Jake Goulding

The Psychology of Computer Programming

Over New Year’s break, we visited one of Carol’s friends in New Orleans. While we did quite a lot of touristy things (the French Quarter is very exciting when the new year rolls around), we also got to visit the lovely used bookstore Beckham’s Book Shop. Unfortunately, we got there late in the day and I didn’t realize that there was an entire second floor until very near closing time. I’m glad I took the time to look upstairs, as that is where I discovered The Psychology of Computer Programming by Gerald M. Weinberg.

Uninitialized variable warnings and compiler optimizations

A coworker recently got the may be used uninitialized in this function warning from GCC and asked me to take a look at it to see if the warning was spurious or if he was missing something. While trying to boil his code down to a concise example, we found an example where the warning got flipped – we no longer got a warning even though we both expected one.

The “meh” programmer

Do you know a “meh” programmer? As an example:

Alice: This variable name isn’t very good…
Bob: Meh, it’s just a variable name, it’s good enough.

Where does this lack of caring come from? If you replace variable name with something else, it sounds ridiculous:

Alice: This algorithm isn’t very good…
Bob: Meh, it’s just an algorithm, it’s good enough.

Why Posterous?

Since I need something to start a blog with, why not start with why I chose Posterous?

Over the Christmas holidays, I’ve been reading through back entries in Michael Feather’s blog. Reading through his posts (among many other blogs) was one of the reasons I thought to start a blog, so I figured I could start there.