“Things My Lead Hates”

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If you’re here you may have probably arrived because of my propensity to say “#ThingsMyLeadHates” on twitter.  This comes about from a rant with my lead the other day.  So sit back, relax, story time:

I work in a large software firm.  There’s people who I work with that have been coding for decades, others who are just crazy smart.  The amount of raw experience and talent I am immersed with daily is boggling.  Frankly it’s awesome and it’s one of the things I really love about my job.  I work with probably some of the best programmers in the world and I’m constantly working to be just half as good as most of them.

So given that environment you might imagine that strong opinions come into play quite frequently.  My lead in particular is very opinionated about some specific programming patterns.  She will eat a person alive if they write bad code.  Her code review comments can be direct and very cutting.  It’s a little intimidating working with her at first because of this, but the more I’ve gotten to know her the more I actually appreciate getting the feedback.  She may be a bit too direct but she’s also helping us to actually grow and be better.

Recently after getting somewhat worked up about a real problem she started ranting about patterns she hates.  Now just to be clear, there are a lot of programming patterns out there that have valid but completely contradictory opinions about their value.  Part of what makes this particular rant funny is that each person has their own pet peeve about a particular common pattern.  The pet peeve might be justified, or it might be because of some humorous or embarrassing bug related to that pattern.  My lead has a seemingly endless set of patterns she hates.

Also I want to be clear, my lead is probably smarter than I am.  She has certainly gotten more experience then I.  I believe she has a better grasp for the mistakes that we make today that we only end up regretting tomorrow.  She also has very valid arguments for her opinions.  Although there are also valid arguments counter to her opinions as well (just to be fair).

So this rant about patterns has become somewhat of a joke on my team and it’s a bit of a way of venting about something we see that just bothers us and also an acknowledge of our own hubris.  We’re not perfect.  We all make mistakes.  We always try to be doing better. The fact that my lead knows we’re working towards being better is part of what makes the rants fun and not just awkward and upsetting.

So next time you see me post some pattern know that it’s probably something that either I or someone I know has recently talked about.  Sometimes it’s good to make light of our mistakes and hang-ups, even if only to let others know that we really really care about the fact that they should never double space their lines or we might just have to stab them.

Art Thoughts

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For the last couple of weeks I’ve been trying to go back to doing regular drawing sessions.  I don’t know that I will be able to sustain this, but I’m enjoying it. I’m going to reflect now on what I’ve produced.  I strongly believe introspection leads to realization which leads to improvement.  So let’s get to it:

This drawing was something I did for my twitter profile.  I wanted something vaguely me-like.  It really is a filler piece in the sense I just wanted something.  I’m not really happy the final result, the facial structure is really off, I’m nowhere that long in the face.  That said, some of the techniques did come out.  The Xbox symbol turned out well.  I’m actually pretty happy with the nose but it’s not “right” for my face.  The glasses are a marked improvement on how I did glasses previously.

computergeekdoodle

This picture I specifically wanted to try drawing a woman.  I’m bad at drawing women, it’s just hard for me to get the facial structure to look feminine. I also tried some new shading techniques for the face to try and give blush, lips and a sense of eyelashes.  Of everything I did in the eyes, I think the realization to draw the reflective shines across the pupil/iris boundary was the best improvement.  Also I tried some new hair techniques that I’m very happy with. Keeping things kind of messy gives a more dynamic “real” feel but also getting shaping and volume right is something I’ve had a hard time getting right in the past.

 

doodles.9.10.2013

The bard rocking out.  Lots of good here.  First:  I specifically stopped trying to be perfect in form and shape.  by doing so I think the pose actually feels more natural and has a lot of energy to it.  I also made some marked improvements on how I render rapiers. I ended up redrawing elements of the hat to get it right, but it came out well.  The face looks pretty good, but the placement of the right shoulder button is bad.  Some of the ribbons did not come out so well.  The lute has some flaws that drive me nuts, but only when I specifically look at it.  The flow of the picture is such that the eye tends to move right past them.

doodles.9.11.2013

Some introspection.  The shape of the hand is a bit off, I was trying to fix a tangent wit the nose that actually made things worse.  The hair has some nice shading and volume while still feeling like it’s very white.  The eyebrows are deliciously bushy.  The jeans are a complete failure, I’m still thinking about exactly why it’s wrong.  The shoes are okay but not great. The overall pose communicates the feeling of weight in a good way though.

doodles.9.12.2013

I totally overworked the face and hair on this one. 

doodles.9.13.2013

This one turned out well.  There’s a nice balance of lights and darks. The over all pose is great.  The mouth is hilarious and combined with the eyes definitely gives a feeling of “stunned” (or maybe “stoned”?).  I like how the clothing came out.  I have to admit to my shame that the pants turned out well as a fluke.  Originally I was going to do them white with black shading but it wasn’t working.  This is the result of reworking them entirely and it turned out to do exceptionally well and fixing the issue.  I like how the boots came out.  I’m really happy with the hair, it’s subtle but it has lights and mid-tones but also feels messy in the right way.  The hat turned out well.

doodles.9.14.2013

Hello World.

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So, let’s get started with some code, this is after all, “Coding 4 Fun & Profit”. This code is not a test, it is simply something I whipped up for fun.  Profit is what I do elsewhere.

public static void Main() 
        {
            var colors = new ConsoleColor[] { 
                ConsoleColor.DarkBlue, 
                ConsoleColor.Blue, 
                ConsoleColor.DarkGray, 
                ConsoleColor.Gray, 
                ConsoleColor.White, 
                ConsoleColor.Gray, 
                ConsoleColor.DarkGray, 
                ConsoleColor.Blue, 
                ConsoleColor.DarkBlue };

            Console.BackgroundColor = ConsoleColor.Cyan;
            int x = 0;            
            foreach (char c in "Hello World")
            {
                Console.ForegroundColor = 
                     colors[x % colors.Length];
                Console.Write(c);

                x++;                
            }

            Console.ResetColor();
        }
A bit about me:

I am a professional software developer.  I’ve been working specifically as a software developer for over seven years now.  I started out professionally from college writing test software and automation, but I’ve since made career changes.  I have worked on things you may now about, and many things you’ve never heard of.  In my day to day I write code in C#, though I have also done my stint writing code in Visual Basic (.NET), C++, Java and a handful of other languages that I don’t really remember and aren’t important now.  I am by no means the best programmer that I know, though I strive to be getting better so-as to make that eventually impossible to say.

I also play games.  Lots and lots of games.  Recently I’ve finished Saints Row 4, but I’ve also been playing Rogue Legacy, Spelunky (by myself, so sad), Endless Space, Samurais vrs. Zombies, Legend of Dungeon, Realm of the Mad God, Dungeons of Dredmor, The Bureau : X-Com Declassified, Payday 2 and Gnomoria.  I have also been known to play a board game or two.

I draw. I’m a total hack of an artist, I don’t want to set your expectations too high.  I might just post images here.

I think.  Life is full of experiences, it’s inevitable that we would cogitate on them from time to time.  I would like to think I think more than most people think.  I sample the feel of thoughts sifting through my meat computer, and drink in the insights and amusing observations I sometimes arrive at.  I probably think too much.

My goal here:

This blog is really just a place for me to share whatever comes to mind.  Consider this mind-spew, or a chance to look into the inner workings of someone else.  It’s possible my insights, humor and worldview will amuse you.  I might offend you, I make no promises about keeping my content free of my personal opinions on anything.  I might inspire  you, or possibly post something that solves some crazy problem you’re working on.  All I can hope is that something of what I do persists and value is gained from this blog.