The main reason science works is, of course, the scientific method. It forces rigor into the process and it’s what began to fork hard science from philosophy. Engineering, while not a science per se, is a sibling discipline. …


The principle of DRY code is probably one of the most important bedrocks of professional programming. It’s a hallmark of what separates an amateur coder from a legitimate engineer: thinking ahead; designing your codebase; making it flexible, modular, and maintainable.

If you haven’t come across the acronym before, it stands…


It doesn’t take long to appreciate a great software tester. And it doesn’t matter if she’s a manual tester or writes automated tests, because what really matters are the types of tests being run: curious tests. Tests that don’t just discover a bug and quickly document it away in a…


First, let me reassure you that they don’t: 50 years of research have shown us that if anything, incentives demotivate employees. And not just developers, but any job that requires some thought beyond mechanistic, rote work like the assembly line.

This is succinctly explained in the most popular RSA Animate…


Way back in the year 2000, the venerable Joel Spolsky wrote a blog post called Painless Functional Specifications — Part 1: Why Bother? It was the first of a four-part series on writing functional specs, and it featured a tale of two software companies: Hasty Bananas Software (HBS) and The…


You know those recipe websites filled mostly with the backstory of how they discovered this amazing cookie recipe that changes their lives, and what joy it brings their three free-spirited, yet precocious children every time they make the cookies? …


I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees.

“The Lorax”, 1971

This was Dr. Seuss’ favorite of his books. If you haven’t come across it, it’s a great fable about a woodland creature who keeps warning an industrialist to stop cutting down all the Truffula trees; but the guy…


This is the third and final part of a series on opera and software. Part 1 explained why they’re related, part 2 explained the development process used to produce an opera, and this part explores what can be applied to the software development process.

But first, the disclaimers: I’ve never…


This is the second of a three-part series on opera and software. Part 1 explained why they’re related, this explains the process used to produce an opera, and the last part explores what can be applied to the software development process.

Before I go any further, some disclaimers are in…


Over the past decade, I’ve done eight seasons with the Sarasota Opera. The usual reaction I get is either “Wow, I didn’t know you could sing!” or “I could totally see you as an opera singer!” I’m never quite sure if that second one is meant to be a compliment…

Gabriel Jiva

Software. Management. Shmanagement.

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