Real-World Computing Experience Distilled

Archive for the 'Software Engineering' Category

Development Team as a Jazz Band

August 13th, 2019 Posted in Software Engineering, Team Management | Comments »

Working within a software development team is like being a member of a jazz band. Software architects convert specifications into overall designs. Engineers distill overall designs into detailed designs of individual modules. And, implementers convert detailed designs into source code. Each role has some degree of creative freedom. Each member improvises while keeping their contributions […]

Exceptions vs. Error Return Codes

April 26th, 2019 Posted in C#, C++, Software Engineering | Comments »

I have been partly responsible for maintaining legacy source code. Almost all of the code is implemented in C and therefore does not use exceptions. Much of the error handling code follows the following pattern here implemented in C++ (imagine in this example, operator new returns 0 when no memory is available): int function() { […]


December 16th, 2011 Posted in Software Engineering | 1 Comment »

Lately, I have been involved with optimizing code to improve execution time. I am still becoming familiar with a large and complex software system that is used by a multitude of end-users. Because my knowledge of the system is limited and people are dependent on the system, the scope of my modifications is focused on […]

Do Not Disturb: Working

December 28th, 2010 Posted in Software Engineering, Team Management | Comments »

Jason Fried gives a talk entitled Why Work Doesn’t Happen at Work. He presents his observation that people feel more productive when they work at places other than their office, into which companies invest heavily with the hope of maximizing worker productivity. He concludes that people find other places for work more conducive to productivity, […]

Judging a Book by Its Table of Contents

December 23rd, 2010 Posted in Personal Development, Software Engineering | Comments »

I stumbled upon a draft of a book on programming languages, which from a look over the table of contents seems to cover topics for a compiler book. Robert Harpers’s home page links to his book, Practical Foundations for Programming Languages. Whenever I find the time to read up on programming languages and compiler, I […]