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Agile new years' resolutions

In much the same way that the Pomodoro method is like miniature Scrum for time management, I find that Scrum can also be used effectively for personal change.

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Resolutions that worked for me: bringing in lunch

If, for you, a turkey sandwich can't compete against General Tso's, then bringing in that sandwich is setting yourself up to fail. So, there are two ways to resolve the problem: either find a way to exclude all those other delicious, convenient options, or make your lunch better. The first way is doomed to fail, because we can rationalize anything when we are hungry. The second way, however, is actually pretty easy, and to illustrate, here are the strategies I've found helpful in doing just that.

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Computer science education is not vocational training

So why does it matter? Because by expecting a computer science education to make you a good programmer, you are both asking too much and too little of the experience. It is too much to expect that you could learn all these skills in a classroom, and too little to expect that software development would be the sole aim of computer science.

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How to turn Udacity lectures into an MP3

My time in the OMSCS program has taught me to take advantage of every opportunity to stay on top of the Udacity lectures that we are responsible for watching every week. To create another avenue for doing this, I looked for a way to convert those lectures into audio files so that I could listen to them as I commute.

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Wouldn't it be great if we were better at evaluating programming talent?

The bad news is that you haven't actually measured the person's practical technical ability, especially in the context of team development, and have learned little if anything about how the candidate works under real-world circumstances. Because offering criticism without suggestion is basically just complaining, here are some things that might help get those last bits of information.

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Probably a tough sell

If you happen to be enthusiastic about both F# and regex, I have the project for you.

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Only a thousand bucks

I can't imagine having to flip switches just to get your programs in. That's probably something to keep in mind the next time I'm complaining that Visual Studio takes two hours to update.

Offer may have expired already

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MBA for devs: creating opportunities to practice practical programming

One thing you will learn in the MBA program early and have reinforced over and over again is that people in business positions solve nearly every problem using Excel. If you can resist the temptation to do the same, you will find that the MBA program offers a low-pressure opportunity to create lots and lots of software.

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MBA for devs: developing professional, non-technical skills

Just as in high school and your undergraduate studies, you will feel like you are doing everything. This time, however, it’s really part of your training to learn how to deal with that and get everyone working. You will learn how to use collaboration tools to work better and gain a new respect for the people you work with. You will try, and fail, to just assign sections of work to people and try to glue it together before the deadline, and learn from this failure.

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MBA for devs: demonstrating ability, commitment, and effort

You will be faced with difficult choices about your priorities and will need to make them correctly, whatever that means for you. Being a graduate student means daily delivery on a commitment that you made when you were better rested and when you idealized the process and experience. Chugging along despite the realities of grad school demonstrates your ability to honor your commitments and work toward a distant goal.

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