PHP Class To Color CLI Output

July 31st, 2013

A guy named JR posted this nifty piece of code to help color CLI output in bash from PHP scripts

And this user on GitHub cleaned it up a bit and posted a Gist of it.

Codility And Candiate Testing

July 28th, 2013

Tonight, I tested through a series of tests on Codility. Well … kind of.

Codility, for those of you who haven’t heard, is a automated test tool used to filter interview candidates, or for developers to show off their chops. A great idea in practice, what this leads to in reality is testing that is geared to math, because it’s easy to evaluate automatically.

Case in point, the tests I was presented with were:

  • Movement/path overlap detection
  • Rectilinear space intersection/area calculation
  • Binary period location (P [P ≤ Q / 2] and [S[K] = S[K+P] for 0 ≤ K < Q − P])

Of these three questions, I managed to complete one and started trying to understand the other two before I said “Screw this”.

No, you didn’t read that wrong. I had a 33% success rate, and then I just didn’t care enough to keep going. I didn’t consider the problems relevant enough to my ability to bother taking them. I would not consider myself a poor programmer (in fact, a few colleagues have told me the opposite). I have been programming for over ten years, and have developed some really complex projects. I am highly creative, analytical and a good problem solver.

Maybe I’m just cranky because I didn’t complete their testing, but I would not use Codility if I ever needed to hire. Many self-taught developers are in the same boat as I am (lacking the comp-sci math background), but end up being stuck without the luxury of bailing out on the testing, because they need to test for some job they’ve applied for.

Reddit hiring is a much more useful test of ability and problem-solving.
http://blog.reddit.com/search/label/hiring

VirtualBox Headless

July 26th, 2013

If you want to run a VM (maybe a server) headless, you can just hold down the Shift key when starting it. This forces it into VRDP mode, no matter how it’s configured. Or, you can get even fancier: http://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch07.html

Which Framework?

July 21st, 2013

Learning a framework is an investment of time. You have to work out how this one structures its files, wants you to template, what levers to pull.

This is why people build their own so often. At least then it works the way you want it to.

Bus Proofing

July 18th, 2013

It’s always good to teach someone else what you know about your work. If you get hit by that bus tomorrow, what knowledge would be lost, and what would have to be rebuilt in a scramble?

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