Notebook

Modernize Your Legacy

Are you trying to bring modern development practices to a… less-than-modern software development environment?

Image by J. Gannon used under CC-BY-SA

Talk to any experienced programmer and they probably have a few stories to share about organizations that were — or still are — suffering from business, organizational, or technical practices causing unnecessary suffering for everyone involved.

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Spreadsheets as a data exchange format

Motivation

When working with non-technical clients, often their preferred means of exchanging structured data is via spreadsheets. Using a custom tool is not always practical due to cost or training time constraints, and using a type of document that doesn't have its own standard editor (such as XML or JSON) will generally result in having to deal with malformed files on a regular basis, since these files are often edited by hand.

Excel is the only program for managing structured data that is widely used by both technical and non-technical people, and being able to leverage that structure can make the whole data exchange process much smoother, even though it can be frustrating at times.

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Fear and Coding in Las Vegas

Infinity Interactive

I joined Infinity a little over two years ago. Came from a much more traditional corporate culture. A culture contained in traditional brick-and-mortar buildings. You could stop by a coworker᾿s cube and bump into folks in the lunchroom. Infinity has no brick-and-mortar home. We᾿re a distributed workforce with our ~25 people spread out all across the US. Each of us works from our home. Our water cooler is an IRC channel called #general.

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