Category Archives: 20/20 Hindsight

Analysis of past decisions with the benefit of experience.

Software Development Meme

I’ve been tagged by fellow yahoo and javascript hacker extraordinaire Matt Hackett.

How old were you when you first started programming?

I guess I was about 7 or so when I first typed BASIC commands into my dad’s DOS computer. Back then, buying a “computer game” meant you bought a book and typed it up. …Read More

Programming Puzzles and Our Mismatch Problem

In interviewing candidates for programming jobs, a common technique is to ask them to solve some programming puzzle. Makes sense, right? If the guy’s smart enough solve random silly questions, he’s probably good at programming, since that’s most of what programming is.

As it turns out, this bit of common sense is common bullshit. …Read More

Birthdays, 10,000 Hours, and the Myth of the Ding

My earliest “motion picture” memory is from the afternoon of my 3rd birthday. The footage is shot in a fish-eye lens, and a bit blurry, either because of the age of the memory or because I was always a bit nearsighted. I guess hindsight isn’t always 20/20, eh? It’s only a few …Read More

The Internet is (today) a 16 year old child

The web today is in its teenage years.

When you were a baby, you had one name (if even that, as far as you were concerned), and a very small network of people that you knew and trusted completely. Access equals trust for a baby. Identity is not worth thinking about, because it’s so …Read More

OpenSocial, Meetings, and Success

It’s a very interesting time for me at Yahoo! right now. I’d been keeping quiet about what’s going on for two big reasons. First, I’ve been too busy working to write about it. Second, it’s secret.

Well, as of 2008 March 25, it was a secret. This press release broke the news …Read More

Top 5 CSS Mistakes

This is not a post about the top 10 mistakes that developers make when they write CSS. That’s boring.

The CSS spec itself is littered with mistakes. Deep, fundamentally misguided errors. Real head-slapping WTFs that make you wonder if the people writing the spec had ever created a website in their lives. …Read More