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In the recent town-hall meeting, our vice president of application development mentioned that in her experience, usually applications will only become great in their version 3.0. That’s in terms of feature richness, usability, stability and performance.

This insight fits well with my own experience and observation. The implications are developers are spending a lot of their times doing re-factory, which means rewriting the underline implementations for the existing functions.

At the first glance, re-factory seems to be an awful thing: tedious, time-wasting, boring, but unavoidable. However, if we really want to tame this beast, we need to take a deep look at its origins and natures. And it may come out as a necessary and valuable way to improve the quality and the business values of our applications.

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At the days when the first computer was designed in 1940s, the software development business was born. It has been evolving fast and furiously ever since that.

Talking of software development, we, developers, will immediately think of programming languages like C++ or Java or their ancestors like FORTRAN or COBOL. Programming with those languages, or “coding”, is at the center of our software development career.

However, several new software development trends started to threaten the crown position of “coding” in the kingdom of Software Development.



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Happy New Year!

I guess a lot of people are very happy to see the year 2008 passed by, just like myself. What a dramatic year! First we witnessed the house value dropping and foreclosures in the neighborhood, then the crisis of the subprime mortgage. Soon, the bad news crawled all over the financial sector. Investment banks, insurance companies, commercial banks, even big names like Bear Stearns and Leman Brothers burned down into ashes overnight. The darkness, like cancer, continued to spread into other industries, such as automobile and even high-tech. The stock market crashed. The unemployment rate soared. The words we heard most in the past several months are “great depression” and “bail-out”, not what we usually heard even in a bear market.

And the worst part, it’s not over yet. Although debating among each other, the economists agreed the economy won’t recover until the later half of 2009. And that’s from the most optimistic point of view.

With all the negative news, it’s very easy to feel depressed or stressed out in this unpleasant time.

Kind of like feeling depressed in the winter in the northeastern United States (where I am living), chilly, heavy wind blow, cloudy sky, crooked tree branches and yellow grass, no sign of life.

But, wait! We still got Christmas in winter time! Even the darkest nights were lightened up by the holiday lights!

Where can we find hopes and opportunities in the depressing days like now? Here are four directions to look:

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January 2009
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