Amazon Deal or No Deal

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"Hey Alexa, can you help Amazon with their math?" Timothy W. wrote.


A Short Year

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Are we sick of of year rollover bugs yet? Well, let’s just agree that people aren’t sick of making these kinds of bugs.

A long time ago, someone at Oleksandr’s company needed to write a Python script that shipped a 4-digit year to a system that only accepted 2-digit years. So 2010 needed to turn into 10.


Two Heads Are Better Than One

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What, exactly set of features divide a "text editor" from an IDE is a bit of a blurry line. Developers are not the sort to use static, unchangeable tools. They want configuration, they want plugins, they want quick access to a terminal, they want debugging support, and they'll bolt those features into just about anything.

There's a fine line between an IDE that provides nice utility to the developer, and an IDE which is opinionated. I had the misfortune long ago to use the WebSphere IDE, which was essentially a repackaged version of early Eclipse bundled with highly opinionated plugins about how you were supposed to build a Java application. As Matt puts it: "An IDE is, to some, a high-functionality tool for developing applications, and to others a classic example of an Inner Platform."


An Enterprise API

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There’s a simple rule about “enterprise” software: if the word “enterprise” is used in any way to describe the product, it’s a terrible product. Enterprise products are usually pretty special purpose and serve a well-capitalized but usually relatively small market. You aren’t going to sell licenses to millions of companies, but maybe tens of thousands. Often hundreds. There are some extremely niche enterprise products that have only two or three customers.

Lots of money, combined with an actually small market in terms of customers, guarantees no real opportunity for competition. Couple that with the fact that each of your customers wants the off-the-shelf product you’re selling them to have every feature they need for their business case, you’re on a fast track to bloated software, inner platforms, and just general awfulness.


Painful Self-Development

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View my timesheet page

Daniel didn't believe the rumor at first. Whenever his company chased after the hottest new business trends, they usually pursued the worst trends imaginable. But word was that this time, they'd seen fit to mimic Google’s fabled "20% Time."


Text Should Go Here

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"The fact that Microsoft values my PC's health over copyediting is why I thumbed up this window," Eric wrote.


Switch Off

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There are certain things which you see in code that, at first glance, if you haven’t already learned better, look like they might almost be clever. One of those in any construct that starts with:

switch(true) {…}


Y2K15

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We’re still in the early part of the year, and as little glitches show up from “sliding window” fixes to the Y2K bug, we’re seeing more and more little stories of other date rollover weirdness in our inbox.

Like, for example, the Y2K15 bug, which Encore got to get surprised with. It feels like date issues are turning into a sports game franchise: new releases of the same thing every year.


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