04 Jul 2019, 12:08

Rubber ducking ftw

Recently, I have had a big server upgrade that has been challenging me on how to finish it. Yesterday I asked a friend of mine if he could look over my plan for the upgrade.

He agreed, and I began to write the email that articulated my plan.

Just in writing out the email I recalled the value of rubber ducking.

The idea is that you explain the problem to a rubber duck, giving enough information so that the rubber duck can understand.

(I like to add the idea that rubber duck brains are not very big, so I need to articulate things in bite-sized pieces.)

In doing this process, I noticed a couple of solutions that will help me move forward with my plan. It also helped me get a sense of how big the project is, and where its steps need to be fleshed out.

Thank you, rubber duck!

03 Jul 2019, 18:42

Maintaining state in long projects

As a programmer, I often want things to be just right, finding that balance between maintainability, extensibility, and plain ol’ get-‘er-done. Today, banging my head against unexpected walls while trying to spin up a virtual machine with Vagrant, I had to keep my focus on the goal at hand: Keep the website up while migrating from PHP 5.7 on Ubuntu 14 to PHP 7.2 on Ubuntu 18.

In this case, the task seemed simple. Write an email to Client so they know the status of the project.

The tip for today is to keep a stack of tasks written down so I can recall where I am headed.

  1. Write an email
  2. Estimate price of RDS
  3. Make sure I can test MySQL locally
  4. Spin up local instance of Ubuntu 18
  5. Upgrade Vagrant
  6. Upgrade local copy of Ubuntu 18
  7. Install latest copy of website source
  8. Run tests
  9. Install test framework
  10. Need to install PHP modules

I ran out of time around that point, and still had not done the first item on my list. Fortunately, I still remember what I was trying to do, and can come back to it with fresh eyes tomorrow.

12 Oct 2016, 15:31


15:31 Wednesday 12 October 2016 JST

Wow neat! My days old calculator works, though it’s ugly.

days old demo days old code