No Open Browsers?

Whenever I’m working on a project, the 3 4 sites that you will always see up on my browser are Google, iOS Developer Library [1], Spotify [2], and StackOverflow. But from time to time, I notice that I have no open browsers while working.

Among the 4, StackOverflow has to be a programmer’s go-to when stumped with something crazy. The amount of support one can get from that site is massive. If I had to guess, the average turnaround time for an answer to a question is less than 15 minutes. It feels like people just sit in front of their screen spamming the refresh button, waiting to answer questions. (I am guilty of that too, sometimes)

But more often than not, you see people asking questions that clearly show that no prior effort has been put into trying to solve it themselves first, and then I stumbled upon this post on Meta StackOverflow that I thought was worth sharing.

How much research effort is expected of Stack Overflow users?

A lot. An absurd amount. More than you think you are capable of. In fact, asking a question on Stack Overflow is the absolute last thing you ever want to do. You want to avoid it at all costs. You want to think of it as a horrible shame [3] that will forever haunt you and pass down from you to your descendants. You want very much to find your answer some other way.

You want to

  • Search. Like mad.
  • Test your code.
  • Troubleshoot.
  • Read blogs.
  • Find books.
  • Follow tutorials.
  • Anything to avoid adding another question to Stack Overflow.

You never want to hit that “ask question” button and absolutely never do you want to click the “post your question” button.

After you have reached the end of your rope and the pain of not having the answer exceeds the vast amount of shame received by posting your question, that’s when you can go ahead and ask. Because at that point, you will have done whatever research necessary to make it a good question worth asking. Because so help me, if your question gets an answer within 30 seconds that has 10 upvotes within 3 minutes, you did not do enough research.

1. Documentation dependent on current written language.

2. I know Spotify has a desktop app, but the company I work for finds immense pleasure in controlling/restricting internet access, POP3 & IMAP included.

3. The terms “shame” and “never” are a tad bit hyperbolic, but the important point remains that we absolutely want you to do your homework. Understand that our time is not free, though we do not charge for it. Answering low quality, poorly researched, or duplicated questions become tiresome.

Feel the Pain

A few days ago my boss conducted a one on one would-be crash course for a colleague on working (tweaking/modifying) with Wordpress.

From what I have gathered, said colleague had no prior knowledge to any scripting or programming language. Not long after, one part of the conversation caught my attention.

B: You’ll need FTP access to easily work with files on the server
C: What is FTP access?

That is when I felt a little bad for my boss, but not bad enough to save him from the cliff he’s heading towards. I turned to him, we made eye contact, and acknowledged that he was in deep shit.


I have always loved simplifying code and speeding things up, because like most people, I hate to wait, especially when it comes to data retrieval. If it takes too long to retrieve data, I lose interest, hence the obsessive simplifying behavior.

Not too long ago I have been introduced to an awesome site that allows you to practice writing fast code. Codility is a site where recruiters utilize when trying to filter out candidates, which I think is a good and bad thing.

The Good

  • It filters out candidates who can’t write code, or those who are really bad at it.
  • It makes candidates think hard about every possible scenario when writing their code.

The Bad

  • The time limit can be daunting at times. (A test time limit is different than a project time limit)
  • You get 1 chance, if you miss something, you’re done for.

So for those who, weirdly, love writing loops, and logic thinking, you can take their demo tests here. Your code is graded by running a set of test cases and time complexity. Yes, the The Big O Notation from your college algorithms class.


A Christmas Poem

‘twas the night before christmas
And all through the house
Everyone felt shitty
Even the mouse
Mom on the toilet
Dad smoking grass
I had just settled down
For a nice piece of ass

When out on the roof
I heard such a clatter
I spring from my piece
To see what was the matter
Out on the roof
I saw some old prick
I knew in a moment
It must be St. Nick

He came down the chimney
Like a bat out of hell
I knew in a second
The fucker had fell
He filled all the stockings
With whiskey and beer
And a big rubber dick
For my brother, the queer

He rose up the chimney
With a thundering fart
The son of a bitch
Blew my chimney apart
He swore and he cussed
As he rode out of sight

Piss on you all
It’s been a hell of a night!



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