Values common to software managers across cultures

A good software executive or manager will foster meritocracy, will have a good ability for followup, and will scan the environment for opportunities to innovate, whether it's looking at new techniques related to the current software project or assist the business stakeholders in finding and prioritizing more processes that can be automated.

The "people" approach can be different, but what they value on the workplace is actually the same, at least in my industry. We foster multi-country teams within the same project whenever possible. It helps you build a company culture that crosses through office locations and helps the traveling folks feel at home in all the offices when travel is needed.

Have you found other characteristics that are important to software managers? Share in the comments section.

Using the Bluetooth keyboard under the iPad

Well, I mentioned I'd attach a bluetooth keyboard to the iPad to try it out and that's exactly what I did. The results are better than with the regular keyboard but still not ideal.

Of course typing with a real keyboard is going to feel great. The problem is that it's just field typing. On most of the apps, tabs don't work to move from field to field, and the PageUp/PageDown keys on the small apple bluetooth keyboard (Fn and Up/Down) are not wired in at all.

All the media function keys, however (from the brightness controls of F1&2 to the media and volume controls on F7 through F12) work fine. Which underscores the idea that this is a media consumption device more than a production device.

iPad – first impressions

Yesterday I went ahead and picked up an iPad. A lot of people are wondering if it makes sense as a device. Here are my impressions.
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Esto es en respuesta a la Carta abierta de un desempleado a los entrevistadores

A veces hago entrevistas laborales. Una de nuestras oficinas está en México. En mi compañía NO hacemos pruebas psicométricas, y solicitamos currículums sin foto, edad o información personal. Mi interés principal es 1) Eres listo, puedes escribir código al nivel que requerimos?, 2) Trabajas sin tenerte que decir qué hacer a cada rato? y 3) Tienes pasión por escribir software y por ayudar a otros a escribir software?

Evidentemente, todos los candidatos van a decir que sí. La cosa es probarlo. La validez de los metos con los que probamos cualquier cosa en cuanto a reclutamiento es lo que está en cuestión aquí.

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Figure out the encoding of a stream

Have you ever seen a stream of data coming from a network, and it has some European accented characters in an encoding you don't recognize? Sometimes bad coding practices or assumptions about encoding when pasting into documents make the encoding on the file not match all or part of the encoding of a document. This is a quick way to find out what encoding(s) match.

It's not fully automated, it still requires your eyes. But it can make a difference when you're writing parsing code and you don't know what to do with some edge cases. Maybe some code like this coupled with a spell checker inside the loop would give you some sense of automation.

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Stupid monitoring trick: Watch mysql queries fly

Put this somewhere in your ~/bin:

watch 'echo "show processlist" | mysql -u whateveruser --password=mypassword | grep -v "show processlist" '

Now run it and you will have a poor man's monitor, kind of like top but for MySQL. That coupled with screen (or multiple terminals) may give you some quick and easy piece of mind.

This should give you *a lot* of monitoring automation ideas. It should be easy to put together a shell script that puts it all in a little "important things panel" to use watch on. Sometimes that's all you need.

Speed Up Firefox web browser – Ubuntu Geek

Ubuntu Geek provides a great little guide on speeding up Firefox. A lot of the about:config settings he proposes changing are already fairly optimal on a Mac, but disabling IPv6 seemed to make the most difference on my case.

[From Speed Up Firefox web browser | Ubuntu Geek]

WebLoad – Bait and Switch

As a software writer, I download a lot of sample software. In the software world, most people are good about working with their community, and the way you conduct yourself in business matters a lot. This is why I was so amazed to receive this today.

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JIRA To Omnifocus Script

This script logs into your JIRA and creates OmniFocus tasks for each of the JIRA items that are assigned to you, so they sync to your Omnifocus for iPhone, you only have to keep track of one inbox, etc. It only takes a tiny bit of setup.

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FuzzyCom :: Using DTrace for javascript debug on OS X in firefox

Vincent Hellot over at FuzzyCom teaches how to use dtrace to trace javascript problems on a Mac (using a specially compiled Firefox binary for OSX). He hints at being able to do it with Ruby on Rails as well. Haven't tried this, but can't wait to do so.

This post aims at introducing the DTrace debugging tool in the scope of a javascript application. It won’t get too deep in the wide field of DTrace functions but I hope it will give you an overview of how DTrace can help to solve performance and debugging issues in your javascript applications

[From FuzzyCom :: Using DTrace for javascript debug on OS X in firefox]