All posts by Philip Yurchuk

What Is It, Really?

“What is it, really?” Four words. Those four words are like a thought grenade. The ignition point for a boondoggle. It starts with smart software engineers. Smart and bored. They’re using a software library or tool. Something with multiple open source and commercial solutions. Good solutions, really. Lots of customers. And the engineers answer their own question with a gross oversimplification. What is a name server, really? It’s basically a lookup table. What is an object cache, really? It’s… well, it’s another lookup table. What’s…

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Enterprise Software Explained

I recently wrote a hit article on buying enterprise software, and I was working on the followup when I realized that you, the manager tasked with choosing it, could benefit from an overview from an insider. I’ll explain how this software is packaged and delivered so you can discuss it with more confidence. Most importantly, this will provide critical context and understanding to my final article, which will arm you with questions and talking points, both internal and external. That’s the one that will prevent…

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Ask a Repair Shop

This is the story of how you’re buying your enterprise software the wrong way. Probably your appliances, too. This is an excerpt from my guide, “Enterprise Software Confidential.” This post is also available in Chinese thanks to Xu Zhi. Some years ago, I had a broken GE washer. Pretty sure I knew the culprit, but if I was wrong I’d waste a bunch of money on a part I couldn’t return. So I called a local repair shop who serviced a number of brands, including mine.…

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Officially an Athlete

Big news everyone! I’m officially an athlete. OK, I see confusion on some of your faces, so allow me to explain. I was in a department store, looking to purchase some trousers. I saw some from the Dockers line of the Levi Strauss company, in a style branded “Athletic,” and I ignored them at first. However, when I couldn’t find “relaxed fit” I returned to them. Turns out, athletic trousers are just the type I need. First, they sit below the waist. Athletes such as…

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An Education on Education

There’s a lot of talk these days about free education for all and student loan forgiveness. I’m against both for very rational reasons. Hopefully you learn something new  or reevaluate your beliefs, but maybe you just get ticked off. That’s OK too. For reference, I had a very expensive education. But it was at a good school (RPI), 1 in the right major at the right time.2 So upon graduation, I was employed, well-paid, and ready to avoid snow for the rest of my life. That…

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Upgrading to Grails 3

Preface I’m upgrading an app from Grails 2.4 to 3.1 and thought I’d take share my thoughts and notes. First, I want to say that I’m very grateful to the maintainers for all their hard work. I know this wasn’t easy. Second, I’m not a full time coder anymore. Running a software/staffing company gives me lots to do. So although I’ve been doing Grails for a few years now, and Spring/Hibernate before that, consider me a casual user. Still, I have opinions – don’t we…

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Notes From Thee Linux Conference (SCALE 14)

I attended SCALE for the first time this past weekend and highly recommend it. They had not only talks, but all-day training sessions for which you would reasonably expect to pay hundreds of dollars. I also got to meet Jenkins founder Kohsuke Kawaguchi, Apache Bigtop founder Konstantin Boudnik, and Randal L. Schwartz, whose Learning Perl I referenced countless times back in my Perl days. Plus I got to spend quality time with good friends. Here are my notes from talks. I’m no longer in admin/DevOps,…

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Painless Documentation (What If You Won the Lottery?)

Abstract: Sometimes good things happen to good people. When something good takes away someone you depend on, will you be prepared to go on without them?  With a little low effort documentation and knowledge transfer, they can leave you without torpedoing the schedule. People often ask, “What if you got hit by a truck?” to pose a hypothetical around losing you. But what an awful thought! And in the corporate world, highly unlikely. Some form of winning the lottery, however, is not only possible, but…

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GGTS vs. IntelliJ IDEA

For years, I’ve been hearing about the superiority of IntelliJ over Eclipse from its enthusiastic fan base. However, I couldn’t find any evidence to persuade me to switch. I’ve had my frustrations with Eclipse, to be sure. I’d love to find a great replacement for any of my tools. But nobody could give me a clear reason. From its fans, I heard, “It’s just better.” Same endorsement I hear for OS X. And JetBrains’ feature list doesn’t having anything over GGTS. I needed a real…

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