Sam says you should read this
This blog was created with the BlogFile software, written by Samuel Levy.

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Teach a man to fish (and he'll die when he catches Fugu)

Let's talk about how we teach new people to program.

There is a saying which I see getting thrown around frequently in the mailing lists and user groups for programming languages. Everyone knows the saying, and I used the latter half of it as the title for this post.

"Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you've fed him for life."

This is a common refrain when people ask for resources to learn to program. I see it for Python; I see it for PHP; I see it for JavaScript; I see it in almost every community I'm a part of. People say it meaning that new users should s…

Recruit this

I have a problem with recruiters. Shocking, I know. If you ask around developers, recruiters quite often seem to be right near the top of the list for "things which tech would be far better without".

If you're a recruiter reading this, then please don't skip straight to posting angry diatribes in the comment section - I'm happy to explain where my problem comes from, and maybe even how to fix it. If you're not a recruiter, but have run into some of the same problems, then maybe you might even want to confirm that I'm not alone here.

Let's start with a short anecdote. I was recently contacted b…

You don't need to know me

I was going to buy a book online today. A once-off purchase on a whim. I didn't buy it because the company selling it wanted to "get to know me". This isn't a very interesting story, I know, but a point will be made.

The company insisted that I had to create an account (although it already had my shipping details) to make the purchase. It was vital that I didn't miss out on the features of an account; so vital that I couldn't give them money until I had done it. The company insisted that it needed to know my name, and my phone number, and my address, and my date of birth.

So I walked away.

This …

When clients go right

There seems to be a trend among freelancers to complain loudly about the stupidity of their worst clients. It occasionally makes for amusing reading, but in principal, I don't think that's it's professional to do so. Even anonymous clients who, while not being named, still get shamed, deserve better. If you're doing this, and expecting to be treated like a professional, you should probably stop; as I have mentioned before, if the client relationship breaks down, then you are probably not communicating properly.

I generally try not to talk about my specific clients at all on this blog, not beca…

PHP is the right tool for the job (for all the wrong reasons)

Which job? Well... most of them. At least, a very, very large number of them.

When people complain about PHP being a horrible language, not fit for human consumption, they will often talk about how the features of their favourite language are far more refined; have been designed with elegance in mind; are consistent and secure. And you know what? They're right.

But PHP is still a better tool.

When people write very long blog posts about the horror that is PHP, which lead to double-clawed hammers being created, then they're right.

But that double-clawed PHP hammer is still a better tool.

And it should…