Here Be Dragons: Finding the Joy in Software Development
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Here Be Dragons: Finding the Joy in Software Development

The Secret Agenda #2

About the Book

Developing real skill, to the point of mastery, requires deliberate practice. You can't get that from a book. However, a book can act as a guide. In the mountaineering world, for example, guidebooks share the experience of climbers who have climbed the route before you. They tell you what you need to know, but you still need to climb the route yourself. A guidebook's information may be indispensable, but the book won't carry you up the mountain. There's a skill we can practice right here in the book. We'll be taking deep dive after deep dive to learn how it really was or learn how something works "under the covers." I'll do my best to make things heavy going while keeping it fun. For my part I'm having fun providing you the challenge!

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  • Categories

    • Computers and Programming
    • Software Engineering
    • Computing History
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About the Author

Ed Barnard
Edward Barnard

Edward Barnard has experienced two consecutive 20-year careers in software development. He soldered together his first computer from a handful of resistors, diodes, switches, and lights in 1968 at age 10. He taught himself FORTRAN IV two years later. High school brought BASIC. College introduced ALGOL, assembly language, and Pascal.

His first career was operating system development amongst the wizards of Cray Research. Ed's second 20-year career has been web software development for countless clients, companies, and projects. He enjoys sharing what he's learned along the way through magazine articles, books, and speaking at conferences. He and wife Susan get outdoors when they can to camp the Minnesota winter with no mosquitoes.

