All posts by Mike

extract from my novel

“You’re so good looking” said his colleague, for no reason, “and really good at programming. I wish I was as good as you.”

“You just need to learn how to name your classes better. And then have extensive cosmetic surgery!” Miguel responded, quickly.

Everyone laughed heartily, including the Prime Minister, who was also there, because he could detect the awesome when he was walking past. “I wonder how I managed to get this job,” he said, “whilst you, so much more talented, are just a lowly software developer.”

“Hey. My job is vital to this country, Mr Prime Minister,” Miguel turned angry, “for the knowledge economy. And computers.”

“you might be just the man to help me in our quest to find the Ark of the Covenant; you see Hitler is…”

“Hitler? I thought he…”

“We might as well tell you now. He lived on following his defeat in Berlin in 1945… using technology which only you and your highly skilled team of developers know about…”

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Why PHP is actually an amazing language

Unlike more “sciencey” languages like C, Java or Welsh, PHP was not designed by a number of super-intelligent academic computer scientists. Instead, it was created by a bored Finnish-American computer science student so he could do a fancy Guestbook page on his “homepage”.

Of course, you’d think that the smart, computer guys would be the best at designing a language. They’ve spent all of their time learning through experiences and using words at each other to design a language that can create well-structured, clean code.

But who has the time to think like a super-intelligent academic computer scientists? I’ll tell you who – other super-intelligent academic computer scientists and that’s it. Everyone else wants to make the pretty colours come on the screen as soon as possible so they can get home for their dinner. Why define an abstract class when you can use the phpfs_print_under_f(true) function?

Who cares about syntax checking and security? Did the Pharoahs think about security when they built the pyramids? No they did not. Did Superman think about consistent variable order or type checking when he built the Empire State Building? No, he did not. He just read a couple of books, dug up some rocks and started building.

These are all development techniques designed to slow down the lazy developer, who must get as much done with minimal effort as possible.

Yeah, sure, in the long term you’ll want to make sure your code is well-written, logical and not in violation of every best-practice standard, but by that time you’ll be retired on your yacht or become head of IT and it’ll be someone else’s problem.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Lazy Loading (not about lazy loading)

The main reason why I’ve started a blog – 10 years after they were fashionable, and about 5 after anyone last read one – is writing practice.  Mikeynet has been online in various forms for 15 years now, apart from a couple of years when I was at university and too, er, “busy” to remember to pay for hosting. I’ve always been a bit disappointed in myself about how little I put into it; I guess I’ve always felt overwhelmed by the fact that the Internet now gives us access to some absolutely hilarious and insightful funny writing at the touch of a button. I just don’t have that kind of ambition and feel crushed by it. Also I’m really lazy. 

Laziness is one of the things that’s drawn me into the world of computing. But wait a minute – aren’t computer people all really driven? Well, yeah, some of them are. Some of them are crazy-driven 18-hour-a-day loony mad psycho nutcrazies, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t lazy.

Steve Jobs famously described the computer as the “bicycle for the mind”, referring to the way that bikes are an incredibly efficient form of transport, but to the lazy person, they’re more like taxis for the mind – you give your instructions and they do it all for you.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Why you should build a house out of CODE

Apparently, it’s the year of code, guys! I’ve decided based on science that as a man with a computer I am incredibly qualified to talk all about it and why it is important.

Here’s some reasons why you, too, should code:

1) Software developers are, on average, sexier and more intelligent than most of the population

2) Everything has a computer in it these days. Even your cat has a computer in it, if it eats one. You understand other things in your house, like chairs, or envelopes – why not computers?

3) Ever since Steve Jobs invented iProgramming with the release of the Mac in 1997, our economy has become increasing integrated with the virtual space.

4)  Bitcoin.

5) We defeated the nazis with Bletchley Park computers, which cracked codes, which I think is like kind of like fighting code with code. If the nazis ever return, which they definitely will, we will need better codes and computers than them.

6) Have you seen how rich those guys are. Seriously.

7) Men are all doing the computers, and are more likely to make evil robots because of testosterone. More coders will mean more equality in coding which will mean more things like computers for girls and less war.

8) The future is getting more and more computered. Since the past, when there were less computers, the amount of computers has increased by a factor of 100. Unless you can master them, they will master you.

9) Remember Sandra Bullock in “The Net”? Guys like that badguy hacker are everywhere, especially in China and Iran, and they want to steal our secrets and take our women.

10) The economy is becoming increasingly competitive. In South Asian countries they are so competitive that they literally have “code-offs” where coders face each other and say code at each other that “hacks” the “meatspace” (space where we meet). It’s true, and not even half the coders in our “Silicon Zones” can do this (Silicon Fens, Silicon Roundabout, Silicon Drive, Silicon Leeds)

11) The Internet is huge, nobody knows how it works and I’m scared. Really scared.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather