Gant Software Systems



A Simple Countdown Timer

We’re about to move and I’ll be out of pocket for several days as we cart all our stuff to the new house. In the meantime, my six year old keeps asking “how much longer until we move, daddy?”. I finally decided that I would make a simple little timer to not only show how long until we start moving, but several other key events of the move as well because I find myself counting down the days as well (yeah, I really want out of this house). So I did and I’m going to put the code here. There’s nothing earth shattering here – it’s my typical “Stupid Coding Tricks” blog post. The whole point of these sorts of things is to show how a simple little program that can be written in a few minutes can still be useful. I decided to build this little app in winforms because it was the simplest thing that could possibly work.

What You See When You Administer Websites

Sometimes, the truth is remarkably annoying and not what you told yourself it would be. So it is with managing website, both your own and those of others. People talking about these things often seem to be doing so with rose-tinted glasses on, as you’ll discover that it doesn’t all work like that. Here are some things I’ve learned on my little journey through being a webmaster.

Book Review: Getting Things Done

Many years ago, at the suggestion of my friend and coworker, Stan McFarland, I picked up a copy of “Getting Things Done” by David Allen. This book is an excellent primer on getting yourself organized. David Allen does an excellent job of showing you how to get a handle on managing your time and attention well. I cannot recommend this book enough.

Reader Questions - September 2014

So, I’ve been blogging for a bit and finally got something I had hoped to receive for a while, that is, some questions from a reader. In this particular case, the reader was a friend who called to ask the questions on the phone, but I thought they were darned good ones and took notes. I think committing them here is a good idea because if one person is asking a question, it’s a good bet that others are too. Further, it’s an excellent way to generate a bit of actually useful content based on what readers actually want to know, which is often a hard thing to discover, since readers tend to stop being readers if they don’t read things that are useful to them. I didn’t quite get the exact questions down, but I got enough of a gist that I think I can answer a few. I’ve thrown in a few others as well that have come up casually in conversations with other friends, as I kept the list until I had enough items to make a post out of it. Some of these I didn’t completely answer during the conversations in question because I kind of wanted to chew on them a bit.

The Rant Is Overdue

Probably at least once every couple of weeks, I get into (sometimes heated) discussions with other software developers about their careers. I see so much helplessness, so much hopelessness, and so much dependence on others and it’s all entirely unnecessary.

So, it’s time I said some things that need saying. It’s time to smash some ugly, easy lies so that beautiful, subtle (and often difficult) truths can flourish. It’s time for me to have THE TALK with you (no, not that one, this one). It’s time for me to tell you why you are absolutely nuts as a software developer not to be making progress towards self-employment. After more than a decade in this industry, I can tell you that the best time to have gotten in business for yourself is five years ago. The second best time is right now. Below are some very good reasons. It may sound like I’m bashing employers; I’m not. It’s just that their concerns and yours are increasingly not intersecting. As a consultant, that is fact number one in your mind; as an employee, it should be, but is easily ignored until it can’t be ignored.