Craftsmanship Article

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Melanio Reyes

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Aug 13, 2010, 5:47:00 PM8/13/10
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I hope this article hasn't been posted already. I thought it I share
with the group as my first post.

It's Chicago Tribune's archived article on 8th Light and Obtiva's
first employee swap from last year.
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2009-06-15/news/0906140126_1_software-8th-light-perspectives

I work for Tribune. That's how I was able to dig this one up.
- MEL

Jon Homan

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Aug 14, 2010, 10:21:49 AM8/14/10
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I for one hadn't seen this yet. Thanks for sharing. Great read.


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Corey Haines

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Aug 16, 2010, 12:39:18 PM8/16/10
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This was a great article and a fantastic thing they are doing.

Since then, several other companies have begun doing this. Just this
year, we've seen swaps between Obtiva, 8th Light, Edgecase, Relevance
among others.


-Corey

On Fri, Aug 13, 2010 at 4:47 PM, Melanio Reyes <mel...@gmail.com> wrote:

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Melanio Reyes

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Aug 16, 2010, 12:55:12 PM8/16/10
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Yeah, I wish writer Wailin Wong, or anyone else for that matter,
would do a follow up; talking about what they've learned and other
insight from the experience.

What I've been doing is following the blogs of the developers that
have participated in these swaps. When I get a chance, maybe I'll
post some of the gems I found.


- MEL

Dave Hoover

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Aug 16, 2010, 2:05:39 PM8/16/10
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If anyone is interested in a follow-up article, you should ping Wailin
at http://twitter.com/velocitywong and let her know you're interested.
I let her know about our second swap (with Relevance) earlier this
year, but they didn't do a second story.

Chris Readle

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Aug 16, 2010, 3:56:39 PM8/16/10
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Hey all.

I'm a sysadmin trying to return to "The Long Road" to use terminology from Mr. Hoover and Mr. Oshineye's book "Aapprenticeship Patterns", which I quite enjoyed. I tweeted to both of them and asked them this question, and while Mr. Hoover gave me a good answer, Mr. Oshineye suggested I ask on the list as well, so here goes.

I'm looking for a good first language to take a deep dive into. I've got some C, C++, Java, PERL, and Python. I'm also interested in Objective-C. Mr. Hoover suggested Python or Ruby based on that list, which both sound good, but I wanted to see if the list had any other ideas.

Also does anyone know of any shops in the CO Springs/Denver area that are interested in/using the craftsmanship ideals? Mr. Hoover mentioned Pivotal Labs, but Boulder is a little farther than I prefer to commute, though if I can't find anything closer that may be my option. :)

crr

Please excuse typos, sent from my mobile device.

Melanio Reyes

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Aug 16, 2010, 4:25:05 PM8/16/10
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I'm of the mind that what you want to be developing dictates what
language you probably should be spending your time on.
If you want to do webstuff, then yes, python and ruby are great
languages. Objective-C of course is for mac, iphone / ipad
development.

Find what excites you, sparks that initial wave of learning, and
flexibility to ride that wave.


- MEL

Bobby Johnson

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Aug 16, 2010, 4:28:35 PM8/16/10
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I'll add to what Mel says by adding that you should check out your local community for any given language. See how active they are, are they welcoming to newbies, do they have regular hackathons or meetings in general. Being able to observe someone writing code is a great way to pick up concepts and tooling that can't be learned from a book.
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Alan Gardner

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Aug 16, 2010, 8:02:36 PM8/16/10
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You should checked out the Derailed usergroup if you want any Ruby/Rails info for your area
(http://groups.google.com/group/derailed)

Alan

iPhone + sausage fingers - patience = brevity + typos ;)

Stuart Ellis

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Aug 17, 2010, 3:23:36 AM8/17/10
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I'm a former admin who switched to development a while ago, and I would definitely say Ruby.

The language and tools themselves are good, and there are also excellent books for higher-level concepts. I found Python impressive but much less accessible and a lot less less well-covered - there seemed to be a certain amount of assumed knowledge about tools and practices.

If you will be continuing with administration at all then Ruby is also particularly relevant. The book that sold me on Ruby was actually "Practical Ruby for System Administration". Chef and Puppet automation obviously involve Ruby - Chef pretty much requires basic Ruby knowledge to use.

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Kurt Häusler

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Aug 17, 2010, 3:45:19 AM8/17/10
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If I remember correctly, McBreen's book mentions something about COBOL
being the craftsman's language, I guess Java would be the modern
equivalent.

A lot of the celebrity craftsmen seem to have been preferring Ruby
recently, it is a pretty nice language, but my recent experience with
Rails 3 has led to more fiddling with bundler, rvm and gem than actual
coding. A lot of the craftsmen seem to be taking an interest in
clojure lately, which brings me to an interesting point. I see a lot
of imperative and OO languages on your list. You really should get
some functional language experience, even if you don't use them, it
will make you a better programmer in another language.

* Clojure as mentioned. A dialect of Lisp that runs on the JVM. (Have
a look at Scala too)
* Scheme is the language used in one of the best "learn to program"
books ever, the structure and interpretation of computer programs.
Every dev should work through that book sometime in their life.
* F# If you can accept that it is pretty much windows only, it is a
very nice language.
* Haskell is pretty hard core, requires a lot of unlearning and
relearning but those who get it tend to really like it.

* JavaScript, not strictly functional, but different enough to what
you have already used to be interesting, and very important and widely
used in it's area.

I think it is a good idea to learn some assembler too.

Stuart Ellis

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Aug 17, 2010, 6:56:59 AM8/17/10
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On 17 Aug 2010, at 08:45, Kurt Häusler wrote:

> If I remember correctly, McBreen's book mentions something about COBOL
> being the craftsman's language, I guess Java would be the modern
> equivalent.
>
> A lot of the celebrity craftsmen seem to have been preferring Ruby
> recently, it is a pretty nice language, but my recent experience with
> Rails 3 has led to more fiddling with bundler, rvm and gem than actual
> coding.

I think that this is the nature of big frameworks - you have to learn a lot about the tools and API to use them, but aren't required to do any significant coding. I tried Django during my Python phase and learned a lot of good stuff about Web applications, but didn't write more than about four lines of Python in any one function, so it didn't really do much to help me learn the language.

> A lot of the craftsmen seem to be taking an interest in
> clojure lately, which brings me to an interesting point. I see a lot
> of imperative and OO languages on your list. You really should get
> some functional language experience, even if you don't use them, it
> will make you a better programmer in another language.


This is a good point. FWIW, I think it's currently much easier to use OO languages to learn practices and principles, just because the tools and learning material are a lot more mature.

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