Rough Book

random musings of just another computer nerd

Tag: software engineering

How I got a medal from the Army for writing code

In 2005 my National Guard unit was deployed to Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. My MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) in the Army was 92A, which is basically a logistics and supplies specialist. My job was to order parts for mechanics, pick them up, return old parts, manage HAZMAT, dispatch/return vehicles from missions, and handle licenses. I also did a few other things that I don’t remember right now. Anyway, at the time, the heart of this system was a tool called ULLS-G (Unit Level Logistics System – Ground). I say “at the time”, because shortly after we came back, ULLS-G was replaced by SAMS-E (Standard Army Maintenance System – Enhanced), which incidentally uses Oracle as a back-end database. Compared to SAMS-E, ULLS-G was a dinosaur. I had used it quite a bit, of course, having been in the Army for about 4 years by the time I was deployed. It was a complete pain to use it. ULLS-G was a DOS application (yes, MS-DOS) and most of the computers I used it on at the armory were only running DOS (this was circa early 2000’s so it wasn’t too uncommon to still see DOS systems around). By the time I was deployed most computers were running WinXP/2K or something like that, and so you could run ULLS-G in “MS-DOS compatibility mode”.

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Maven project for Generic (n-ary) Tree in Java

Guus was kind enough to make a maven project for the Generic Tree. He also fixed an error in my equals method for the GenericTreeNode (I intended to do Object.equals(Object obj) but was doing GenericTreeNode.equals(GenericTreeNode obj). Since it’s a maven project, you can easily create a jar out of it and add it as a dependency to your project. You can download the project here. Thanks Guus!

Generic (n-ary) Tree in Java

This project is available on github. Please download from there to make sure you have the latest version.

Last week I was solving a problem at work that required the use of a Generic (n-ary) Tree. An n-ary tree is a tree where node can have between 0 and n children. There is a special case of n-ary trees where each node can have at most n nodes (k-ary tree). This implementation focuses on the most general case, where any node can have between 0 and n children. Java doesn’t have a Tree or Tree Node data structure. I couldn’t find any third-party implementations either (like in commons-lang). So I decided to write my own.
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Duct-tape programmers are not heroes

Today, I ran into this article from Joel on Software. Usually, I listen to what software professionals have to say regarding software development and software-development processes in general, and I mostly agree with them. However, I found myself vehemently disagreeing with this article.
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