Posts

Showing posts from September, 2009

Mobile Phone Watch Review

Image
Yesterday (well, today in North America) around noon, my birthday present to myself arrived. Direct from China, a mobile phone watch!

I had reserved expectations, considering it was fairly cheap, but I must say I've been very impressed by the capabilities so far.

It comes with a wireless Bluetooth headphone clip, capable of playing stereo music and two-way conversations. It's even smart enough to pause your music when there's an incoming call, then resume it when you hang up.

Now, I did come across a bit of a glitch with the Bluetooth (USB and Bluetooth are so ubiquitous, and so flakey). It seems that when the AVCTP protocol (which lets you control the music player via the control stick on the clip) is active, the sound gets choppy and distorted. However, if you disable that (which isn't really needed), everything seems to work smoothly.

The interface is a touchscreen that can be controlled:
Using your fingernail -- surprisingly, you can do about 90% of what you need th…

How many mediocre programmers does it take to...

Image
How many mediocre programmers does it take to replace a good programmer?

The answer is: Trick question.No amount of mediocre programmers will ever replace a good one.

Let's say your good programmer has a "productivity factor" of 1.0. We'll take this to mean that he or she gets 1 "unit" of productive, production-ready software shipped per day.

The reality is that even an average programmer might not have a positive productivity factor. If you look at their productivity over the long term, it might actually be something like -0.1 or lower, meaning that overall they cause more work for others than they actually complete themselves. They basically just slow the good ones down.

Furthermore, every programmer you add to a project adds overhead -- both in communication and complexity of the code. So adding two mediocre programmers is even worse than adding just one.

Software development is an extremely complex discipline that requires above-average performance acros…