George V. Reilly

Being A Developer After 40

Adrian Kos­maczews­ki wrote a in­ter­est­ing post on Medium about Being A Developer After 40, and some of the things he’s learned since he started in 1997. My own career goes back to 1984, when I had a part-time job for five years writing graphics software that was used in many live and pre­re­cord­ed shows for RTÉ, the Irish national television station.

I agree with his main points on how to reach age 40 (or 50), willing to continue in the profession of software developer:

  1. Forget The Hype
  2. Choose Your Galaxy Wisely
  3. Learn About Software History
  4. Keep on Learning
  5. Teach
  6. Workplaces Suck
  7. Know Your Worth
  8. Send The Elevator Down
  9. LLVM
  10. Follow Your Gut
  11. APIs Are King
  12. Fight Complexity

#4, #5, and more recently #8 par­tic­u­lar­ly resonate with me.

I’ve spent my entire career learning new skills continue.

Review: Kingsman: The Secret Service

Title: Kingsman: The Secret Service
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½
Released: 2015
Keywords: spy
Watched: 25 April, 2016

In Kingsman: The Secret Service, “Eggsy” Unwin (Taron Egerton) is a fish-out-of-water recruit in Kingsman, an exclusive private in­tel­li­gence service. The young chav is taken under the wing of Harry Hart (Colin Firth), whose life was saved by Eggsy’s father seventeen years ago. After spending half the movie trying to survive Spy Hogwarts, Eggsy goes out on his first mission to stop the mega­lo­ma­ni­ac billionare (Samuel L. Jackson) who is about to cull most of the world’s population.

Stylish, hyper-stylized, and violent—as might be expected in a movie adapted from a comic book. The violence is continue.

Review: Vengeance of the Hunter

Title: Vengeance of the Hunter
Author: Angela Highland
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Carina Press
Copyright: 2014
Pages: 213
Keywords: fantasy
Reading period: 15–22 April, 2016

After the events of Valor of the Healer, the three pro­tag­o­nists went in different directions, but now they must come together again. Faanshi, the former slave girl, is coming into her own as an ex­tra­or­di­nar­i­ly powerful healer with her new people, the elves. Kestar, formerly a Hawk sworn to expunge elven magic, is a prisoner of the Hawks being taken to stand trial. Julian, his lost hand and burnt-out eye regrown by Faanshi’s magic, is seeking vengeance against the brother who maimed him. Rumors of Faanshi’s power and ac­com­plish­ments continue.

Winding String onto a Trimmer's Spool

I bought a new strimmer last weekend and used it agres­sive­ly today, revealing a once grass-covered pathway that I hadn’t seen in years and edging the parkway in front of my house very neatly. Naturally, I exhausted the line on the spool. I bought refill line and wound it onto the spool. It seems to work better than on my previous strimmer, which would jam or break every couple of minutes. I took more care than in the past and I very carefully and snugly wound the line, trying to minimize crossings or loose areas. I’ve seen a rec­om­men­da­tion to soak the line to make it more pliable. I’ll try continue.

Review: Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit

Title: Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit
Author: P.G. Wodehouse
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Publisher: Arrow
Copyright: 1954
Pages: 256
Keywords: humor
Reading period: 18–21 April, 2016

Good old Bertie Wooster’s got a spot of bother and so has his aged relative, Aunt Dahlia. A young lady authoress has grown tired of her tedious fiancé, one “Stilton” Cheesewright by name, and set her sights on our hero. Dash it all, she’d want to improve a chap’s mind, when he’d rather take a cigarette for a walk and enjoy Jeeves’ cocktails. And Cheesewright’s a hulking brute threat­en­ing to break B.W.’s spine in five places. But Jeeves comes through in the end, saving Bertie and Aunt D.

Jeeves continue.

Review: Spy Hook

Title: Spy Hook
Author: Len Deighton
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Ballantine
Copyright: 1988
Pages: 320
Keywords: spy
Reading period: 16–17 April, 2016

Three years ago, in the events that preceded Spy Hook, Bernard Samson’s wife Fiona defected from MI6 to the KGB. His position at MI6 barely survived. He’s picked up the pieces and moved out to the suburbs with his much younger girlfriend, who’s barely older than his children. Now he’s in­ves­ti­gat­ing a slush fund that’s gone missing and it seems that his questions are un­wel­come—­so unwelcome that by the end of the book, he’s on the run in Berlin from the British.

I preferred this book to Winter, which served as a distant prequel for continue.

Review: The Breath of God

Title: The Breath of God
Author: Guy Adams
Rating: ★ ★ ½
Publisher: Titan
Copyright: 2011
Pages: 245
Keywords: mystery, sherlock holmes pastiche
Reading period: 13–15 April, 2016

This book fails both as a Sherlock Holmes pastiche and as an adventure. The story is narrated by Watson, but the pro­tag­o­nist neither sounds nor acts much like Watson. Holmes is elsewhere for much of the book and he is very annoying when present. The plot is a pre­pos­ter­ous mashup of steampunk and occult magick.

As in The Sher­lock­ian, this author does not have the skill to write a convincing Holmes–Wat­son novel. I deducted another half star for the shoddy editing and the comma splices.

Supraorbital Ridge

Damn my supra­or­bital ridge anyway! I spent at least half an hour tonight scouring the entire house for a small suitcase, only to find it within 3 feet of the back door—but above my eyeline. Someone (probably me) had placed the suitcase on a high shelf a couple of weeks ago. I simply didn’t think to look up. Most humans don’t. Our ancestors must not have worried too much about predators dropping from above.

Review: Valor of the Healer

Title: Valor of the Healer
Author: Angela Highland
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Carina Press
Copyright: 2013
Pages: 266
Keywords: fantasy
Reading period: 17 March–14 April, 2016

Fleeing from his botched attempt to as­sas­si­nate the Duke of Shalridan, Julian discovers the Duke’s greatest secret: Faanshi, a half-elven slave girl with ex­tra­or­di­nary powers of healing. She heals his wounds in an instant and he makes his escape. Meanwhile, Kestar, a knight of the Order of the Hawk, who are sworn to extirpate elven magic, also discovers her existence. When Julian rescues her and Kestar is gravely wounded, she heals him too, forming a strong mental bond with him, which endangers them all.

This is a well-told high fantasy, with believable continue.

Running after Stitches

I had a mole excised from my lower calf three weeks ago, after a biopsy found that it was “abnormal”. The biopsy on the excised remainder came back clean. I went back to the surgeon’s office during the week to have the stitches removed. It turns out that the stitches were dis­solv­able, but I hadn’t peeled back the wrapping to take a look. I was given the all-clear to resume exercising and for the rest of the week, I cycled to the office. Today was my first run: a 3-mile course to the Seward Park Caffè Vita. The scar didn’t bother me, but I had to stop and walk a continue.

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