Does Your Code Tell A Story

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  • The Taming of the Code:A tale of the first principles of software development presented in three actsHow do we balance building the right thingwith building it well? In this presentation we will examine this question at three levels of focus looking at I The Goal, II The Guidlines and III The Practice. This will be an interactive discussion of the values, compromises and practices of successful software development.

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  • 1. Does Your Code Tell A Story? H. Alan Stevens A Desultory Philippic On Code Clarity
  • 2. Contact Me Email/IM: alanstevens@gmail.com Blog: http://halanstevens.com Twitter: @alanstevens
  • 3. David Gelernter Machine Beauty: Elegance and the Heart of Technology Beauty is more important in computing than anywhere else in technology because software is so complicated. Beauty is the ultimate defense against complexity.
  • 4. Beauty is the ultimate defense against complexity
  • 5. Good ideas come slowly
  • 6. Busyness leads to little sharp staccato ideas instead of big slow ideas Brenda Ueland
  • 7. Writing is: • Telepathy • Refined Thinking • Seduction
  • 8. You must freely and recklessly make new mistakes
  • 9. You need a tolerance for having no idea where your thing is going. Merlin Mann
  • 10. When I write, I feel like an armless, legless man with a pen in his mouth. Kurt Vonnegut
  • 11. E. L. Doctorow Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.
  • 12. Stories are found things. Stephen King
  • 13. You won't see how to do it until you see yourself doing it. David Allen
  • 14. Read a lot. Write a lot. Stephen King
  • 15. It’s not the writing part that’s hard. It’s the sitting down to write. Stephen Pressfield
  • 16. The secret of getting ahead is getting started. Mark Twain
  • 17. 1. breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks 2. then starting on the first one Mark Twain The secret of getting started is
  • 18. Give Yourself Short Assignments
  • 19. “All I’m gonna’ do is…”
  • 20. Write shitty first drafts Annie Lamont
  • 21. The first draft is the child’s draft.
  • 22. Begin to write in the dumb, awkward way that an animal cries out in pain. Natalie Goldberg
  • 23. You must feel that you have permission to write the worst junk in the world and it would be okay. Natalie Goldberg
  • 24. Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It is the main obstacle to your shitty first draft. Annie Lamont
  • 25. The counterfeit innovator is wildly self confident. The real one is scared to death. Stephen Pressfield
  • 26. Three Kinds Of Drafts • The first draft is the “down draft” just get it down. • The second draft is the “up draft” clean it up. • The third draft is the “dental draft” where you carefully inspect each tooth.
  • 27. When you write a story, you're telling yourself the story. When you rewrite, your main job is taking out all the things that are not the story. Stephen King
  • 28. Write with the door closed. Rewrite with the door open. Stephen King
  • 29. The danger is greatest when the finish line is in sight. Stephen Pressfield
  • 30. Once you know what the story is and get it right, as right as you can anyway, it belongs to anyone who wants to read it. Stephen King !
  • 31. When you finally realize what your program is doing, you have to go back and make it look like you knew that all along. Make it look like it was easy to write this program, even if it wasn’t. Ward Cunningham “Mastering the Craft of Programming” http://railslab.newrelic.com/2009/09/15/ward-cunningham-aboutus-org
  • 32. Beauty is the ultimate defense against complexity
  • 33. Thanks For Listening! Email/IM: alanstevens@gmail.com Blog: http://halanstevens.com Twitter: @alanstevens