MustModify Blog: Recent Posts

Programmer Architypes

November 30, 2020
In early 2004, Nikhil Kothari wrote about three personas Microsoft came up with while working on Visual Studio 2005. Mort, Elvis and Einstein. I have my own list. As a tech lead, I talk to my team about programmer architypes. We all have many traits within is... and these can be good when used at the right time, but bad when used at the wrong...


Executable Comments

October 07, 2020
One of the most important skills that differentiate an upper-mid-level developer from a lower-mid-level developer is the ability to write readable code. One strategy for increasing the readability of your code is to use something I've heard referred to as "executable comments" -- writing your code so that the variable names and structure give...


MySQL vs PostgresQL: Pros and Cons for Default Database

July 05, 2020
I start up a lot of software with a database for small to mid-size apps that don't particularly have any requirements that would lend themselves to using one or the other SQL database. I just have to pick one. Here are some things I've discovered that inform my thinking about which one to choose. | | PostGresQL | MySQL | | --- | --- | ---...


My NASA Story

April 01, 2020
I was a junior nerd well before I was a senior nerd. I was in a weekly program at our local planetarium -- the "Young Astronauts" run by the still-awesome (https://www.linkedin.com/in/david-e-hostetter-62073023/) at what is now the Lafayette Science Museum. I went to space camp and vividly remember snickering when my friend and I ordered...


Communication Tactics for Consultants

March 23, 2020
Here, I'll list some of the communication tactics I've grown to use over the last 10 years of consulting. Sometimes you want to make it clear that you do not have the ball, but it also seems like a minor issue and you don't want to make a big deal about it. You can say, in increasing level of assertiveness: * Not sure if this was intended...


Interesting Bit of Code

February 11, 2020
Whenever I see screen shots of code, I think that my code isn't interesting enough to create a visual. I do tend to write small bits that are simple-looking (to my eyes.) So when writing this bit, I thought I'd record it for posterity in case I wanted something in the future. def looks_numeric? number =...


Authentication Strategies

January 30, 2017
Just thinking about all the possible authentication strategies and tokens: Single Auth Token ----------------- As a user, I want to authenticate for a single request, no session or authentication persistence, for API purposes or downloads. I assume it was a thing before this, but I was introduced to it by AuthLogic, long may it...


Results-Only Interface with Quest via SOAP / HL7

February 20, 2014
Just as a note, SOAP is not only very painful to use, but it's a system that uses HTTP, but ignores all the value you get from HTTP. There are dramatically better options. Check out (http://www.designinghypermediaapis.com/) by Steve Klabnik. I acknowledge that there is some value is being able to validate messages. But it doesn't, IMO,...