Category Archives: Random fun

How to be a Cowboy Developer 101

Cowboy Developers

These are the simple steps you’ll want to follow if you want to hold a company ransom through their own technology!

1/ Indentify a Host Company and acquire a position as either the only Developer in the company OR find a position where you are the only Developer on a project and the company oversight doesn’t understand technology and can be easily bamboozled.

2/ Develop a system that is so fiendishly complicated that only you can support it.

3/ Position yourself as the guardian of your host company’s technical future and demonstrate your indispensability by sabotaging the recruitment process of new developers and undermine any attempts from colleagues to actually understand how your program works.

4/ Extract your financial price from your Host Company! This could be a “job for life” or an outrageous day rate. And remember! you have them by the balls, SQUEEZE!

Tips for Success:

  • Try writing the program in one language but only write it using the conventions of another, older more low level language
  • Choose a completely outdated or obscure programming language and software suite (explaining that its the best solution for the Host Company’s needs)
  • Over-engineer the architecture of the core business functionality into such an illogical set-up, that even if they do hire new people, no-one will want touch to it. They can easily build new services on top, but touching the core functionality will be too “dangerous”
  • Hold your nerve!

How to pronounce the name “Maciej”

That’s right, it’s the name on everybody’s lips right now “Maciej”. But how should it be pronounced?? I’ve spent the last few years oscillating between either “Mat-edge” or “Ma-see-edge”, however I went out for beers the other night with a charming holder of this stalwart of Slavic names, “Maceij” and I was delighted when he put me right once and for all.


So hopefully, with a bit of practice I’ll never get it wrong again 🙂

CV Driven Development (CDD)

CV Driven Development (CDD) is a software development process which prioritises design and development choices that will enhance the implementing programmer’s Curriculum Vitae over other potential solutions, regardless of how rational that choice is.
The origins of CDD are lost in time but it is widely believed to be a common practice throughout the commercial programming world, dating back to the very earliest days of professional software development.
CDD is most commonly pursued as an informal, grass-roots lead practice, however there have been a number of well documented episodes when in times of economic or “bonus-hardship”, CDD has been management lead as part of a wider “staff retention” initiative.
See also: Mortgage Driven Development
CDD - CV driven development

If Simon Cowell followed CV Driven Development

Whatever happened to Leila Devito?

For all those who’ve asked themselves over the last year, “where is Leila Devito these days?”, here is the answer:

(watch out for her name check at 4.07)

Another post-Agile methodology

Following on from my previous blog about Programmer Anarchy, I was doing some more research into post-Agile concepts and came across a new methodology called “Programming, Motherfucker” by Zed A. Shaw. Here is a link to his site.

Zed’s methodology is a new way of programming which focuses on pure coding as the main form of development, and rejects the utility of most management roles in the same way that “Programmer Anarchy” does, but does include space in the team for Management, Asshole (which I had also concluded was the primary weakness of Programmer Anarchy).

The “Programming, Motherfucker” philosophy solves problems, tests its code and completes tasks on time and under budget all using the same methodology: “Programming, Motherfucker”. At the same time “Management, Asshole” takes responsibility for tasks like finding out what client wants by asking them, providing the programmers with the right tools to code and then feeding back to the development team when the client is happy or not with the product.

In the words of Zed:

It’s awesome because it does the one thing that actually gets software up and running.

Makes sense to me. If you think so too, or want to learn more about implementing this post-agile methodology in your office, visit Zed’s site (and maybe even buy a t-shirt).

Malaika Arora and the morning after…

During last night’s Diwali party I was introduced to the concept of the Item Girl and Malaika Arora:

For the un-initiated an “Item Girl” is a hot girl who comes on screeen during a slow part of a Bollywood film to wake the boys up – undoubtedly dragged there by their wives, girlfriends, mistresses etc. From what I can tell the Item Girl has nothing to do with the storyline what-so-ever, she is simply there because she is hot and can wiggle. A fantastic concept I think should be introduced to the western movie genre asap. He is another picture of Malaika in situ:

To see Malaika in her full glory click here.

Otherwise I think its fair to say that my Diwali experience last night was not exactly traditional – we only had 2 Dias – however we did have a very good time. We had some singing (starting with “Bipasha Basu” and then we had “Amay Rakhte Jodi” and “Tumi Kobe Ashibe” by Atul Prashad Sen) and then things went Bollywood-crazy. All in all quite a night! Thank you.

Impounded Lamborghini Aventador

This yellow Lamborghini Aventador was sitting outside the Met Police station this morning. They have been displaying all the cars they are impounding for the past year and I think this is the nicest one so far:

Bad / funny excuses people make up to go to interviews

I seem to have spoken to a lot of hiring managers recently who are having a bit of a time with it with members of their teams taking time off work for spurious reasons… naturally as a recruiter I sympathise and appreciate that any excuse is better than no excuse, but some really seem to take the biscuit!

Dental / GP / Hospital appointments
I’ve just had my front door kicked off its hinges
Working From Home
Amazon Delivery
Someone stole the water pipes.
Diarrhoea / last minute illness
A tragedy in the family that is so terrible its too painful to discuss any details
My train is stuck in a tunnel and I have no signal
I fell asleep / my alarm didn’t go off
I woke up feeling confused
My car broke down
My child is ill
My wife has a headache
I had a particularly bad curry last night
I normally use wash n go but today I had to use shampoo and conditioner separately so it took longer to shower this morning so I’m late.
I was abducted by the carebears.
I’m locked in my house
I was attacked last night with a machete.
UPDATE: My dog’s tail got caught in the shredder and I had to take him to the vet

Speak like a recruiter 103: “Bullet”

bullet (spoken)
a candidate who is such a good fit for a client that he/she is will open doors for your recruitment business, win you clients and progress to offer stage quickly and easily.
Gavin: How are you doing with that tough role you’ve got? Sandy: Don’t sweat it no more, I got a bullet
Etymology: Golden Bullet, one shot kill
See also: Golden Bullet, legend, walking invoice

Friday fun: find out where you sit on the political spectrum!

Follow this link to the Political Compass website  and follow the questions to find out where your political views sit compared to modern leaders’ political beliefs. Its quite fun because rather than the usual one dimensional left / right line, it rates your views on an economic scale and a social scale. So if you believe individual property is theft and that there should be a CCTV camera on every street corner you will sit at the opposite end of the graph to someone who believes in free trade and has a live and let live approach to society.

You also get to see how your views compare to Hitler, Stalin, Margaret Thatcher and Mahatma Gandhi:

It takes about 5 minutes to get through the questions, but stick with it because its quite interesting seeing what your results are, here are mine:

As you can see from the graph below, my political views sit no-where near any of our global leaders’ political beliefs. I don’t think that’s because my views are so unusual, I just think that most political leaders have authoritarian views because they think they know what’s better for you.

So follow the link and let me know where you come!