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Your plumbing example is an interesting one, and I think you dismiss it too quickly. It is very valuable for a lot of people to have some simple plumbing skills. Do you really need to call a plumber every time you need to snake a drain? I can change a valve, or swap out a toilet, or replace a drain by myself. I wouldn't try to plumb a house (at least, not one I intend to live in), but having some basic skills in a lot of fields can save you calling some very expensive professionals, and allows you to better communicate with them when you have problems that are beyond your skill level. I don't see why any of us would object to people picking up some basic programming skills. I don't think the major intends to give up his day job to focus on his code.
Toggle Commented May 17, 2012 on Please Don't Learn to Code at Coding Horror
This strikes me as being about the same as this: http://xkcd.com/592/
Toggle Commented May 2, 2012 on Trust Me, I'm Lying at Coding Horror
You can pretty much tell how big the company someone works for is by their comments here. Remember the n-squared communications problem? Big companies, with thousands or tens of thousands of employees, tens of product areas, and lots of non-development staff (marketers, writers, sales, long-term strategy people, etc) need meetings to make certain everyone stays in the loop and everyone is working towards the same goal. If they try to keep everyone up-to-date on everything all the time no one has time to do anything but read project updates. So you have meetings where you communicate with other groups on the project you're working on, you have meetings for high-level updates on other projects that aren't expected to affect you, but may in ways other people haven't noticed. You have meetings with your internal stakeholders to make sure that what you're doing meets their needs. You can get rid of the meetings, but you're only going to increase the communications overhead by forcing people to constantly be ready to discuss any of those topics, rather than confining it to a 1-hour timeslot that people can prepare for.
Toggle Commented Feb 21, 2012 on Meetings: Where Work Goes to Die at Coding Horror
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Feb 14, 2012