Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Stuck in the back seat

My first week with pair programming has had mixed results. While the first couple of tasks came in way under the estimated time because we seem to be working twice as fast, the new guy wasn't feeling very productive. It seems that I was not giving him sufficient time and he had that "lost in the back seat" feeling.

I've read that the back-seat driver shouldn't be stuck back there all the time. We're going to aim to be driving only 50% of the time. Maybe that will make things smoother for the both of us.

The other item that is adversely affecting the pair programming experience is that we're in two different locations, me in Canada and him in the USA. As a result, our schedules don't mesh together as well as when the pair of programmers are physically in the same place. Our answer to this is to do pair programming half the time and individual tasks the other half of the time.

Overall, I think it has been going well, because I'm learning new things. Others have said that the craftsman's skill is extended by the apprentice's questions and thinking outside of the box and I definitely agree. I think this is one of the reasons why pair-programming enhances productivity.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Article I read

I've been reading a lot about Ruby on Rails lately. Built on Ruby, this full stack web framework is getting a lot of attention. Even IBM is getting in on the action, as shown by Fast-track your Web apps with Ruby on Rails, an article at IBM developerWorks.

VMware

I went to the VMware Virtualization Workshop yesterday. It was great, and packed. The place was sold out, partially because they were giving a free license to Workstation 5 to all the attendees.

I love the idea of putting all my development servers on my desktop. Fortunately, I have 2GB of RAM, so I can do this.

I've had my Ubuntu cd for a while with no place to try it out. Now, I think I'll use it for my first trial VM. Ubuntu and Debian are not on the Guest Operating System list, but I've got to try it anyways.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

The new guy

I spend my days developing an eCommerce website. Even though I've been at this job for a while, the list of requirements keeps growing, so we've hired a new guy to help me out.

I thought I would give him the benefit of my experience, teaching him such things as eCommerce, RUP and project management. However, he has turned the tables on me and now I'm learning Eclipse, Spring and Hibernate. This is going to be interesting.

Reboot

I read a lot of blogs regularly, sometimes for enjoyment, but mostly because of the helpful hints they contain. Blogs like those from Craig McClanahan, Matt Raible and Rick Hightower, to name a few. They help me a lot in my work, so I think I'll pay it forward and start helping others. I'll post about the technologies I work with and the things I learn.