Codrin Andronic

"stop existing and start living" – M. Jackson

Software – Food Chain Analogy

Reading Code Complete 2nd edition, I came upon a good analogy for the software development process, which I will quote below.

Compare the software food chain to a real food chain. In an ecologically sound environment, seagulls eat fresh salmon. That’s nourishing to them because the salmon ate fresh herring, and they in turn ate fresh water bugs. The result is a healthy food chain. In programming, if you have healthy food at each stage in the food chain, the result is healthy code written by happy programmers.

In a polluted environment, the water bugs have been swimming in nuclear waste, the herring are contaminated by PCBs, and the salmon that eat the herring swam through oil spills. The seagulls are, unfortunately, at the end of the food chain, so they don’t eat just the oil in the bad salmon. They also eat the PCBs and the nuclear waste from the herring and the water bugs. In programming, if your requirements are contaminated, they contaminate the architecture, and the architecture in turn contaminates construction. This leads to grumpy, malnourished programmers and radioactive, polluted software that’s riddled with defects.

Let’s start eating healthy and build quality software once and for all!

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Text User Interface

I have a passion for old things. The same is true for computers, software and programming languages. Lately I am nostalgic about the old days of MS-DOS, slow computers and TUIs (Text User Interfaces). I did a quick search on the web for TUI and it seems they are obsolete these days. Modern operating systems do not support it anymore. Linux is probably the only one that still supports it.  On windows platforms I think XP was the last to have support for TUI. Looking at software development tools, TUIs are not supported since a long time ago. Ok there is the option to build a Console Application on the .Net framework, but you can’t do anything more than read or write text.

Personally, I think TUIs could still be used today. It would provide a simple, intuitive and resource friendly way to interact with a system that does not require a very complex user interface. But I presume it’s just like everything else these days, why buy just one item when you can have 10 for the same price.

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More Brain Power

I was reading another “Road to success” article and found something that seems interesting, so I decided to share the info. It’s about brain health and how to improve brain power. Here are 10 easy steps:

  1. Go for a walk with a friend –  This way you talk as you walk.  Social connection, physical exercise and mental stimulation are brain strengtheners.
  2. Add variety to your life –  Do not follow a set routine day after day.  Wake up your brain with something new.  Try a new route to the office.  Memorize a new poem.
  3. Be a Life Long Learner –  Study something in depth.  This is good for your brain and your career.  Learn a new language and begin to speak and write it.
  4. Solve Puzzles/Play games – Try to beat the clock because that inspires quicker thinking.
  5. Clear the mind – Use meditation or a walk in the woods to help clear your mind.  Most of us have very active minds today.  Some of the chatter is noisy and negative.  It is important to regularly take time to clear your mind.  While you are at it take some deep breaths to cleanse your mind and body.
  6. Get 8 hours sleep a night
  7. Be creative – Use your imagination every day.  Take the time to paint, add to your journal, create a new website, write a poem or do anything that uses the right (creative) side of your brain.
  8. Spend time with friends – Staying by yourself all the time can put your brain into slowdown mode. (Solos be aware.) Friends, family and colleagues help keep you engaged in life and that keeps your brain active and working.  Being sociable is good for your brain and your spirit.  People with a strong community of friends and acquaintances live longer and happier lives in general. (Networking is good for your brain!)
  9. Eat a proper diet – Include fruits and vegetables in your diet along with whole grains and fish.
  10. Have regular check ups with the doctor – Blood pressure, blood sugar, weight, cholesterol all are important to proper brain function.  Make sure yours are in the normal range and if not work with your doctor to get them in check.
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10 warning signs – time to look for a new job

In a newsletter from Alvah Parker, a career coach,  I read about something that everyone should question him/herself from time to time about the current job and take action if necessary. So here’s the list:

  1. You get a sinking feeling on Sunday afternoon in anticipation of work on Monday.
  2. You have done your job for so long you are on automatic pilot.
  3. You are constantly getting sick or having accidents.
  4. When you talk to others you complain all the time.
  5. You never volunteer for special projects and avoid those who might give you work.
  6. You both envy and resent others who seem happy in their work.
  7. You notice that everyone else’s job seems more interesting than yours.
  8. Your friends ask you what is wrong.
  9. You know you are at the highest level that you will ever reach in the company and there is no chance for promotion.
  10. You are forced to go against your values and your integrity is being compromised.
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De ce-mi place sa merg cu trenul

“De ce oare?” te intrebi. E mai scump, nu iti ofera libertate la fel ca o masina, mai sunt si oameni in tren :)
Mie imi place in primul rand pentru ca in pretul biletului este inclusa si o portie zdravana de timp liber. Si stiu bine ca toti ne plangem ca nu avem destul timp liber. Ia in calcul cat timp liber castigi la un drum Iasi-Bucuresti de exemplu – aproximativ 6 ore – timp in care poti pune lumea (sau propria viata) la cale, poti savura o carte buna, sau poti chiar sa folosesti laptopul in diverse scopuri (in intercity au si priza de 220V). Spune-mi te rog cum faci tu toate astea la volanul supermasinii tale?

Apropo, asta nu e reclama ascunsa la CFR si nici nu am pe nimeni din familie care lucreaza acolo :)