The Reviews Are in And It Ain’t Pretty

From the first review: Best application of grounded theory that I have seen in a long time!

From the second review: I have seen grounded theory; this ain’t it.

From the third review: What is grounded theory?

Conclusion: No more grounded theory.

PS: Those reviews are a synthesis of prior experiences.

Favorite Story of Student Entrepreneur Ageism

I teach a course on software product management where I sometimes cross over into startup-land. During a recent class, I showed students a rara-talk by a VC, who was trying to convince them to become entrepreneurs. So I asked the class:

Statistically speaking, a 40-year old entrepreneur is much more likely to succeed than a student entrepreneur. Why is this venture capitalist so eager to get you to become an entrepreneur rather than a more experienced person?

After a bit of back and forth, one student finally said:

Well, if it takes 10 years to grow a startup, a 40 year old entrepreneur may not be be able to stick around for such a long time.

I’ve gotten used to such statements and take them rather stoically. A 40-year old PhD student of mine, however, was rolling on the floor laughing.

Non Sequitur #DesignPatternsHumor

A colleague earlier today showed me this student answer from one of his exams:

The student answer for “name a design pattern” is “hotel” and the answer for “that pattern’s intent” is “book hotel”. Repeat for a second pattern called “flight” and its intent “book flight”.

Dating Design Patterns Skit Script

While cleaning up, I found this copy of the OOPSLA 2004 Dating Design Patterns skit script. The skit itself was, as Brian Foote called it, occasionally humorous. I’m providing it here (before throwing out the paper copy) for the intermittent professional entertainment on my blog. We performed the skit at OOPSLA 2004. Fortunately, I don’t have any photos of this. However, I did find the following photo of the Gang-of-Four celebrating the ten year anniversary of the Design Patterns book. I think the photo is attributable to Brian Foote as well. In the back, you can see the late John Vlissides, still “in costume” from the skit.

The Imperfection of Search Algorithms

This is a professional blog, so I usually leave humorous excursions into my life to my personal blog. Well, unless there is good reason for an exception. Today was such a day. That’s because today to much fanfare a new search service, improbably named CUIL was launched. A friend alerted me to the observation that searching CUIL for Dirk Riehle delivers (among other things) the following search result:

Continue reading “The Imperfection of Search Algorithms”

Bertrand Meyer: Electrical Engineering vs. Computer Science

Bertrand Meyer, at the 40 Years of Software Engineering panel at ICSE 2008, on May 16, 2008, 11:56am: “Electrical engineering is to computer science what making a bed is to making love.” I’m not entirely sure this is true, but it certainly makes for a memorable quote.

UPDATE: I had mentioned my enjoyment of this quote to Prof. Meyer at the conference. A few days later I received an email from him in which he generously (and gracefully) corrects me with the exact statement, which first appeared in his inaugural lecture at ETH Zurich:

We appreciate our debt to electrical engineering, without which there would be no computers. Indeed, computer science is to electrical engineering as the art of making love is to the art of making beds.

Much better, and certainly less crude than my in-the-moment snapshot.