Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Intro - sharing what I've learned about the business and craft of software

Why start a blog? And a blog about making software no less? Wordpress estimates that they alone have over 54 million blogs online and actively maintained right now while I'm writing this.

So why make another one? Isn't it just noise at this point? Am I really going to put forth ideas and solutions that haven't already been covered by all these other writers ad nausea?

I'll share a story.

At my very first programming job, I was fortunate to work with a great consultant named Steve. Even though he wasn't a software developer by trade, I learned a lot about making software from him. One of things I liked best about working with him was that just about every time he came to the office, he brought a new tool with him. A spreadsheet that was all set up and ready to go for tracking / documenting a specific task, a batch file with a couple lines of code for moving our files around; whatever it was, it usually made my job easier.

He never charged for them either; it was "just part of working with him" he'd say. As a consultant, he worked with a lot of people in other parts of the country programming on the same system, and used this opportunity to build small tools like these that would be useful to everyone, and then shared them as part of his visits.

I always appreciated Steve's approach in sharing the things he learned, and my intent for this blog - and to address the opening question, the reason for starting it - is to emulate him in that regard. While I'm not the most renowned expert in any area, I have learned a lot about the business and craft of software over the last 10 years. I hope that the stories, resources and tools I've collected over that time and going forward will be useful and interesting to others, and that they have the same effect Steve's tools had for me. This blog is just a place for me to share what I've learned, and hopefully to help a few people make better software.

NOTE: Steve is still sharing his knowledge with Shop Floor Experts. My thanks to him for teaching me the right way to do things at a very early point in my career.

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