Saturday, September 20, 2003

Hurricane Isabel

I was in Seattle when Hurricane Isabel landed. My trip was delayed a bit as I was supposed to head to SHD (Shenandoah Valley Airport) or IAD (Dulles in DC) and they were closing airports left and right. Anyhow, I made it out the next day and got home without incident. Actually, it was pretty impressive that nothing at all really happened to anyone in my family. The winds apparently were pretty wicked, and it was reported on NPR that a county close by my house got 24" of rain (that's right 2 FEET of rain!). Yet, the worst effect was that my in-laws house had about an 1.5 inches of leaves and branches in the yard that I had to help my father-in-law clear up.

While I was in Seattle, I went to a show at Graceland with Ben Compton a cool friend from work who has taken me on as his young Paduan indie rock learner. We saw Denali a band from Richmond, VA and Rainer Maria. It was excellent. I recommend you catch one of their shows if at possible.

Monday, September 15, 2003

Home networks...

Why is it so hard to get a home network right?

We've been remodelling our basement, the intended home of my office and hence network hub, gateway/firewall, webserver etc. I had to move the equipment three times. Nothing ever works easily. First, wireless networks are upredictable, and hard to debug (at least I don't know of the right tools). Second, wired networks are surprisingly easy to get wrong when you're making your own cables. There are only 64 possible combonations of the 8 wires in one cable, and even with a cable tester and a color chart for wiring, I think I botch 50% of my cables. Now, I'm trying to fix a problem where I had a cable that used to work, that it turns out was miswired, and once fixed, now the wall doesn't work when it used to. Ugh. Time to crack open the wall, and rewire something yet again.

Why is this so hard?

Thursday, September 4, 2003

Reading resumes...

Is it possible to write a resume without being "false" I've been reading a lot of resumes (probably 20+ every day), and it's surprising how many people say that they want a:

"software development position involved with all phases of the product development lifecycle"

That phrase "product development lifecycle" gives me the creeps. People focus too much on that, or on a specific technology and not enough on the reason why the technology (or process of developing said technology) is useful. It solves problems. It makes someone's life easier. It enables people to do something that they previously were unable to do before. Who cares if you know the "big O" performance of a binary tree, or could implement a "multiple readers single write lock" if those TOOLS can't be used for something else. I interviewed one guy and he said it well "companies pay engineers to make money not to write code."

Here's my perfect resume header:

To work for a company that has interesting and fun people dedicated to using software to enable solutions to business problems.

  • You probably want to see:

    • Languages - C++/C/Perl/Java
    • Web apps - TCP/IP, HTTP, SOAP, WSDL, XMLRPC, Tomcat, JSP, JavaScript, HTML
    • Databases - Oracle, MySQL, BerkeleyDB
    • Other - Client/Server, CORBA, OOP, OOD

  • But I'd be happy to learn Cobol if it meant that I got to do something useful. Give me books, an environment to play, some examples, and great people to be around, and I'll be your Cobol expert.


BTW... If that describes you, send me your resume ;) I want people that look around and see thousands of interesting places to put software, and thousands of opportunities to learning something new.