A photograph of a road and rail line Between Hapuku and Mangamaunu, South Island, New Zealand


Thought Machines

people
This is a follow-up post to a previous article I wrote: “Should I become a Programmer?” I'd like to address a couple of the comments I received about that article and try to make my message a little clearer. Comment:...
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An image depicting a bloke thinking about machinery

Should I become a Programmer?

people
I don't know how many times I've read or heard this question over the years but if I had a dollar for every one of those times, I'd be a rich man. In the past I might've answered this question...
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An image depicting a piece of machinery in an abandoned mill from the subreddit: MachinePorn

The Hero Programmer and the Truth

business
Most of us have worked somewhere or know of a business that has a resident "hero programmer". The image of the hero programmer who regularly saves the day with his incredible intelligence and dedication when seemingly random unforeseen problems arise...
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Our hero programmer saves the day by typing a PERL regular expression on a keyboard whilst swinging past on a vine in a Tarzan like fashion. From the webcomic xkcd: http://xkcd.com/208/

Nobody Cares about You or Your Company

business
Whether you're selling information or software products, or tech consulting services, the only thing that matters to your customers is the fact that you can fix their problem. Your customers are selfish. They only care about themselves. Why is it...
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An image of a section of desert in Death Valley, California and all the people that care about you and your company

Vigilantism: Vandalism and Ethics in Engineering

craft
On the 26th of August, FTDI, manufacturer of the world's most widely used USB serial chip, released their latest Windows driver (v 2.12.0.0) and its distribution via a recent Windows automatic update has been, at best a monumental error in...
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An image depicting a vandal and some broken stuff that wasn't his. A perfect metaphore for what FTDI have done of late

The Forgotten User

craft
We've all heard stories of projects gone wrong because somehow everyone forgot about the users, haven't we? I want to draw your attention to another user who is almost always forgotten in every other bit of coding we all do...
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An image depicting a forgotten grave as a metaphore for the forgotten future programmer who has decipher your code

Your Financial History. Your Business.

people
Recruitment, shady practices and unsavoury hiring advice has a habit of getting on my goat as is clear in my rant in a previous article about recruitment. Hiring employees for a given position with a salary that's fair. Of course...
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An image depicting one person pick pocketing another as some unscrupulous employers metaphorically do

Self Selection

people
Selection criteria. A buzzword shopping list of essential and desirable technologies, frameworks, languages, and more. Sometimes you have to wonder just how many people actually have this seemingly unique combination of buzzwords, or has the requisite number of years experience...
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An image depicting Job as a wordplay on, well, Job, as in employment

You're a Worthless, Insignificant Peasant

people
Condescension /ˌkɒndɪˈsɛnʃn/ An attitude of patronizing superiority; disdain. Being talked down to, completely ignored or having your contributions dismissed as if you are filthy scum and not worthy of recognition as a human being is not a pleasant experience. When...
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An image depicting some filthy peasants from the legendary Monty Python and the Holy Grail as a metaphore for how employees are treated by some superiors

Step Away From the Kool Aid

people
Bootstrapping. Building a business from scratch without external funding. A praiseworthy pursuit for any budding entrepreneur. In fact, if you have the excitement and drive to see your mission through to successful business then you deserve all the kudos that...
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An image depicting The Rev. Jim Jones as a stand-in for your usual brain washing, wage ripping CEO
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© Ben Howell 2014 - 2015