P4 Blog

  • September 25, 2013

    In the spirit of our continuing efforts to 'Version Everything', we added an exciting new feature to Swarm that will make code review even easier: versioned reviews.

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  • September 24, 2013

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  • September 24, 2013

    Image: shadphotos w/Flickr

    As Neal Stephenson wrote, "In the Beginning was the Command Line", and for many of us we are still there. Living in a terminal will quickly make a keyboard bigot of anyone; it is the lightsaber to the blaster that is the mouse. Why reach for that thing a full foot away when a quick key press takes barely a thought? Even when using websites, especially my dearly departed friend Google Reader, I rely on keyboard shortcuts to speed my workflow and save me from a repetitive stress injury.

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  • September 23, 2013

    So, you're about to start a new project and hear that there's a wonderful new development approach that's dramatically reducing time to market and increasing customer satisfaction. Sounds pretty exciting, let's go!

    Hold on, how do you get started and maximize chances of success?

    Well, the first step is probably to stop drinking the Kool-A-aid and step back from the keyboard for a while!

    We've heard a lot about lots of wonderful new methodologies over the last 30 years or so and some have even worked. For example, teams that have adopted Agile methods in a serious and pragmatic way have seen great improvements in productivity and customer satisfaction compared to traditional waterfall lifecycles.

    The latest and greatest IT approach that's generating a lot of buzz is "Continuous Delivery" - building a development and release pipeline where early feedback, automated build and test with incremental deployments into production can dramatically speed up release cycles. As with many of these new ideas, it turns out that a lot of teams have been doing it for years although perhaps not using that name. At the Perforce Merge 2013 Conference over 40 organizations nominated themselves for an award in the Perforce Versionairies Continuous Delivery category. That suggests success is absolutely possible and there's a lot of experience that can be called on to learn from.

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  • September 20, 2013

    Image: epicture's (more off than on) w/Flickr

    Neil Gaiman says of writing:

    "Being a writer is a very peculiar sort of a job: it's always you versus a blank sheet of paper (or a blank screen) and quite often the blank piece of paper wins."

    I think this is often true for coders as well. For me at least just getting something basic rendering is the break in the dam that lets the rest of the application out of my head. It's a demonstration that you have a basic understanding of the language and framework that you are trying to work with.

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  • September 19, 2013

    I've been thinking a lot recently about how we know when software development is going well and was reminded of a sketch from one of my favourite comedy shows: ‘Definite Article’ by Eddie Izzard (if you haven’t seen it, you really should). There’s a part of the show where he talks about shopping for fruit, and how we all squeeze the fruit to check if it’s ripe; Eddie asks how we know how to do this? “Is that good? I’m squeezing about this much - is that good squeezy?” (It’s about 4m 45s into this YouTube video)

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