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Testing Interesting Language Features

By on Monday, April 7, 2014 in Code | 0 comments

Have you looked at a snippet of code, given it a double-take, then thought “Woah, what is that?”  I’ve found this happens for languages I haven’t used at all or often, and those that I am familiar with. Rather than forget those useful or obscure features, I’ve begun to assemble them in a repository, DidYouKnow.  It started with some great examples from Python, like list comprehension, went onto Perl and regular expressions, and naturally, C++, easily the winner of an important code quality measurement.  Rather than hope that these examples actually do what they say, they are implemented as unit tests, and are (hopefully) as simple to run as possible.  This proved to be an excellent way of testing and growing my C# knowledge for the interview of my now new employer, too! This is intended to be a used a reference, hence the documentation comments for each...

Leaving London

By on Monday, March 24, 2014 in Family, Work | 1 comment

After 5.5 years of working in London, I’m relocating with my family; hopefully for many years, and probably forever, or until we retire and globe trot. This wasn’t an easy decision.  Doing so has meant I am leaving my current employer, my wife now permanently works from home, our son is starting at a new nursery, and we moved home!  Co-ordinating so many major changes, at times at once, was extremely challenging, but as I approach the end of my tenure in London, we are already seeing the benefits for which we’d hoped. The Dreaded Commute Why move, then?  Simple: having both my wife and I working in London simultaneously was interfering too much with our duties as parents.  A typical commute for the one travelling to the nursery and then to work was 1 hour and 45 minutes, as opposed to an hour straight to the office.  That meant enjoying about an hour of the morning with our little boy,...

Starting Strong

By on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 in Design, Family, Management, Thoughts | 1 comment

You might have have noticed that the new home of my blog looks very different, and hopefully agree it’s a big improvement. That’s because I made a big mistake last time: I didn’t start strong. New projects are always undertaken with the best of intentions. With my blog, the idea was, and still is, to share updates with friends and family, and — increasingly — showcase personal work. One of my initial plans was to create a theme for the site, and blog its progress through to completion. The trouble is, I didn’t! Work stopped abruptly, and by the time I got around to allocating time to finishing it, I decided otherwise. That meant I’d hosted a blog of less than ten posts with a bare theme for around two years. It’s difficult enough to find the time to spend with friends and family, so when they do decide to invest time reading my updates, I...

Organising a Family Site

By on Sunday, February 9, 2014 in Family | 0 comments

I still blog, and so does my wife (yes, wife, using the word is getting less weird by the day).  We’re hoping our son will document some of his achievements on his own blog in the future, too (more on that in another post), plus it would be great to share stories as a family.  We are very different people, obviously, so one site for all of those separate concerns wouldn’t really work.  Thus, the hickling.is domain was born. Wait: what is that, and why?  Among the blogs I read and the many articles I save daily, one still sticks in the mind: the concept of URL sentences, as shared by Chris Shiftlett.  For example, it’s obvious that the following URL (web address), http://clearleft.com/made/channel-4-scrapbook, will lead us to an article on how Clearleft made the Channel 4 Scrapbook, relative to something like http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-18036981. After a...

Married!

By on Thursday, January 9, 2014 in Family | 0 comments

That’s it!  Fifteen months of planning, a house move and baby later: we’re married.  And what a day it was!  Everything came together just perfectly, and for that, we have many people to thank.  First up, the suppliers: The amazing hair and make-up from HNB Salon Spa; we had never really considered hair becoming a work of art before! Harbour Heights hotel: they managed to accommodate us at short notice after being let down elsewhere.  The staff were really friendly, the food great, and the views pretty spectacular. The experience provided by Jackson & Co Photography has been nothing short of first-class.  The pre-wedding shoot was a lot of fun, and their dedication in getting the very best photos from our day was fantastic.  Very much looking forward to seeing the finished result soon. The amazing venue that is the Italian Villa.  Set within the beautiful surroundings...