Home of the Jokerr

Reflecting on 8

It’s a little hard for me to believe that I’ve been at USAA for eight years this July. Since I started there in 2007 I’ve worked in just about every type of team you can find at such a large organization; maintenance and support, operations, infrastructure, and delivery. Two of those eight years have been on the Revolutionary Development (RevDev) Team where we’ve implemented various disruptive and innovative features for our members. I’d love to say more about the other projects but…yeah…NDA.

The New Microsoft

If you asked me 10 years ago what I thought of Windows I wouldn’t have too many nice things to say about it. Linux was the desktop for me and the only reason to run Windows was to play World of Warcraft. My how times have changed and I must say I’m liking the new and improved Microsoft. They have a great tablet in the latest Surface Pro series. Office has always been one of their flagship products but they loosened the grip on it a bit with DropBox integration and support for Android and iOS. Windows 10 looks promising, heck I’m installing a preview now?! And probably my biggest surprise is the they put a lightweight IDE on all platforms!

Now if they would put in a real command line shell I’m sold! Cygwin is decent and in all fairness I haven’t given PowerShell a real go but what can I say, I’m a forward slash kind of guy.

Being Pragmatic

One of my colleges and I were discussing the dynamics of our team and  what changes we would like to see.  It was one of those fun  conversations where you know something needs to change but you’re not  quite sure so you’re left to pure brainstorming.  During our  conversation we started talking about “required reading” for our team  with the hopes of getting more out of our team.  The Pragmatic Programmer was one of the books that came up that I had not heard of.  If you’re a  programmer/developer and do not own this book stop now, click the link,  and order it.  Go ahead, I’ll wait.  Don’t let the © 2000 fool you, buy  the book!

The Pragmatic Programmer won’t teach you how to program in a  specific language or tell you the answers to all of a developer’s life  questions.  What it does do, very well I might add, is give you a advice  from their experiences that can help you become a better programmer.   If you’ve been programming for a while like myself or just getting into  it this book will help guide you along the way.