Event: Winter Xcelerate Presents: The Best Advice You Won’t Take with…
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Jan 19, 2015

Winter Xcelerate Presents: The Best Advice You Won’t Take with Jim Waldo

Software developers are encouraged to code fast, release often, fail fast, and repair when needed. This is often interpreted as a license to approach development in a completely undisciplined fashion. While this can be fun, it will also lead to code that can’t be maintained, fixed, or understood.

This talk, sometimes described as “the best advice you will not take”, will go in to some of the practices that will save you as a developer. We will talk about the need for source code control, documentation, style guides, and unit tests. While these aspects of the craft sound boring, making them second nature will actually allow you to code faster, release more often, and then recover from failures. You won’t take the advice now, but sometime in the future you, when all around you is falling apart, you will understand why what is said was important.

Bio: Jim Waldo is a Gordon McKay Professor of the Practice of Computer Science in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. He teaches CS262, Introduction to Distributed Computing, every other year (generally Spring semester of even numbered years) and (with others) CS 105, Privacy and Technology(generally Fall semester of every year). Being a Professor of the Practice means that this is not Jim's day job. By day, he is the Chief Technology Officer for Harvard University, working in the Harvard University Information Technology organization.