Monday, March 4, 2013


I hate (opps told my kids that we should never use that word), writing comments in my code.

I'm not talking about API comments that people can use in intellisense to understand the method and it's parameters. I'm talking about comments in the code that are supposed to describe private methods or logic flows. It shouldn't need to be done in this day and age of programming. We are well past the age of days past when programmers used a,b and c as variable names and then reused the same variable for a new contextual meaning.

I read blog posts over and over talking about the correct rules and syntax of using comments. What to comment in or out of methods. How about we write code that explicitly states what we are doing. If it doesn't make sense to you, then how about your simplify it so you can explain it to a teenager.

Developer: I can't understand the code when I read it.
Me: Do you have unit tests written against the code?
Developer: No.
Me: I bet when you write them your code will change to a more readable state.

I'm so tired of fighting battles I had as a software engineer ten or fifteen years ago. I want to be pushed on the complexity of doing things even more simply. I'm tired of reading nested if and case statements scrolling through my IDE and wondering what JR developer was allowed to write such crap only to find out it was the companies most senior developer. And he was the favorite of the managers because he just got shit done.

Yeah he got shit done. Five hundred line methods with more cyclonic complexity than can be measured. I'm supposed to add a feature without breaking the existing functionality.

Now is the time I wish he had written comments!!!!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Shotgun post!

It's been a while.

I've been working as a part-time game developer. I'm using the Havok Engine for an MMO called Embers of Caeruswhich at this time is a volunteer position. If funding gets approved who knows if I'll be offered a full-time position since I'm not sure where the main office will be located in the U.S. or not. It's some nice experience and gives me something fun to do.

Ruby (Rails), Python and Java is really what I've been messing with on my own time. I've done a couple of sites in Rails, a couple of stupid Android Apps for my kids to keep up with the "in crowd" of development. I wish there were more companies around Green Bay that would examine their I.T. and use the right tool for the job instead of forcing it with .NET or RPG. Even then I don't know a decent sized company up here yet that has implemented .net 4.0 let alone writing some Rails site!

I really am into the NO_SQL movement. I've used ORM's in the past, but I've worked with Entity Framework 5.0 in VS2012 and I really like the automation it provides especially for decent databases. I created a little project to hold stock market data and I thought I would give VS12, SQL12 and EF5 a run through it's paces. Compared to what I'm doing in my day job it was so nice to have the db created, the models/mapping created and the calls ready to get and set data ready for my use. It makes me cringe each time I write my mapper class at my day job (even though it is abstracted as far as I can take it).

Speaking of Python, I have a cool idea for a game. I was looking at the Pixar python 3D engine. My daughter is a budding artist and I thought she could learn to use Maya or a similar tool to create my objects and I would exercise my Python muscles more. Heck Python works for Eve Online I guess I could try it!