Pencils Down

This weblog is about my experiences in software development

Experience: 5+ years
Must have: Core Java, J2EE, Spring, Hibernate, Web Services

I run a job site and am on the mailing list for quite a few contractor type roles. I am guessing close to half of the listings look like the above ‘requirements’.

I have even called a few agents asking if there really aren’t more requirements for the position. They have acted confused, as if they had no idea what I was talking about.

As opposed to the more typical job description with:
- contract or full time?
- contract length, w2 or not, …
- what industry?
- what kind of company?
- tools and methodologies in use
- list of mandatory skills
- list of optional skills
- list of would be nice “if you have developed an xyzzy before”

I can tell these jobs are not being filled as the same job offering comes through on feed after feed, week after week.

Who can afford to have these agents working that don’t produce? Maybe they don’t get paid unless they do produce. Then who is paying their bills?


Sparse response:

3 Yes,

2 Will be

1 No

Only asked as this is the first place I have worked in many years that does not have JUnit as part of the build process.


Wow! This statement is in the introductory section of an online python training manual.

1 – don’t use a debugger, huh?
2 – use print statements, kind of ok
3 – write in small increments, yes

Nothing about using some kind of testing for your development. Why not push new users into some kind of test driven development and/or agile path?


I thought I would pass this along:

I have several stacks of large PDF printouts at hand. Several are complete books that are freely available over the internet, as long as you print just 1 for you. Using various size clips is ok, but not really conducive to following along online.

OfficeMax (and probably all the office supply places) will wirebound these documents for you at $4.95 each. It just takes a few minutes. Great deal!

You now have a programming manual that will lie flat on your desk.

I had tried going even further and have them print it as well, but anything with a copyright is verboten.


I know many of these are pretty good. I have taken several.

I have also seen, on average once a week, a craigslist ad like “Solve this Java problem for me $30″. Following the link provided the person usually doesn’t even bother taking down the heading for the course in the problem statement nor the code start.

So, this takes a little work to put the ad up and describe it in a reasonable way so someone would look at the ad.

Why not do the actual work on solve the problem?

Most of these I have seen are fairly small tasks that could be solved by RTFM or the teacher’s notes or paying attention or …

What possible advantage does someone get by paying to have a minor programming task done by someone else? Seems like just burying yourself deeper in a hole.

Most annoyed in that I take some pride in the classes I have taken online and that value is besmirched by some confused individuals.


Was getting this error trying to run a hibernate query in a thread during startup.

Need to add @Transactional to the class. This tells hibernate to add the session to the thread.


A new company, another set of random values for serialVersionUID.

Not sure why most programmers have the urge to put in some huge, ‘random’ number here. The objective is to match versions during serialization. Can’t imagine using a random number is a good idea.  Even better, the numbers entered are not random.

Sorry, this is just a pet peeve. There is much written up on using this correctly if you are truly serializing objects. I think I have seen this at every company I ever worked.


Would you work where the programmers had to pass a personality test?

  • Yes (50%, 2 Votes)
  • No (50%, 2 Votes)
  • Have to be a lot of money (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Could I see the people that passed? (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 4

Guess this is a little to close to the PC line for people to express their opinion.  Too bad.


I have grown to really hate eclipse. Seems like every keystroke now starts an “update maven dependencies” task.

Have tried several of the options that supposedly stop this to no avail.

Doing most actual builds from the command line using mvn commands.

Starting to use notepad+ for editing files lest I start another update process.

Even worse, in many cases when this is happening I am changing very few lines of code.

Last bit was doing a search, clicking on the search result to pull in the file into the editor started maven off and running.

Maybe switch to intellij. Someone here was using that, but they left. Kind of hard to push yet-another-tool upon the team or be an outlier using a non-standard.


Went to meetup given by Phillip Tellis from Soasta/log normal

Some notes I took:

  • Gzip static
  • Image optimize, reformat png with lesser bits
  • Cache control public max age
  • Turn off last mod header
  • Turn off etags
  • Serve root domain thu CDN
  • Css on same domain
  • Include js critical in head; load enhancements js async (use attribute on script tag)
  • Chrome audit css – excellent tool for evaluating css usage
  • Parallelize downloads
  • Flush early, often
  • Gzip chunking
  • Add Mod_pagespeed
  • Parallelize, predict, cache
  • Prefetch next page
  • Anon iframe fir css and js
  • Link rel dns-prefetch, sunresource, prerender

His slides are here