Alex Naraghi

I'm Bad At Math

I'm not artistic.

I was never a science person.

I just can't listen long enough to learn.

I wasn't born with drawing skills.


These are negative identities.  Things we are not.  Many at their core rely on the dichotomy of natural versus learned abilities.  The framing of almost anything we discuss . . .

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June 23, 2018

Convention and Formalization

The first time I really thought about conventions was about a year into my first programming job.  I had a coworker and good friend, Victor, who was looking into our process for adding new power-ups to the game.  He asked me to write up a document indicating what needed to be done just to duplicate an existing power-up and put some . . .

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October 19, 2017

Producers and Processes

Production methodologies are overrated.  It sounds silly to say it because it's repeated so commonly.  Everybody knows it.  "Scrum is not a silver bullet" say the supporters AND critics of scrum. 

Then producers apply it to every problem anyway.  Those of us who know the history of software development can cite . . .

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July 26, 2017

Code Evaluation

Think back for a moment to presentations you've witnessed or conducted in a classroom, a recent programming convention, or a co-worker explaining a concept.

The typical exercise in code evaluation presents a problem in a neat, isolated space, and it looks at one or two dozen lines of code that encapsulates an algorithm.  "Look . . .

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April 23, 2017


One of the things I ask myself often is how do great programmers separate themselves from good programmers.  As a follow up, how does exceptionalism relate to my personal pursuit of sucess?

I think my answer lies in what I think it means to be exceptional.  I don't find seniority particularly interesting in of itself, but . . .

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December 27, 2016

Architecture is a Democracy

Today I'm going to throw out some thoughts I've been having about software architecture.  Why is architecture so interesting?  It's the land of the dreamer, the big picture thinker, the mountain mover.  It's implications are great, and all responsibility is held by the one, the chief architect.  He or she crafts the . . .

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September 27, 2016

What I Didn't Understand as a Junior Programmer

I remember the first time I saw a codebase over a million lines.  It was at my internship, a large 10+ year old system, in multiple languages, thousands of unit tests, organized into several projects and dll's that would take the whole night to recompile.  Some of the projects had complex build processes, requiring extensive . . .

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September 07, 2016