Category for development

Too Dry Anti-Pattern

I do a lot of code reviews. On average, I probably spend an hour a day looking at diffs. I find this an efficient use of time because I frequently spot bugs that wouldn’t be revealed by regular testing. I can also …

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On Building an API

A few months ago we announced the availability of the Lionbridge onDemand Public API. While there are many translation APIs in the marketplace, I think that ours is the most comprehensive. Most translation APIs offer one level of translation quality (for example, machine …

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Small Deployments

Last week, when we released a new version of Lionbridge onDemand, I was reminded of a valuable lesson: keep your deployments small. Up to that point, we had been upgrading the production environment on a regular basis — nearly daily. When a new …

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The “Moving Truck” school of project estimation

Estimation has long been a point of embarrassment for the software development community. A big part of that is unrealistic expectations set by association with construction and manufacturing industries. Software is unlike building houses and widgets because every software application is unique and unprecedented, whereas …

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“Tell me about your setup”

Finding excellent technical people is a constant challenge that I struggle with every day. The traditional recruiting process of searching résumés for keywords has been broken for a long time. You need to use clever techniques like my “One Field Job Application” and engage …

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PL Upload: a solution for uploading really large files into a web application.

I am working on this web application project that has a requirement for users to upload REALLY big files (as in 1 gigabyte plus). Given ubiquitous broadband (do people even call it broadband anymore?), and increased usage of video, I would not be surprised …

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Great Dijkstra quote about Basic

I just ran across this great quote by Edsger W.Dijkstra:
It is practically impossible to teach good programming to students that have had a prior exposure to BASIC: as potential programmers they are mentally mutilated beyond hope of regeneration. (link)
The quote made me think of moving …

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How much of an application do you put in source control?

Warning: geeky coding post
One of my responsibilities at Lionbridge is running infrastructure for our many marketing sites and applications. Like all good technical organizations, our development and deployment processes revolve around a source code management (SCM) system (in our case Git). Because we …

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The Case of the Mysterious Redirect

Like most technical people, I have many development environments running on my local workstation.  I use a configuration of Apache virtual hosts and my /etc/hosts file to keep them sorted out.  It normally works great but yesterday I solved a vexing issue and  I thought …

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What it takes to be a senior engineer

John Allspaw (SVP of Technical Operations at Etsy) recently published an excellent article about what it means to be a senior engineer: “On Being a Senior Engineer“.  It’s long but worth every word.  It made me think of all of the colleagues that I worked …

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