Keith Pleas Blog

Keith's palimpsest

  • UPS Gets the Job Done

    As everyone in the PNW knows, there was a lot of snow here just before Christmas. We live at the top of the "driveway from hell" on Mercer Island, and we haven't had any UPS deliveries for over a week. We even tracked down our delivery driver, and he said "yeah, we have some packages for you but nobody knows where they are". My UPS tracking showed things loaded out for delivery a couple of days before XMAS, but...nothing showed up.

    Well, today after lunch at Yuzen (our favorite) on the South end of Mercer Island I snapped this photo of _7_ UPS trucks parked together and a bunch of "brown" guys hustling packages between trucks.

    When we got home, we had 8 UPS packages on our doorstep (including an extra hard drive for my WHS!)

    Kudos to the drivers for taking the initiative to sort this out..


  • Encouraging Bad Coding?

    A recent office-cleaning turned up a quote I'd kept from an automotive magazine from 20 years ago:

    "Protecting drivers from the consequences of bad driving encourages bad driving"

    Well, that seems reasonable to me. If you didn't have bumpers, seatbelts, airbags, and'd probably be encouraged to drive more carefully, right? And the Darwinian aspect would help cleanse the pool of bad drivers. So, how well would this translate to software development?

    "Protecting developers from the consequences of bad coding encourages bad coding"

    Of course, it's not just coding - you could substitute architecture or pretty much any other activity and the statement might still be true - and relevant.


  • Computer History Museum Memories

    An interesting story in the Seattle Times about the Computer History Museum triggered some memories of a reception we did there for a patterns & practices Summit event a couple of years ago.

    At the time, Ward Cunningham was with the, and - as you might expect with an industry icon - he had more than a passing familiarity with much of the hardware there. He clearly recalled using this machine:

    Ward Cunningham at CHM

    Here's another picture of Billy Hollis and Rocky Lhotka taking in the history:

    Rocky & Billy at the CHM



  • p&p Summit / VSTS Summit Quick Survey

    We are actively planning the next patterns & practices Summit (scheduled for this November in Redmond), which will be coinciding with the new Visual Studio Team System Summit. To help us better program these events, we would very much appreciate your answering a brief - 6 question - survey about what you’d like to see most in upcoming Summit events.




  • It's been a while...

    ...but today JibJab launched its latest video called "What We Call The News" – it's a parody of the media and the crazy things they now call 'news' (Britney Spears, fingers in food, etc.).


    According to my step-son Joey - who works there - it'll be on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno tonight…and JibJab founders Gregg and Evan are actually getting to meet President Bush today. That would be interesting...


    Assuming you like the video J, you can "Digg It" at:



  • All slides, no code?

    Ran across this comment (from memory) on an evaluation form for an Advanced Smart Client workshop that Billy Hollis and I have done a couple of times at VSLive:


  • Why developers shouldn't test their own software...

    My new wife (6 weeks today!) got her new business cards through her company's web-based application, and they say she now works for the "IT Department". Which was a bit of a surprise, considering that she's a clinical research technician for a large pharamceutical company.


  • A belated "thanks!"

    I've been involved in a number of developer conferences over the years and one of the biggest joys of doing these shows can be the people you meet (also one of the as I recall a fellow who followed me off the stage, into the men's room, and then out the door into a cab before I asked "are you going to the airport too?").