Edward Barnard

Episode 220

Table of Contents

  •  
    • About Here Be Dragons
  • Part I: Dragons
    • Chapter 1. Gate Keeping
      • Burnout
      • Gate Keeping
      • The Unix Guru
      • On the Shoulders of Giants
      • Summary
    • Chapter 2. Shoulders of Giants
      • Have Fun with the Dragons
      • Safe Arrival
      • Round Tapes
      • Channel Extender
      • Horseshoes
      • Patterns in the Noise
      • Channel Commands
      • Spotting Weirdness
      • Deliberate Practice
      • Dragon Wrangling
      • Summary
    • Chapter 3. Imposter Syndrome
      • Imposter Syndrome
      • Different Way of Thinking
      • Software Training
      • Paying it Forward
      • Wizard Thinking
      • The Dark Side
      • Shoulders of Giants
      • The Gatekeeper
      • Resources
      • Summary
  • Part II: Fun Takes Skill
    • Chapter 4. It Was Nothing, They Said
      • Dash Pig
      • Leap Day
      • Y2K Bug
      • Perspective
      • The Wizards
      • Magnetic Tape
      • Deadline
      • Modern Legacy Code
      • Summary
    • Chapter 5. My First CRAY-1
      • The Cray Way
      • CRAY-1 Arrives
      • Bare Metal
      • Memory Banks
      • Row Major and Column Major
      • Summary
    • Chapter 6. Big Iron
      • Fast Forward
      • Scalar Logical
      • Scalar Shift
      • Special Register Values
      • Listing One
      • Instruction Buffer
      • Line Three
      • Scalar Merge
      • Listing Three
      • Functional Unit Segmentation
      • I/O Subsystem
      • Summary
    • Chapter 7. Vacuum Tube Blackjack
      • Oak Ridge Laboratory
      • Epic Folklore
      • Fast Forward
      • LGP-30 Programming
      • Core Memory
      • Porting Blackjack
      • Running the Numbers
      • User Guide
      • ROAR
      • Infinite Loop
      • Problem Analysis
      • Reflecting
      • Beyond Blackjack
      • Computing History Archives
      • Warming Up the LGP-30
      • When It Fits
      • Summary
  • Part III: Ethical Thinking
    • Chapter 8. Silicon Valley Takedown
      • Bad Behavior
      • Conga Line
      • A View to a Kill
      • Picking Rocks
      • Historic Game Plan
      • Remembering Microsoft
      • Getting Serious
      • Summary
    • Chapter 9. Transcontinental Railroad
      • Railroading
      • Nat and Mary Bowditch
      • Clipper Ships
      • Great Northern Railway
      • Daniel Boone
      • Summary
    • Chapter 10. The Bigger They Come
      • Modern Hiking Trails
      • Checkerboarding
      • Trolling the Bar Association
      • Summary
    • Chapter 11. The First Silicon Valley Unicorn Startup
      • Six Flags
      • Gold
      • Boston
      • Marshall
      • Travel Guide
      • Stretching a Point
      • Wells Fargo
      • Summary
    • Chapter 12. The Train Wreck
      • Day of Death
      • When Safety is Optional
      • 35 Fewer Employees Killed
      • Immoral Profit Strategies
      • Our Code of Ethics
      • Unsafe Power Imbalance
      • WhatsApp and Signal
      • Walk Away?
      • Summary
    • Chapter 13. “Incipient” Battles
      • Looking Forward
      • What Does History Tell Us?
      • Pinkerton
      • Summary
    • Chapter 14. Safe Havens Then and Now
      • St. Paul’s Layover Agreement
      • The Bot Concession
      • A Piece of the Action
      • Twitter Takes a Look
      • Impact
      • Summary
  • Part IV: High-Level Thinking
    • Chapter 15. The Poker Player
      • Combinations
      • Evaluator
      • Royal Flush
      • Straight Flush
      • The Winning Hand
      • Summary
    • Chapter 16. When the World Shifts
      • When My World Shifted
      • Welcome
      • The American Black Chamber
      • Madame X
      • False Sense of Security
      • Flag Visits
      • Summary
    • Chapter 17. Machine Learning and Yoda
      • Errors Increase
      • Before Yoda
      • Return of the Yoda
      • Excruciating Type Coercion
      • String Wrappers
      • Fun Fact
      • Summary
    • Chapter 18. Abstract Thinking
      • Trees Obscure the Forest
      • Patterns
      • Data Flow
      • Producer and Consumer
      • Observer
      • Summary
  • Part V: Low-Level Thinking
    • Chapter 19. Profile of the “Real Programmer”
      • Coding Challenges
      • Fizz Buzz
      • Recursion
      • Whiteboard Interview
      • Insecurities
      • Profile Describing a Real Programmer
      • Track and Field
      • Fizz Buzz Practice
      • Learning
      • Summary
    • Chapter 20. Think Like a Computer
      • Primary
      • Popular Electronics
      • Turing Tumble
      • Crypto
      • Flow
      • Journey Versus Destination
      • Summary
    • Chapter 21. The Basics With a Side of Crypto
      • Crypto Problem
      • What We’ll Learn
      • The Library
      • Numbering Systems
      • Logical Operations
      • Ones’ Complement Arithmetic
      • Two’s Complement Arithmetic
      • The Calculation
      • Learning
      • Summary
    • Chapter 22. Design an Algorithm in Your Head
      • Donald Knuth
      • Conversion
      • Algorithm
      • Decimal to Hexadecimal
      • Hexadecimal to Decimal
      • Base 62
      • Summary
    • Chapter 23. Turtles All the Way Down
      • Turtles
      • Show Me the Code
      • Learn by Doing
      • Learn by Studying
      • The Blogs
      • PHP Source
      • Browsing Source
      • String Position
      • Summary
    • Chapter 24. Deep Dive
      • PHP and C
      • File Execution
      • Runtime PHP
      • Hash Table
      • Hash Table Collisions
      • Collision Resolution
      • Dynamic Resizing
      • PHP Hash Table
      • Compact Hash Table
      • Patterns in the Code
      • Working With the Codebase
      • Summary
  • Part VI: Reaching Wizard Level
    • Chapter 25. Soylent Green
      • Where is the Soylent Green?
      • The Disconnect
      • The Trouble with Tribbles
      • The Key Force at Work
      • Iteration
      • Summary
    • Chapter 26. Wizard Thinking
      • Amongst the Wizards
      • Expect Life-Long Learning
      • Learning is Part of the Development Time
      • The Marines
      • The Forester or Ecologist
      • Shoulders of Giants
      • Spotting Patterns in the Noise
      • Summary
    • What’s Next
  • Notes

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