Not Invented Here

Like most programmers, I frequently end up thinking that—given enough time and money—I could do it better than the “big boys.”  The industry even has a standard term for this sort of insanity: “Not Invented Here!” Like many such delusions, it’s varied in the execution but very simple to explain. Just take any piece of commercial-grade software that you consider to be inadequate or flawed, then imagine for a second that you could (and should!) rewrite it from scratch; only better! As delusions go, NIH would be counted harmless enough if it only went that far. I mean who amongst us hasn’t imagined that we could be a better actor than {?????}, or a better leader than {?????}, or even smarter or prettier than {?????}.  Or, or, or… Continue reading

Miss Unders(tood)

Let me start by saying that I love and adore my wife. Marie is as vivacious (and loving and talented…) as any man could hope for in a spouse. My present subject, though, is her mischievousness. My girl loves the odd prank, whether it be hiding a blow-up doll in the shower, or simply bolting out of a closet to scare the bejesus out of me as I chance to walk on by. Her doll in shower gig was particularly memorable in that in that I came upon it—without my glasses—on a dark and drizzly November-morning while being less than fully awake.  Shades of Norman Bates, I only glimpsed the thing when I pulled the shower curtain back. Needless to say, I was completely spooked. I’m no John Glenn, so it would have been excusable if I ended up ass-over-teakettle on the floor. As it was, I did jump back into the doorframe and smack my head hard. Continue reading