Categories
Software

Guess-driven development

A few days ago, I received a link to a blog post called some lesser-known truths about programming. Among other things, it states:

Bad programmers spend much of that 90% debugging code by randomly making changes and seeing if they work.

Patrick, my business partner, jokingly calls this Guess-Driven Development and I now take the liberty to publish the term in writing. I will admit that I have fallen for this type of development quite a few times. But now I have started to wonder: Where is the fine line between guessing and exploring?

When faced with a strange bug or error in some system, we are taught to use e.g. a debugger and over time, we hopefully become more adept at solving bugs. But sometimes (many times) I have solved a problem by almost randomly trying out different solutions. So is this guessing or exploring? I don’t have the answer.

Maybe I should have listened more carefully in Software Engineering class?

Categories
Software

Licenses continued

Well, kudos to Microsoft for their Bizspark program. It is intended to help small business by providing free Microsoft products. It’s a good way to try and get developers to start using their products. Thanks to that, I now have access to Windows and Visual Studio for free. Our intentions are still to use all open source tools by the end of our first year but for now we are forced to work in the a-bit-too-feature-rich-and-slow Visual Studio.

That’s life.

Categories
Software

Why is Windows so expensive?

I am not sure that anyone can answer the question “why is Windows so expensive”. After all, most people get Windows when buying a new computer where Microsoft has a strong hold on the market.

First, how expensive is Windows exactly? Currently, I am looking at the US prices where Windows 7 Professional costs $200 for an upgrade and $300 for a full version. To compare, I have downloaded Ubuntu Linux three times within the last year for $0 but have donated $10 every time, just to make myself feel a little less guilty.

I understand that nothing comes for free and there are obviously many bright people at Microsoft that have high salaries. While being a student, one also enjoys the benefits of downloading tons of Microsoft software for free. But now, while starting my own business, $300 for just one Windows license is really a lot of money. And that is only the operating system. I won’t even get started on products like Visual Studio, SQL Server and so on.

There are two solutions:

  1. Use open source. Yes, I would like to do that, especially because there are excellent alternatives to proprietary Microsoft software. The problem is that Visual Studio is needed in certain situations.
  2. Swallow the bitterness and pay.

I would like to see Microsoft doing different pricing schemes on their software in the future. Until then, I will just have to pay.

Edit: The third option is to enroll inĀ Bizspark which we did. See the next blog post