Archive for June, 2012

Launch Pressure

Monday, June 25th, 2012

Rather than wait until my website is perfect I am going to launch it half-complete, and fill in the blanks as I go along. And then add extra features.

A few friends are getting antsy, and I think that I’ve had plenty of time to develop a beta testing version of it.


Dunning–Kruger Effect

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

It takes years of practice to be truly brilliant at anything, and websites are no exception. If you want to make an original website that hits it off, it’ll take you more than a few days to put together. I’ve been working on my website for months, and whilst I believe in taking risks, making things happen and learning from mistakes, sometimes I can’t help but wonder if I am in some way suffering from the Dunning–Kruger effect.

The Dunning-Kruger effect is an effect that makes people who do not know a lot about a subject think they know more than they actually know. It also makes people who do know a lot about a subject think that they know less.

In other words, am I a skilled web designer, or do I just live on mount stupid? When I look at my website, sometimes I think “this is a real masterpiece”. Other times I wonder if, like many other projects I have worked on, it will merely be a blip, or fail to achieve critical mass. Will posting a link to Reddit be enough to get my site on the map? Would boingboing post a link to its main page? Should I (in desperation, one would assume) post to Digg? Will my Facebook friends tell their Facebook friends until it gains momentum? How can I hire somebody to promote my site? And what if they too suffer from the Dunning–Kruger Effect and are, in fact a total marketing bozo?

In the end I’ll just have to launch it and see.

Programming Polyglot

Friday, June 1st, 2012

Asking which programming language is best is a good way to start a debate among novice programmers. Like many I started to learn with Visual Basic, Then I progressed to using Java, which gave me mental breakdowns every time I tied using it. Then I progressed to Javascript, where my piece de resistance was a pretty crappy, but functional chess game.

Then I went to university and we were taught mainly in Java. So the Java came in useful, and around this time, I thought of javascript as a dying technology, just used for spam. But the Internet was still young. I knew nothing of AJAX. Three years of Java later, I was getting pretty good, but what was I going to do, spend all day building desktop applications? It just didn’t feel right. I took a few years out, then started building a compiler for LOLCODE in C, using Flex and Bison. Turns out that Facebooks PHP accelerator hiphop uses the same tools. Then I started working with Ruby and PHP, and dabbled with a tiny bit of Lisp.

Perl, PHP Python and Ruby, those are currently my languages of choice. What’s yours?