Saturday, October 25, 2008

Organically grown software

I've come up with a pretty good idea (at work) and I have been working on it on-and-off since March '07 now. I'm going to chronicle my experince here for mostly my own amusement. 

The timeline for the project is something like:
  • September'07 - faced with a problem I decided to come up with a generic solution that a few of my coworkers can use
  • October '07 - Priorities/focus shift and the problem I am faced with is no longer urgent. I put this on the back-burner and drift off to several other side projects
  • Oct'07  - March '08 - a few code contributions here and there. The project is overengineered to the point where the focus is kind of lost
  • Febuary '08 - talks with another co-worker from a different group spark some interest and I do a 30 minute presentation for about 15people from 3 different offices
  • after the presentation I realize exactly that this project is way to ambitious and over-engineered to be feasable, useable and stable so spent some time ripping out bad features
  • March '08 - I hold an office-wide naming contest to come up with a name for what I'm doing
  • July '08 - more refactoring, test cases, and narrowing of focus
  • August '08 - the problem from Sept '07 comes back into focus but is assigned to an employee on my team. Since I am able to dictate the terms of the project, my side-project comes into play
  • August '08 - Another employee is confronted with the same problem and succumbs to using my work as well
  • October '08 - I woo yet another potential user
My immediate goals are these
  • release into production a working version as soon as possible 
  • leverage the oodles of existing code that others have written for similar tasks
  • elicit as much feed back as possible
  • advertize the product - entice more users
  • keep the design flexilbe and robust

Assassin's Creed

Just beat Assassin's Creed on my PS3

The plot was a little weak and slightly predictable. The protagonist aggressible alluded to something being wrong and thus the plot twists were fairly obvious throughout the whole game.

The fighting action is a little mundane and only gets hard in the last 3 missions. The jumping and climbing is fun but also very repetative.

As negative as the above sounds, the game has some pleasant predictability and is visually pleasing enough to play. 
Overall I'd give it a B+ and would buy the sequel after a year. 

By the way, the trailers on YouTube for Assassin's Creed 2 are fake

Monday, October 20, 2008

Netherland - Joseph O'Neill

New Yorker book review seem to speak favoribly about this book. I picked it up from @fanatoly.

It offered a glimpse into Dutch / English upper-middle class culture, rare glimpses into early 2000's i-banking and talked alot about familiar to me parts of Brooklyn.

There were 3 different tracks of thought in this book.
A portion of it discussed cricket, a large parf of it involved divorce and brooding over life, and some slight bits of a Londoner's impression of Brooklyn


This was just a terrible movie and a big waste of time. It had none of the Anchorman funny I excpected.