Havoc's Blog

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JSON-like config, a spectrum of under/overengineering

Cynics might say that overengineered means I didn’t write it and don’t understand it yet. I found a nice real-world example, JSON-like configuration file formats, where reasonable developers have implemented many points on a complexity spectrum. (Full disclosure: I implemented one of these.) STOP. Don’t take this post as an excuse to defend the answer you […]

Working on Data Science User Experience

For the last month or so, I’ve been working at Continuum Analytics, doing product design and development to help out data scientists. I would be overjoyed to hire a few more awesome people to work with, and I’m hoping some of you reading this will be interested enough to learn more about it. If you’re […]

It’s not new

If you’ve ever written a technical article, or announced some software you created, chances are someone commented “this isn’t new, it’s just like _____.” Commenters of the world, slow down. Think about why you would say that. Readers, ask why you would think it, even if you don’t comment. Do you mean: “I have already […]

Fedora 20 Beta on Thinkpad T440s Report

Before buying a T440s I kept asking people on Twitter to tell me how it works with Linux, so I figure I should write down the answer. Note: this is a beta distribution on a brand-new laptop model. Punchline: Lenovo’s new clickpad is worse than the old physical buttons for me with the trackpoint, but […]

Don’t screw up your next presentation

Have you ever screwed up a talk or high-stakes presentation? You thought it would be fine, had a plan, did well in practice runs, but under pressure you fell apart and fell flat. In short: you choked. There’s almost a binary switch: sometimes you can tell a few minutes into an hour-long talk whether it’s […]

What Matters In Software Development

Lots of traffic on Twitter about Steve Yegge’s post defining a “software ideology” spectrum. Myles Recny made a survey to help you place yourself along said spectrum. Thinking about it over the weekend, I can’t identify with this framing of software development. Those survey questions don’t seem to cover what I think about most in […]

Developers: request for complaints

I’m looking for a new personal weekend project that would be useful to others. Maybe there’s a useful book or useful piece of software I could create for fellow developers, tech leads, project managers, etc. Doesn’t have to be anything related to any of my current or past work (Linux, C, GTK+, Scala, etc.), but […]

New blog hosting

I’m trying out WPEngine instead of self-managed EC2 since my self-managed uptime stats were pretty bad. Let me know if anything about the blog is more broken than it was before.

Desktop Task Switching Could Be Improved

In honor of GUADEC 2012, a post about desktop UI. (On Linux, though I think some of these points could apply to Windows and OS X.) When I’m working, I have to stop and think when I flip between two tabs or windows. If I don’t stop and think, I flip to the wrong destination […]

ACA constitutionality doesn’t hinge on what you call it

TL;DR I got it right, you may now send me your offers for lucrative legal consulting work. Note: I am not a lawyer. I’ve had a little series of posts, first and second, arguing that the tax code already punishes you for failure to purchase health insurance and health care. (Because any tax credit can […]