Programmers and their beards

There’s an oddity that many good programmers seem to have. Beards. It’s a facial feature that many people seem to see as something that ‘comes with the territory’ of being a programmer. Unshaven, smelly, obese, these would all be things that would pop up in people’s minds when they think about programmers, or even computer experts in general.

I’ve found this thought fascinating because I know a lot of programmers without beards whose hygiene is excellent. But then again, there are some famous examples like Dennis Ritchie and Ken Thompson who still have huge beards. Why? I started asking myself this. Is it so people can measure your skill by measuring the length of the hairs? Is it just fashionable?

Beardy programmers

So I decided to find out myself and began growing my beard to be infiltrate into the psyche of these fine gentlemen.

First things first: I really CAN NOT grow a beard. It does gets all patchy and rough but it just looks like I forgot to shave certain parts of my face. Bummer.

However, looking as ridiculous as I did with my half beard, I came to an exciting insight. Because what I did for myself was set these ‘beard-lines’ (just roll with it) for when I had to finish a certain part of my project. Let’s say that I was working on some big feature in a project. I would tell myself that I would not be able to shave until I’d finished this work. This has helped me more than I’d expected. The biggest boost I got was thanks to social control. Because when I was unshaven someone would inevitably make a remark about it. This in turn gave me an extra boost to hurry up my project so that I could shave myself once again.

My time among the bearded people was a short-lived one but it gave me a new way of pushing myself that extra bit, which is great. Who knows, maybe one day I will be able to grow a full beard and unlock the full potential of it, but until then I’ll have to stick to my trusted patch of fur.

CLR Trigger – Microsoft SQL database

In my last post (Realtime database applications with Node.JS and HTML5 WebSockets) I talked about using the CLR-trigger in combination with the Microsoft SQL database to get realtime results. Ever since I have had multiple requests about publishing the C# script, so I decided to do so! I edited out some implementation details, but I’m sure that won’t be a problem. If any more explanation is necessary, please contact me! 🙂

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Realtime database applications with Node.JS and HTML5 WebSockets

As you could’ve read in my first post, I’m doing the Honours programme at the college I’m at. This basically means that I get extra (more challenging) work to do next to my standard college assignments.

The first assignment we got came from Thialf Heerenveen, an ice skating stadium which is also used for national and international ice skating competitions. Thialf is using the Local Position Measurement (shorthand: LPM) system which was developed by InMotio. The system is basically some sort of GPS system, but MUCH more accurate. When ice skaters are training, they get a tracker, and as they do their training, data about their training is collected. The downside about this approach was that the coaches of these ice skaters could only see the data visualised after the training was complete, which made it still handy, but made immediate feedback impossible. Also the data they were given was mostly not visual enough and required thorough analysis before you could draw conclusions.
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Hello world!

To keep the tradition of all programmers since “The C Programming Language” written by Brian Keringhan alive, I would like to begin my blog with a Hello World post. Not trying to show you a working piece of code but to actually introduce myself to the world.

My name is Ruben Homs, which you might’ve guessed by the URL, and I’m a second year IT Honors-student at the Hanzehogeschool Groningen in the Netherlands. I’m generally interested in anything related to technology but do take interest in other subjects, which I will gradually introduce to you through this blog.
Keep reading…