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Avdi Grimm

Hacker; code documentarian.


Seven Bedtime Stories About Code

Once upon a time I wrote code to ferry packets of information from a radar antenna to a graphical display. I wrote this code because a company paid me money to do it, and because it made my manager smile and say “good job!” when I wrote it and it worked the way he wanted it […]

I am my code, redux

I’ve written before that I am my code. Today I felt the urge to reiterate this message on Twitter. I thought I’d collect the series here for posterity, in slightly modified order.

If there is a programming language whose designers took into account the fact that humans would have to use fingers to type it onto keyboards for multiple hours a day, I have yet to encounter it. I say this after investing a fair amount of time on, which treats programming languages purely as typing exercises. If […]

Sri Yantra Mandala (By N.Manytchkine (Own work) [GFDL (, CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons)

Patterns are for People

There’s a meme, originating from certain corners of the Functional side of programming, that “patterns are a language smell”. The implication being that “good” languages either already encode the patterns as language features, or they provide the tools to extend the language such that modeling the pattern explicitly isn’t needed. This misses the point on rather […]

Who is your failure helping?

True story: I once worked on a project where I was told from the outset that “we probably will not use your code”. This was back when I worked at a big defense contractor. There were negotiations under way for an expanded contract that would obviate the work I was doing, if it were signed. […]

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Virtuous Code

"The three virtues of a programmer: laziness, impatience, and hubris" — Larry Wall

Books and Screencasts

RubyTapas Screencasts

RubyTapas Screencasts

Small plates of gourmet Ruby code.

Confident Ruby

Confident Ruby cover

32 Patterns for joyful coding.

The Making of

Confident Ruby cover

Watch me build an app in Sinatra and Rails

Objects on Rails

Objects on Rails

A developer notebook on applying classic Object-Oriented principles to Ruby on Rails projects.

Exceptional Ruby

Exceptional Ruby

The definitive guide to exceptions and failure handling in Ruby.