Embracing The Demons « Andrew Heins. This post is part of a continuing series on Teach Yourself Web Development. I was originally planning to blog on another topic, but I’ve been trying to capture my thoughts around a specific issue for a while now, and I finally feel like I’ve captured how I feel. You sit down in front of your computer and you’re uneasy. You’ve got a ton of work to do, but all of it seems pointless. The code open in front of you is awful; worse yet, it’s yours, freshly written last night. You can’t focus. You’ve got the demons. I am intimately acquainted with my demons.
How can I compete with computer science grads with 10 years of experience on me? I used to worry it was just me. If you’re struggling with demons, I’ve got some good news and some bad news. Let’s Start with the Bad News I don’t know that the demons ever really go away. I’ve been studying web development for over 5 years now, and I think I’m reasonably competent as a developer. For all intents and purposes, I’ve succeeded. Here’s the Good News. Getting Real. Here are the 16 chapters and 91 essays that make up the book.
Introduction chapter 1 What is Getting Real? A smaller, faster, better way to build software About 37signalsOur small team creates simple, focused software Caveats, disclaimers, and other preemptive strikesResponses to some complaints we hear The Starting Line chapter 2 Build LessUnderdo your competition What's Your Problem?
Stay Lean chapter 3 Less MassThe leaner you are, the easier it is to change Lower Your Cost of ChangeStay flexible by reducing obstacles to change The Three MusketeersUse a team of three for version 1.0 Embrace ConstraintsLet limitations guide you to creative solutions Be YourselfDifferentiate yourself from bigger companies by being personal and friendly Priorities chapter 4 What's the big idea? Feature Selection chapter 5 Process chapter 6 The Organization chapter 7 Staffing chapter 8 Interface Design chapter 9 Code chapter 10 Words chapter 11 Pricing and Signup chapter 12 Promotion chapter 13 Support chapter 14.
An open letter to anyone with “SQL Server” on their resume. Community-curated collection of free books for the intellectually curious. The Pragmatic Bookshelf. I am a great programmer, but horrible algorithmist - Learning Software Development - The Trendline. I am a great programmer, but a horrible algorithmist.
It is a thought that has been weighing on me heavily recently, and I’d like to gather other developers feelings on the subject as well. I started what can be called my professional development career back in 1999. I was still in middle school, but my father hired me at his software company. My official duty was to make updates to our websites, but I mostly ended up bugging the other developers to help me learn. From there I picked up Perl (somewhat) and then moved to PHP and front end web development where I have stayed comfortably for the last twelve years.
When it comes to building large scale systems, understanding the details of those systems, and actually writing them, I do very well. I even have a degree in Computer Science from what I think is a great university. However, I feel I am a horrible algorithmist. Ask me to write a complex algorithm (even one that has been discovered), and I start to get sweaty palmed and nervous.