A hot summer day at the WiredPrairie …

Although I’m doing some Adobe Flex coding today, I felt inspired to share a few very recent photographs I’ve taken (all within the last week).


I was standing about 10-12 foot away from this unpicked corn cob when I snapped the camera shutter with my 80-400mm lens attached.


Yes, there’s corn in our neighborhood.


I was walking with my wife, and we had the odd sensation that we were being watched.


Is the "last-minute-panic" part of the "nature" of software development?

What is it about many software development projects that cause smart people to suggest that a last-minute-panic is in fact just the nature of doing software development? Someone used nearly those exact words today in an email to me, which spurred me to thinking this evening about the issue in general.

Rarely is the last-minute-panic just a minute, rather it is a week or more of extra stress, long hours, and weekend work. I’ve only ever worked in the software industry, so I can’t compare to other industries that might be creating products. No matter how many books are published about the topic… the panic is still far too common place.

I know I’ve been part of projects where there was this panic, long hours, etc. However, it’s never sat quite right with me — it felt, wrong.

What have you done to combat this issue? Do you follow some particular methodology that nearly eliminates this problem? Or, do you practice feature cutting, or … what? Is doing software development that unpredictable, or is it somehow the nature of software developers …?

I’d really like to hear what you’re doing (successful or otherwise). Leave a comment or link here from your own blog.

(Updated to fix typo and clarify one tiny thing)

Your data submission contains illegal characters


The project name contains illegal characters

From Shutterfly.

I had just typed the name of a project to save in a text field and pressed the “save” button. There were no mention of any characters I couldn’t use. But, it was clear (only because I’ve seen programmers make stupid choices like this in the past), that the apostrophe I had used in the project name wasn’t allowed.

Don’t subject users to silly restrictions like this. What kind of architecture/design doesn’t allow apostrophes to be used in the name of something like this? I realize file systems have some interesting restrictions — but if this isn’t being stored in a database … then, yikes, what are they doing? If I had not already invested a lot of time uploading photos, selecting photos, etc., I would have abandoned them entirely and moved on to their competitors (with what amounts to be the world’s most unreliable uploader from what I could tell — I had to try to upload some photos 6 or 7 times before it was successful!!!!!),

(Just so happens that I was signed up as a new user and had a whole bunch of free prints from Amazon — so I couldn’t complain about the price. However, I’ll not return to them.)

I hope the prints turn out better than their web site design and implementation.