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Showing posts from February, 2015

Let's Face It - Programmers Are Not Rockstars

I wonder when we will stop calling programmers "Rockstars". Rockstars are people that have large fan bases, loads of cash, lots of girls (predominantly rockstars are male or at least were in the 80's/90's), others envy their lifestyle.  Real rockstars are wild trendsetters.  Programmers on the other hand are for the most part introverts, settled down, drug free, methodical, no one besides their programmer friends would really think they are the coolest thing on earth.  Very few programmers have more than a few twitter followers.  Even the big names have at most a few thousand followers on twitter, not even close to the millions that a real rock star has. Very few people that I know would idolize a programmer, besides  maybe another programmer.

I wonder who ever started this "rockstar" analogy.  Maybe it began with all the hot silicon valley startups, the Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page Sergey Brin to name a few.  After all they did reac…

Real-Time Data Communication

Some of you may know that I've been working on Arduino lately and my current project is to Send Data Over FM.  My ultimate goal is to send data over FM but I am not there yet.  I picked FM simply to see if it could be done and I figured I could learn some things about real data transmission along the way.  I chose not to implement the communication using any shields on purpose. Arduino has many shields that already the capability to send data over Wi-Fi with easy to use APIs, but that would have been too easy. At the same time that would not give me the understanding that I am seeking. You see, by handling the data at the physical layer instead of the software layer this allows me to learn and understand certain things about data communication.

For instance, since I am handling the data at the physical layer, this means that...Read more

Why I Hate Regular Expressions

I have a love-hate relationship with regular expressions.  I admire their power yet I hate the pain and agony they have caused on more than one occasion. Just recently one of my colleagues used a regular expression for validating passwords. It seems pretty fair to use regular expressions for validating character sequence patterns. After all it seems they were created exactly for that.  However when regular expressions fail they fail hard.  What I mean by that is that they usually fail in the production environment.

In case you are wondering what a regular expression is take a look at the wikipedia explanation of regular expressions.

So we go live and all of a sudden new users can't be created because the regular expression says that the password is not valid due to one of the complexity rules.  But how?  The regular expression passed all the unit tests.  In fact the application works fine in our development and test deployment.  So what happened? The validation works fine until it…