The Scandalous Story of the Dreadful Code Written by the Best of Us

The Scandalous Story of the Dreadful Code Written by the Best of Us

There are overlooked corners of our codebases. Ignored, unloved. Unimportant. Or so we thought. What was once inconsequential has—somehow—grown into ghastly mess. This talk tells the story of one such mess, and the taming of it.

October 2016

Mind the Gap

Mind the Gap

How do you learn Go? First do the tour. Then read the language spec. Then write a lot of code. This works for a lot of people, but for some the gap between the tour and the spec is a vast chasm. This talk explores ways we might bridge this gap, and make Go accessible to a broader audience.

July 2016

Cultivating Instinct

Cultivating Instinct

This talk examines the topic of perceptual learning through the lens of theory and practice—research and anecdotes—and speculates how it can be deployed strategically to train new experts.

July 2016

The Bait and Switch of Open Source

The Bait and Switch of Open Source

Open Source sells itself as being about technical problems--delightfully thorny technical problems, at that. However, successful projects are filled with people, which introduces a whole different set of problems.

May 2016

Succession: A Refactoring Story

Succession: A Refactoring Story

Refactoring sometimes devolves into an appalling mess. You're chasing a broken test suite, and every change just makes it worse. An even more insidious antipattern is the slow, perfectly controlled process culminating in dreadful design.

May 2016

Here Be Dragons

Here Be Dragons

This is a review of some code that has gone horribly, horribly wrong, and examines some of the underlying forces that drive us to write terrible code.

April 2015

Overkill

Overkill

Overkill walks through several iterations solving a single toy problem, starting with a naive solution, and then identifying and addressing code smells, one by one.

October 2014

Hacking Passion

Hacking Passion

Talent is bullshit. Skill is cultivated. Passion is curated.

August 2013

Therapeutic Refactoring

Therapeutic Refactoring

Therapeutic Refactoring is a story about taking complicated, untested code and changing it in small, safe steps to make it easier to understand.

August 2012