Programming is not hard – Knowing what to program is hard

Programming is not hard.

Sure, there are plenty of examples you can pull out of the bag that have really brain-numbingly complex algorithms in them, and they are indeed hard to program, but they are really the exception. For most programmers and most programs, this is not the case.

Most programs that fail do so not because the implementation is done badly or fails altogether, but because they implement the wrong things. Its not that the programming was hard, but that they programmed something nobody wants.

Deciding what you should program is where all the beef is.
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Stupidity or just refreshing honesty?

Just as everyone else, I regularly get spam. One of the common scams are “phishing” mails – pretending to be from a bank or other institution where you might type in your password.

Today, I got one that appeared to be from the NatWest bank. With this one, the scammers actually had a better starting point with me than most, since I actually do have an account at that bank (so it’s not quite as obvious as being asked to update my details at some bank in Timbuktu that I’ve never heard of).

But I don’t think the scammers quite thought this through to the end, as you might notice looking at the URL that the “Log in” button links to – stupidity or just refreshing honesty?


Teaching My Daughter To Code, Part IV: Return of the Daleks

Welcome back, dear readers, to the fourth part of Sophie’s journey of writing a DrWho computer game with Greenfoot and Java.

If you have read the previous parts, then thank you for sticking with us for so long! (If not, you may like to start reading here: Part I, Part II, Part III).

I’ll try to make it short today – it’s been a long day, and it’s getting late. But this programming session I’d like to record took place five days ago, I have only sparse notes, and I’d like to get it down before I forget too much. I have been busy this week, so I haven’t had time to write this up earlier, but there was so much lovely and encouraging feedback on the previous posts that encouraged me to continue writing this up.

Thus, without further delay, on to the next task: Reaching the TARDIS with the energy pellets!
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Teaching My Daughter To Code, Part III: Prepare The TARDIS!

The third part of my endeavours to write a Dr Who computer game with my daughter

If you’re reading this, then you probably already have an idea what this is about: An ongoing project to write a Dr Who-themed computer game with my daughter Sophie, who is 10 years old. (Yes, she’s 10 now – it was her birthday earlier this week!)

This is the third part of this story. In part I we got the Doctor to move, and in part II we added some Daleks. This time, we giving the Doctor something to do, something worthy of the last of the Time Lords: Collecting energy pellets for the TARDIS.

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