Dragons in the Algorithm
Adventures in Programming
by Michael Chermside

Why User Stories?

Any software project needs a Business Requirements Document (BRD)—a document which describes what the deliverable is supposed to do once it's been built. The traditional (waterfall) way is to write it in paragraph form, but several agile development techniques recommend writing it in the form of a collection of …

Read more

Posted Mon 12 May 2008 by mcherm in Programming

Always use Salt

I'm not a very good cook. One reasons is that I've never mastered the art of tasting the food as I go along and seasoning it properly. When cooking, I never seem to add the right amount of salt. As a programmer, though, I always use salt.

Soup"Salt", in programming …

Read more

Posted Mon 05 May 2008 by mcherm in Programming

The Butterfly Bug

Edward Lorenz died this past Thursday at age 90. This is as good an excuse as I will ever have to recount the story of his discovery (which I first learned from the book Chaos by James Gleick). It is a tale of math and the proper use of computers …

Read more

Posted Thu 17 April 2008 by mcherm in Math

How to email blog posts from Outlook

Suppose (just for the sake of discussion) you wanted to share some blog postings with a group of people at work - and the company email system uses Outlook 2003. Sending HTML email with the blog posting seems like it would be a nice way to do it. But getting Outlook …

Read more

Posted Wed 02 April 2008 by mcherm in Uncategorized

Units of Work

When I was a physics student one of the things that I learned to do was "unit analysis". That's where you simply consider what units an answer has: is it in meters, or meters squared? Surprisingly, there is an enormous amount that can be learned just by doing unit analysis …

Read more

Posted Sun 30 March 2008 by mcherm in Programming