Daily Archives: April 13, 2019

What Happened When Pete Buttigieg Tore Down Houses In Black And Latino South Bend

BuzzFeed News has the article What Happened When Pete Buttigieg Tore Down Houses In Black And Latino South Bend.

Regina Williams-Preston got into politics so that the city wouldn’t do to anyone else what the mayor’s big redevelopment plan did to her.

His program to knock down hundreds of homes in black and Latino neighborhoods like hers smacked of gentrification and ultimately cost her family several investment properties they hoped to repair but couldn’t after Williams-Preston’s husband suffered a serious illness.

This is the kind of report I wanted to see when I heard about the “1,000 homes in 1,000 days” program. The article is not a hit piece, but it does show what can happen with well meaning, but inexperienced people get aggressive. There have been plenty of experienced people who did things like this, but I am not sure they were well meaning.

I would not be surprised if what Pete Buttigieg thought when he took on this project is some of what goes into vulture capitalists thinking when they take over a company and strip it of its assets, leaving the company’s debt holders and employees with nothing. This is what they may teach in business schools as just maximizing shareholder values. That sounds like a laudable goal until you think about the collateral damage.

Here is how CNN handled the story. Their article is Pete Buttigieg pushed an aggressive plan to revitalize South Bend. Not everyone felt its benefits.

Hello world: Shining a light onto the culture of computer programmers

Ars Technica has the article Hello world: Shining a light onto the culture of computer programmers.

Thompson: One of the things that really leapt out is the almost aesthetic delight in efficiency and optimization that you find among software developers. They really like taking something that’s being done ponderously, or that’s repetitive, and optimizing it. Almost all engineering has focused on making things run more efficiently. Saving labor, consolidating steps, making something easier to do, amplifying human abilities. But it also can be almost impossible to turn off. Scott Hanselman talks about coding all day long and coming down to dinner. The rest of the family is cooking dinner and he immediately starts critiquing the inefficient ways they’re doing it: “I’ve moved into code review of dinner.”

Here is an article that does a good job of describing the life of a software engineer. As long time ago, we stopped calling ourselves programmers. Calling us coders is even more demeaning. Other than that, it is a good article.

In the 1970’s there was a lot of research going on about how to do quality software engineering. Most of management never seemed to get the idea, but what happened is that you have to spend more time engineering and less time coding. For the next 30 years or so, it was a lesson I continually had to teach, sometimes successfully, and sometimes not.