Month: February 2014

A Software Developer’s Reading List

Check out this great reading list for Software Developers. If you’re thinking of getting into this line of work, or you’re in it but want to bring up your game, this instant library should be helpful in building good work habits out of best practices.

Steve Wedig's Notes

“An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” – Benjamin Franklin

Many of the best software developers have T-Shaped Skills: Deep expertise in programming and software development, and broad knowledge of diverse areas including testing, DevOps, UX design, team organization, customer interaction, and their domain areas. While there is unfortunately no substitute for experience, reading is probably the next best thing. Over the past 10 years I’ve read a lot in an effort to deepen and broaden my knowledge as a software developer. Along the way I’ve been organizing books and concepts into the reading list I share below. I have been trying to design a core curriculum for “modern” software development by asking myself:

  • What core concepts are required to be a world class software developer?
  • What is the best book for introducing and teaching each concept?

The result is a…

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The Homelab Resurrection Begins

I’ve been working full time in IT for about 20 years now, and I’ve had computers at home for a little over 30 years. My personal interests and passions sometimes lead me to getting a bit carried away. There was one point in my life where I had over 300 computers in a 1,500 square foot house. Yes, really.

After the pain of moving several times, tearing down and rebuilding the home lab, it got to be too much. I tired of $1,000 electricity bills every month. I tired of the noise, the heat. And when I moved back from Pennsylvania to North Carolina about 10 years ago, I distributed 99% of my hardware to the winds and didn’t take it with me.

The industry has changed tremendously in the last 10 years, as IT is wont to do. The skills I use today bear superficial resemblance to those I had to bring to bear back then. And I’m learning so much of it on the job now. This has led me to a good bit of frustration, knowing I have to focus on delivering value to my employer even if that means I can’t dive as deeply into something new as I’d like, or take a little extra time to really deeply grok a new thing.

The homelab was always great for this. I dare say I had, for many years, a more impressive and resilient infrastructure in my house than I was ever allowed to create for any of my employers. It worked, it worked well, and there was a certain pride in good engineering work that went with it all. I kind of miss it. Even the heat and the whining fans. (more…)