majority of the engineers in my class didn’t become engineers for the money; we did it because it touched on a deep inner yearning to tinker and impress their friends. And did I mention the chicks?

Money is a motivating factor for most of us, but assuming comparable pay, what is it that makes some companies attract and retain developers while others churn through them like toilet paper?

Now, don’t get me wrong, you need to compensate your people appropriately as well, but ask your developers if they have any side projects and you’ll probably find that the best ones have some exciting side projects going on that they’re doing to learn something new, give back to the community or just to help someone out. This is the list of how you can tap into that energy at the office and get the most out of your developers.

via digg

management, project management, programming, information technology

W3Schools.com WTF?

Inspired by the Oracle WTF blog I have my own WTF today.

www.w3schools.com has some outstanding tutorials on HTML, CSS, SQL, PHP, and many many more. So why does such a tech savvy site require that you type www before it’s domain name to get to their server?

Go ahead, try going to http://w3schools.com. Depending on your browser the error may vary, but you sure won’t get a site.

Now for those of you who are unfamiliar with DNS and domain name resolution, trust me, it would just take one additional line in their domain resolution table to make it work both ways. Really W3Schools… WTF?

Update: W3Schools has now set up a redirect for http://w3schools.com. Not sure if this story had anything to do with it, but thanks!

wtf, programming, website, dns

Unpublished Source Code

Recently while stumbling my way through Solaris I came across a command I’m not familiar with. /usr/bin/true is a shell script which when run will return true (execute successfully.)

Now, this code clearly goes back a bit into UNIX history and I was amused to see exactly how the developers coded it. With that in mind, and against all copyrights and rights reservations I now present the complete and unabridged code for /usr/bin/true:

bash-2.03$ more /usr/bin/true
#!/usr/bin/sh
# Copyright (c) 1984, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989 AT&T
# All Rights Reserved

# THIS IS UNPUBLISHED PROPRIETARY SOURCE CODE OF AT&T
# The copyright notice above does not evidence any
# actual or intended publication of such source code.

#ident "@(#)true.sh 1.6 93/01/11 SMI" /* SVr4.0 1.4 */

Why on earth would you copyright this? Perhaps even more impressive is the point that this is version 1.6! What did previous versions of this look like? And why such a big deal about this being unpublished source code? Hell, it’s not even source code, let alone published.

Well, if you’re curious, this script is all comments, therefore when it is run it does nothing… Of course it does nothing quite successfully, therefore returning ‘true’ for the purposes of evaluating conditions.

I do have to give the developers of this credit for simplicity. I’m sure if it weren’t for the lawyers this could have been a one line file.

unix, solaris, source code, programming, development, opensource