“Before you speak, listen. Before you write, think. Before you spend, earn. Before you invest, investigate. Before you criticize, wait. Before you pray, forgive. Before you quit, try. Before you retire, save. Before you die, give.”

Monday, April 26, 2010

Biking the metric century and Ruby

So I am back on the bike and although I did not loose any weight recently I managed to get back on the bike for 3 weeks now.
For the weekend I brought my Decathlon hybrid bike to Bucharest from my hometown.
It was a 5h 120 km long trip with a lot of tail wind :) making me coast with 25km/h.
I was tired but I managed to break my old 7h and a half record with the Dahon.
Kind of scary considering I will have to do 275 km this Saturday and Sunday together with more trained people at a 24 km/h average (without the tail wind).Guess I will post Monday morning about it.
Also as a programmer I started to learn Ruby as a new programming language.
Funny enough it is a scripting language but is very popular and then I do agree that a true programmer must be capable of learning more than 1 language.
So I am a Java programmer but being able to use Php and/or Ruby means I am not limited to one (albeit very good ) technology when finding the solution to problems and that is an advantage.
On the other hand I do not think I will ever master Ruby as much as I do master Java.
While choosing this new language I was debating between Python and Ruby .. and I still am a bit but as my favorite "guru" Martin Fowler supports Ruby .. and as the "pragmatic programmers" chose Ruby I need to investigate it first.
I have in my mind to write 2 apps to replace my current Java and PHP ones.
One in Ruby (intranet) and one in Python (online on Google App Engine).
Meanwhile I want to start on my Architect certification but apparently can't afford it.

Written from my Thinkpad.

Monday, April 12, 2010

An old 2006 post ..to remember

Here is what I thought on J2EE and PHP in 2006 :) 4 years ago:

I used to develop with PHP because I had no J2EE tech experience.
I wanted to develop something fast .. with PHP it really worked (I was in my 4th year at the university)-and I am thankful for that ...
as I had a strong C background then.
At my previous work place I was employed as a Java web programmer but then forced to switch to PHP because they said that J2EE was not worth it
... thinking back about the bussiness I would agree now .
Let me tell you why I moved to J2EE
1) I have a BsC in CS and PHP programming has no methodology attached(I would like to see some design methodology applied to PHP but can't)
, no patterns that you can use as guideline .. except when you already know them from other languages and implement them willingly .. .that's not always the case.
2) When my ex-boss gave me the specifications for a new project they where so scarce that it all sounded like monkey bussiness ..
do something that looks good and it's simple (easy to say for the boss). I had to reuse code from the existing codebase (written in a spaghetti form) but using
the high-tech method copy-paste (or monkey see -monkey do).
3) Being a PHP programmer .. as amazing as it is for a beginner in programming languages is seen as an underqualified job for a person with a BsC in CS and you are
paid accordingly : I now earn 70% more as a beginner web programmer in J2EE then as a PHP experienced (3 years) programmer.- I learned patterns .UML , EJB , algorithms ,OO tehniques and stuff that a PHP programmer does not need to care about.
As a PHP programmer I had difficulties explaining why we should use Smarty at my work place .... they thought it was a waste of time to separate bussiness logic from presentation .. and stood by the idea until I left (I used to develop my code with OOP when posissible and they called the best thing for code reuse indentation(to copy-paste it better).
4)Bussiness applicationes (E-Bussiness) demand the use of J2EE desperately .. PHP is really behind here.
Of course if I want to develop some blog site it would be ok to use PHP and Apache2 and place it on my old k6-II server with a MySQL support.
But ... if I want something like E-bay or Amazon .... I can't even think about the complexity involved with PHP.
As a hobby or as freelancing PHP rocks ... just don't use it for bank operations
PS : What really amazed me was when some of my colleaques presented their graduate projects (with advanced software engineering tech involved) in PHP
while I struggled to develop it in Java (without EJB it's true) - they have done a nice job and followed rules from SE ..
but for me PHP was not even on the list for a serious project.

For the record this post was also written on my old Thinkpad .. I love the machine if only it would be reliable.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Back on the bike.

I admit it . I am unable to keep a diet :) . I managed to loose 20 kg in 2 months .. and now I am putting it all back.
Because I am a bit desperate I managed to fix my Dahon D7HG (with the help of 2 bikeshops).
The only big problem I have now is the fact that my Shimano Nexus 7 needs some adjustement and nobody can do it for me.
So recently I managed to get some riding ... about 100 kms in 2 long weekends.Needless to say after each ride I feel better , more relaxed and in a state of deep harmony with everything around (yes .. Nirvana,flow .. you name it it's great).
Starting tomorrow I will start commuting to work again and see whether the magic effects of biking work. They usually do :).
I am committed to doing about 100 km /week .. with 24km commute/ day I should easily get to 120km + other shopping rides .. it should do the trick.
People are starting to get back in their cars and today the used car fair organized each Sunday in Bucharest caused major road blocks .. it looks like we finally finished with the economic crisis. I will keep riding my bikes nevertheless.
Also I am trying to do a group ride on May 1st Bucharest-Urziceni -Constanta .. a 2 day touring trip for which I will take the old hybrid (the big wheel size is suited for touring ).
I decided to continue to improve my concentration skills and for once not to try to switch jobs again .. some continuum is required in my career.
And the best part .. my Thinkpad is working .. with interruptions so I am typing this on my old (2005) R51. I will not buy another laptop .. not ever again at least not for serious development work.
I bought an Asus K52 JR for my wife and guess what it is also overheating .. a brand new 2010 laptop.
Oups .. had to switch back to the desktop to finish the post .. damn Thinkpad died again .. so not more then 1h of productivity .. kind of forces you to be in the zone.