Retreat to get ahead
I constantly harp on my kids about skill and technique in everything they do. There is no detail too small, no skill too basic or trivial. You can imagine how they enjoy hearing it.
Unfortunately my kids play soccer. Now I love to watch good soccer as much as anyone (reference: Spain embarrassing Germany) but youth soccer is mostly random booting, pinball played on a big, grassy field. If I'm going to be forced to watch them play they're going to do it with skill and technique.
To that end we host Brazilian coaches every summer. Brazilians are widely known as the masters of soccer. They all came out of the Brazilian youth academies and are on scholarship here. The coaches spend the summer here in Rochester coaching local youth teams and hanging out at our house. It's crazy but we love it, they've become family:
So if you're going to learn soccer get yourself some Brazilians. If you want to be a better developer come to dW and read our articles, participate in our communities, blogs, forums, wikis etc etc.
PS: That is a real Kaka jersey signed by Kaka. Junior's brother played professionally with Kaka's little brother.
JayAllen 120000G6WH Tags:  http_headers cppcafe skill tricks firebug yslow 1 Comment 3,766 Visits
I’m a sucker for tricks. In sports I’m not one of those in-it-to-win-it types. Forget “defense wins championships,” I want to be entertained. I’d much rather see a great show of skill than a plodding win. Give me Ronaldinho’s soccer magic or Federer’s volleys any day over the boring same-old same-old.
As developers we have our own bag of tricks that we try and combine into something special. Lately I’ve been using three Firefox plugins quite a bit.
Firebug is my first line of defense when something goes wrong with a web page. Here’s a screen I stare at all the time. I left the (innocent, honest) error in to show how Firebug alerts you to errors.
Next is Yslow. I don’t use it as much as Firebug (it’s a plugin *for* Firebug) but it’s great for getting a snapshot of how a page is built and loaded. Hmm, we’re always looking at reducing our page load time…
Finally I use Live HTTP Headers a lot to see raw HTTP requests and responses. I thought I knew HTTP pretty well until I began using this tool. Recently we used it to eliminate the browser as the source of error on some problematic if-modified-since headers.
So those are three common tools that anyone can use to do their normal job with a bit of flair. Of course as professional developers we have no choice but to win too :) .