My Secret Life as a Spaghetti Coder
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Let me make a request for help and a quick announcement, and then I'll get you back to your regularly scheduled on-topic reading:

I need a good C/C++ IDE
I've been doing a lot of work in C++ lately for bioinformatics, and DevC++ is just not going to make the cut. My friend Michael suggested I use Visual Studio, but I thought I'd throw this out there and see what everyone else thought and try out a few more.

I'd like it to work on Windows, but I wouldn't mind hearing some Mac choices for the fun of it. Ideally, it would have a lot of the features of IntelliJ IDEA, but if it's not that awesome, I could probably get by. DevC++ is just broken for me. I won't go into too much detail, as I think those guys are providing a good service and I'm not helping them out myself, but sometimes headers get that do long has been the least of my troubles.

I'd like to know of both free and paid versions.

I'm on Twitter
I've finally started using my twitter account. I started the account a while back, but never really "got it." I guess the other day the light bulb went off in my head. It's like email + IRC + instant messaging + blogging all in one.

Anyway, if you're on twitter and want to start following me, I'll get notified and probably start following you as well. Of course, if I start getting too many updates, I'll randomly stop following some people. Try not to take it personally if that happens.

I try not to give the minute details of my life like "I just woke up" or "I'm voting for so-and-so." Instead, I've been trying to stay on topic of this blog (programming and technology), but with small thoughts about whatever I happen to be working on. Of course, you'll find some responses to other people won't always be on my main topic.

I hope to see you on there. And if you can help in the C++ IDE department, please let me know!

Hey! Why don't you make your life easier and subscribe to the full post or short blurb RSS feed? I'm so confident you'll love my smelly pasta plate wisdom that I'm offering a no-strings-attached, lifetime money back guarantee!



Shitty variable names, unnecessary usage of pointer arithmetic, and clever tricks are WTFs.

When I saw this WTF code that formats numbers to add commas, I had forgotten how low-level C really is. Even after using C++ fairly regularly for the last several months.

With 500+ upvotes, the people over at the reddit thread regarding the WTF apparently think the real WTF is the post, not the code.
nice_code, stupid_submitter - in which TheDailyWTF jumps the shark by ridiculing perfectly good code.
Let's forgive the misuse of the wornout phrase and get to whether or not looking at the code should result in utterance of WTFs. More...


slarbi@nibbler> make
make: 'dwight_conrad' is up to date.

slarbi@nibbler> make anyway
make: *** No rule to make target 'anyway'. Stop.

slarbi@nibbler> make rule to make target anyway
make: *** No rule to make target 'rule'. Stop.

slarbi@nibbler> alias makeanyway='make -B' #ohthatmakesalotofsense
slarbi@nibbler> makeanyway
...
c++ main.o -o dwight_conrad -g

slarbi@nibbler> thank you
-bash: thank: command not found


This is a story about my journey as a programmer, the major highs and lows I've had along the way, and how this post came to be. It's not about how ecstasy made me a better programmer, so I apologize if that's why you came.

In any case, we'll start at the end, jump to the beginning, and move along back to today. It's long, but I hope the read is as rewarding as the write.

A while back, Reg Braithwaite challenged programing bloggers with three posts he'd love to read (and one that he wouldn't). I loved the idea so much that I've been thinking about all my experiences as a programmer off and on for the last several months, trying to find the links between what I learned from certain languages that made me a better programmer in others, and how they made me better overall. That's how this post came to be. More...


The last bit of advice from Chad Fowler's 52 ways to save your job was to be a generalist, so this week's version is the obvious opposite: to be a specialist.

The intersection point between the two seemingly disparate pieces of advice is that you shouldn't use your lack of experience in multiple technologies to call yourself a specialist in another. Just because you develop in Java to the exclusion of .NET (or anything else) doesn't make you a Java specialist. To call yourself that, you need to be "the authority" on all things Java. More...


Bioinformatics is one area of computing where you'll still want to pay special attention to performance. With the human genome consisting of 3 billion bases, using one byte per base gives you three gigabytes of data to work with. Clearly, something that gives you only a constant reduction in computational complexity can result in huge time savings.

Because of that concern for performance, I expect to be working in C++ regularly this semester. In fact, the first day of class was a nice review of it, and I welcome the change since it's been many years since I've done much of anything in the language. More...



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