far and away architects learn to be architects by through experience ... And the biggest teacher of all is failure.

But the training for architects is much more circumspect. Architects need to know a little bit about a lot of things. Architects need to know about the economics of development. Architects need to know about schedule and milestones. Architects need to know how to envision the final product. Architects need to know about technology and products, about capacity and operating characteristics, about politics and personalities, about the speed with which development can be done, about hardware and software architecture. In short, the architect needs to become familiar with and up to speed on a very wide variety of topics. There are a few formal classes on information systems development architecture, but far and away architects learn to be architects by through experience – on-the-job training. And the biggest teacher of all is failure. Architects learn what is right and wrong by trial and error. Years of experience enable an architect to know good practices from bad practices. At the end of the day, it is experience that is the great teacher of architects. In a way, this is unfortunate, because ANYONE – and I do mean ANYONE – can claim to be an architect. Literally anyone can put ARCHITECT on his/her resume and there is no one to dispute it.

Gregable.: Why you should learn just a little Awk - A Tutorial by Example

In grad school, I once saw a prof I was working with grab a text file and in seconds manipulate it into little pieces so deftly it blew my mind. I immediately decided it was time for me to learn awk, which he had so clearly mastered.

Awk is my main tool for doing any type of POC where grinding through text is the order of the day. I've used it transform and analyze large legacy code bases of C, SQL, Java and especially COBOL. Processing logs is also easy work... AWK is well worth your investment in time if you work regularly with processing and analyzing text.


Steve Jobs on design...

“Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, it’s really how it works. The design of the Mac wasn’t what it looked like, although that was part of it. Primarily, it was how it worked. To design something really well, you have to get it. You have to really grok what it’s all about. It takes a passionate commitment to really thoroughly understand something, chew it up, not just quickly swallow it. Most people don’t take the time to do that."

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people."

“Unfortunately, that’s too rare a commodity. A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have. "

Wired, February 1996

"it was the question that prompted Archimedes’ realization." ==> Big Data and the innovators dilemma

"Small, agile startups disrupt entire industries because they look at traditional problems with a new perspective. They’re fearless, because they have less to lose. But big, entrenched incumbents should still be able to compete, because they have massive amounts of data about their customers, their products, their employees, and their competitors. They fail because often they just don’t know how to ask the right questions."

Sent from my iPad 2

NYTimes Op-Ed Page Hacked...

WHAT’S up, Times readers? Normally right now you’d be nodding off over a very thoughtful prescription for offering Qaddafi an honorable exile at a plastic surgery teaching hospital. But not today, people! Because I deleted that snoozer when I hacked my way in here.

That’s right. I hacked the Op-Ed page. You’re only reading this because I broke into The Times’s internal network (“The Old Gray Linux Box” we call it) and put this piece in the lineup myself.

"JavaScript was not dumb luck..." Brendan Eich

My point is simple: the likelihood of any other language syntax than C (C++ -> Java, but really: C) was low. The likelihood of something without "objects" was also low. Netscape recruited me in part because I could hack quickly, and in part because I had some language implementation chops (not enough, in hindsight). I was "that guy", not in any brag-worthy sense, just the only person who was in the position to do the deed, with (barely) enough skills to pull it off.