Introduction - and, Why Halp?
This is my new home on the Web, where I'll be blogging about aspects of my work and profession that I think will be of interest.
Some topics I'm planning to cover in the future include:
Doing more with less. With many companies right now looking to cut costs and avoid hiring, how can teams achieve more with fewer people and less money to spend on SaaS and cloud? Spoiler alert: building the right things as simply as possible. But it's not easy culturally or politically.
Estimation isn't free. Thoughts on the estimation of software projects, and why so many companies seem to want to trade pace of delivery for predictability of delivery - and achieve neither.
Simplicity is table stakes for Agile. In particular, the values of "Customer collaboration over contract negotiation" and "Responding to change over following a plan" are very hard to achieve if you don't work hard to keep your architeture as simple as possible (but no simpler!). Be Grug Brained.
I've moved my personal stuff - projects, hobbies, photography, and mental meanderings - onto Gemini, at duncan.bayne.id.au. Gemini is more fun for personal stuff, and lets me create a clean separation between topics of interest to professional software developers and managers, and ... everything else 😀.
You might have noticed that the new site layout is pretty spartan. Instead of a hamburger menu at the top, there's just a link to a menu in the footer ... and there, there's a link back up to the top of the page. This isn't my idea; I've shamelessly stolen it from Brad Taunt.
But the software running this site is my own. It's Free Software, written in Perl 5, and very much a work in progress. Currently it serves up Websites using a simple templating system, with generated RSS feeds. Soon it'll serve up my Gemini capsule, too, in a similar fashion. Once I've run it for a while, and I've tidied up and documented things sufficiently, I'll do an actual release.
The choice to write my own Web and Gemini server software might be seen as a little strange, as might my choice of language (especially given my love of Common Lisp). As I explain in the Halp README, I have several goals for the project:
Long-lived. Ideally, it'll last me for at least a decade, maybe more.
Highly portable. I don't want to be tied to the "big three" of macOS, GNU/Linux, and Windows - Plan 9 is still on my radar for the future.
Safe. This means, e.g., not having to roll my own crypto or template libraries.
Not a Google product.
This led me to a pretty short shortlist:
Having spent a few years as a professional C coder I'm reluctant to reach for it for any text-heavy task. rc is okay but I don't find it terribly easy to read - I struggled a bit with Werc. That left ... Perl!