December 7, 2018

Basic things we Google

I use Google a lot in my job. Not only to search things I don't know, but also things I should know very well. For a long time, I didn't feel good about it. Until, I read this stream of confessions from skilled senior developers on the Twitter. As a developer interested in graphics, I should know that using references isn't bad. Graphics use references all the time and they don't feel bad about it. In fact, it is advised to use them. The final result is what matters. In a same way, you aren't a bad coder if you don't know bubble sort from head. Or if you need to search syntax of switch statement every single time. Unless, of course, you don't know anything and you paste things from Stack Overflow mindlessly.

So I decided to ask my colleagues which basic things they have to Google when writing a code.

Luděk: As for myself, I had to recently look for enum definition in Java because of missing semicolon I wasn't able to track down. I'm also not very confident when writing for loop from memory because I'm overusing NetBeans auto-completion way too much. System.out.println() is in my head forever saved as sys, CTRL+B, Enter. God bless the auto-completion.

Tomáš: Despite having 7 years of experience as a dedicated DB developer, I have to Google the syntax for CREATE TABLE command almost every time. Please don’t tell my boss.

Juraj: I’m still waiting for the day, when I will be able to use basic UNIX commands like grep, or find, or God forbid, curl with parameters correctly on the first try (relevant XKCD - https://xkcd.com/1168/).

Tibor: When de/compressing .tar.gz files, I always have to google the correct parameters.

Vojta: I'm pretty sure I'll never be able to use C getopt function correctly without copy-pasting it from an obscure online tutorial. Actually, this goes even for the most simple C Makefile… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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September 3, 2018

Coalescence of Business & IT and the delayed train

I was wondering since I am in a business and since I am in an IT, why these two sectors were seen separately for such a long time. It seems last few years people started realising they can work together. Nowadays, they are many companies based simply on the digital products, look at Airbnb, Uber, Google, Spotify.. without the technology and some algorithms plus great programmers they are nothing.

Business business business
Business business business

But! Let's stop for a moment there. These companies grabs the best of IT, technology world and base their Business on a digital world. How is it with companies providing services though? For instance banks, insurance companies, city transport state companies, railway companies and many others. Are they using technology? Are they using it effectively and do they even know the possibilities? Sometimes, as we all know, it is way more about "do they want to know the possibilities of optimisation of the business or it's just all working fiiiiine for them without trying to find new ways?". I have seen many times as companies, startups or individuals are jumping for more of the technology, when they are getting in a great lost, when they are desperately trying to save the business. But shouldn't it be the other way? Technology helping to grow the business as soon as possible? Providing to people the best service and to the company a great revenue asap?

I remember some months ago I was at a Hackathon for Ostrava transport and I realized how the company works. How the people works. You see, Ostrava has one of the most optimized city transport (which I would not guess until I've seen it) and one of the most modern one (you could buy a ticket in a tram/bus by card way before you could do in Prague, which is kind of ironic as it is the main city full of tourists.^^) Why in Ostrava? Because they are people who wants to change things, because there are people trying to move the mountain doing hackathons, educating themselves about datas and new technologies. Indeed, crazy ideas (in the best meaning of the word) were presented in the hackathon as a face-recognition machine learning to say, if people are satisfied with the services or data visualisation of people using the transport. That could lead to optimized timetable of tram lines where is a very low traffic and vice versa to support transport lines with a big amount of people trying to get from a point A to a point B. And it is so simple, all the people attending the hackathon tried to help with the technology and find the best solution by their own approach. Thumbs up for that.

Wasting money
Wasting money

The same should work for the banks, the insurance companies and all great corporates. They all seem to have internal IT team. We had lately discussion with a friend of mine, if these IT teams have the same range of visions and passions for the technology and with that bringing the quality and freshness. It is indeed so hard to accept the modern technology, the growth or using open sources instead of heavy big old softwares - saving thousands of Euros just with this little change? Or even just having a different project management than the waterfall. Fortunately, there are companies, which are trying to find the way to provide better, faster and cheaper service with a smart usage of the IT, softwares, BI and other technologies.

Still, they are some others, that needs to optimize way more and maybe have different approach to things. Because maybe, if they are willing to use more of the modern technology, approaches.. I would not sit in an hour delayed train on 2,5 hours journey again and again. So, maybe let's do a hackathon to bring brainstorm ideas on how to provide a better service to the travelers.

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