Tag Archive

Happy Now, Beeminder?

Friday, September 18th, 2020
Happy Now, Beeminder?

Programming note (not that kind of programming; we could call it a doubly meta note?): The blog is now mobile-friendly! You’re welcome. This week we (by which I mean our robotic minions, by which I mean Google Alerts) noticed a Beeminder-relevant blog post out on the internet. It’s very short so I can... »

How To Write Functional Specs II: The Spec-List

Friday, September 4th, 2020
How To Write Functional Specs II: The Spec-List

Writing software involves a lot of backing yourself into corners. For even the simplest-seeming program, you find yourself adding duct tape and chewing gum to satisfy different requirements and logic bugs that come up. Then you gradually whittle it back down and end up with a few simple lines and it’s... »

Blog-Post-Driven Development

Monday, August 24th, 2020
Blog-Post-Driven Development

It seems like every time I talk about principles of software engineering to you all I get jaw-droppingly insightful replies. No pressure. Ok, if you google “documentation-driven development”, it seems to be a lot of people saying that documentation is so important that you should write it first blah blah blah. But I think there’s a... »

The Anti-Magic Principle

Wednesday, May 27th, 2020
The Anti-Magic Principle

Being a fan of overly provocative titles, I was tempted to title this “If-Statements Considered Harmful”. Meaning that it’s so tempting to add little bits of intelligence to your app to make it do the sensible thing in different circumstances. And that’s usually perfectly correct but the Anti-Magic Principle... »

X-Treme Nerd Interlude: Computing and Visualizing Level Curves of the Days-To-Derailment Function for the Upcoming Yellow Brick Half-Plane New World Order

Thursday, May 14th, 2020
X-Treme Nerd Interlude: Computing and Visualizing Level Curves of the Days-To-Derailment Function for the Upcoming Yellow Brick Half-Plane New World Order

For background on the Yellow Brick Half-Plane that a normal human could conceivably care about, see our previous post on how we’re killing the custom lane widths feature. This post is strictly for abnormal humans, and/or, more realistically, for ourselves, because math... »

How To Write Functional Specs

Thursday, March 12th, 2020
How To Write Functional Specs

We’re assuming here that you’re already conceptually on board with writing specs. If you’re skeptical, Joel Spolsky will set you straight! Here’s my own mini-pitch for specs: Writing... »

Death to Auto-Widening Yellow Brick Roads, Part 2

Monday, February 17th, 2020
Death to Auto-Widening Yellow Brick Roads, Part 2

If you’re just tuning in, and if you care about this for pragmatic rather than philosophical reasons, you’ll want to start with (or stick with) our announcement that we have fully killed off auto-widening yellow brick roads. This is the part where we philosophize about why... »

How You Talk Yourself Out Of Reporting A Bug

Wednesday, May 1st, 2019
How You Talk Yourself Out Of Reporting A Bug

It’s funny how universal it is for users (including programmers, including myself) to gravitate so strongly to “it’s probably just me / my crappy phone / my timezone / me not reading the webcopy / me not being deserving of love or working software / etc”. It might be an impulse to be kind and not... »

Beeminder Scholarships to Attend Quantified Self 2018 in Portland

Saturday, August 4th, 2018
Beeminder Scholarships to Attend Quantified Self 2018 in Portland

By coincidence the global Quantified Self conference is in our own hometown of Portland this year, September 22-23. Some of you will recall it was in Amsterdam last year and »