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redsquirrel (2149)

  {dave} {at} {}

I started learning Perl when I was 26. Perl was my first programming language. I like Perl a lot.

Journal of redsquirrel (2149)

Sunday September 08, 2002
07:32 AM

Moving my journal

Since my thoughts and daily activities are decreasingly Perl-centric, I have moved my journal to the Red Squirrel Blog.
Thursday August 08, 2002
01:33 AM

Post XP Universe 2002

XP Universe 2002 has ended and it was amazing. I learned a lot of stuff, but that goes without saying, since I know so little. But what was even more valuable about my time there was the informal interactions I had with people.

I got to know 6 Chicago-based guys and this is really cool. All of them attend ChAD and the conversations we had were excellent. It is so energizing to talk with people who get excited about the same things I do.

Tuesday had some big highlights for me:

  • Participated in a live XP mini-project developing a Ruby web application. I am now very interested in Ruby.
  • While I was coding with my pair, Ron Jeffries and Martin Fowler stood behind us for about 10 minutes, watching.
  • At lunch there was an empty seat next to me for a while. Then there wasn't. Kent Beck sat next to me. It was awesome to be able to talk to him about OpenSpace and his upcoming book Test-Driven Development.

I can't wait to start my new position at work now!

Wednesday May 22, 2002
05:39 AM

Finding my niche

After reading Extreme Programming Explained, my excitement about XP exploded. Just when I thought I was getting caught up, I once again have way too many books on my wish list. There is an interesting overlap between XP and narrative therapy, a postmodern theory of family therapy that was the subject of my master's thesis. Because of my formal training in psychology and family systems, I feel like I can provide a unique perspective on the thinking behind XP.

But, as usual, I need to learn more, much more. I am becoming active in ChAD, the Chicago Agile Developers group. I am thankful that so many great thinkers in XP are located in the Chicago area, along with the upcoming XP Universe. I believe that in XP and the agile methodologies, I have found my niche, an arena where my formal training and passion for technology can be brought together to contribute in novel ways.

Back to work...

Tuesday April 23, 2002
04:45 AM

XP and Java

At work, I have been given the opportunity to get some J2EE training and work on some Java projects. I am excited about this because I love to learn and I am very interested to see how Java development compares to Perl development. Yes, and of course, I am also excited because Java is great for the resume.

At the same time, I finally picked up Extreme Programming Explained and started wandering around XP excites me. The more I read about it, the more I want to start implementing these ideas in my projects for Red Squirrel and at work. I can already see it affecting the way I approach my code.

Thursday March 14, 2002
08:51 PM


On the advice of brian d foy I opened a Sourceforge project for PGAS. It has saved me a lot of time. Strangely enough, this extra time seems to have disappeared. I have developed a terminal case of featuritis.
Friday March 01, 2002
02:20 PM

The Perl Review

I have taken on the Perl Golf column for The Perl Review with Jerome Quelin. All problems with "too much free time" have been solved.
Monday December 31, 2001
01:27 AM

Perl Golf

I was recently introduced to Perl Golf when Ton Hospel announced the Open Ircnet #perl Golf Challenge on c.l.p.m. What an addicting game! My score royally sucked compared to the real players, but I learned a ton about Perl.

It forced me to read a lot of documentation about functions and switches that I don't normally use. It forced me to approach problems in a new way. These are Good Things.

Saturday December 08, 2001
03:29 AM

Restless Again

I guess the fact that 2am has come and gone is evidence that I've got a few things on my mind. I find myself full of more impatience and hubris than ever before.

I just read some of Bertrand Meyer's writings and my mind is full of crazy thoughts. I've been reading a lot of different stuff lately...Larry Wall interviews, The Design of Everyday Things, various perldocs on module creation. I can't get enough. There are more books on my book list than I could read in a week. :)

I'm still not sure if my "inner catch-up motor" is a blessing or a curse. In 5 hours from now when the kids wake up...I'll probaly think it's a curse.

Here's a quote from Larry that describes how I've felt for a long time...

I think God put me here for a reason. I remember walking down the halls in my high school and getting this tremendous sense of destiny. Like I was supposed to do something really great. It was a really weird feeling. I feel like if I have an accurate view of myself, it frees me to be both humble and a megalomaniac at the same time.

Thursday November 29, 2001
11:58 AM

Project Collaboration

I think I'm getting just a taste of what being part of an open source project must be like. Although I knew it from reading, experiencing the collaboration to create something that no single participant could have created alone is better than I had imagined. The sum is truly great than its parts.

The project participants are the people who make up Red Squirrel Design...which are me, my brother Paul and my best friend Yo. Our goal is to create an online media production that introduces people to the character of God.

I had dreamed of doing this in a year or so, but it seems to have started itself and is moving forward much faster than I could have imagined. There is an excitement in our collaboration that perpetuates our desire to create something unique for God.

Tuesday November 27, 2001
12:03 PM

A Convergence

I am thoroughly enjoying The Psychology of Computer Programming. It's amazing that principles written over 30 years ago can still be so relevant today. Weinberg's present-day comments about his original writing are giving me a new perspective on how the field of Computer Programming has evolved.

It is nice to put my psychological thinking cap on again too. It was a thrill to read Weinberg's discussion of the impact that "Studying with family therapists such as Viginia Satir" (p. 5iii) had on him. He also spoke of how Satir helped him understand how to teach programmers to cope with crisis situations. Wow, maybe my formal training will be of practical use to me someday!

But for now, I've got to keep working on catching my programming skills up with my psychological and therapeutic skills. Back to work...