A few years ago when I was learning rails, I sounded off that Ruby’s lax policy surrounding parentheses was a problem. Specifically, that it is impossible to tell the difference between a method call and a variable reference. There is now an open bug against Ruby 1.9.1 at https://redmine.ruby-lang.org/issues/1801 that demonstrates the problem.
One of the lessons about Amazon’s cloud failure last week is that the cloud is incredibly overhyped. The cloud doesn’t necessarily deliver a lot of the things implicitly promised – such as improved uptime or reliability, or even cost savings. But the real problem with the cloud is that you actually get less database reliability […]
Java — and in a more general sense — the garbage collector is partly responsible for the huge productivity gains in the past several decades as development moved increasingly to memory-managed environments. This has come at a cost, with less attention paid to the amount of memory consumed in such environments.
This is the first of several interviews from fall of 2010 that I will document. The Microsoft Software Development Engineer Interview is hard. While no interview process is perfect, they do a lot of things right in terms of setting a high bar, as well as showing off what the company has to offer. It […]
“The great thing about managed code like Java and C# is that it can’t leak memory, because the garbage collector takes care of everything for you by reclaiming objects using a reference counting algorithm.” The above statement of course, is completely false, although widely repeated.
Many programming languages contain the concept of a null “value,” which can mean “nothing,” or may be precisely equal to integer zero. When encountering this in a database, it would be natural to assume it means roughly “nothing.” This is a naive, although workable definition of null. As we’ve seen, simplified and even incorrect definitions […]
Agile is the hip new software development methodology. Everyone from Fortune 100 firms to doughnut shops are trying to implement it these days. When even a US Department of Defense contractor is trying to become agile, a serious paradigm shift away from the traditional waterfall approach to a better methodology must be happening because agile […]