Lessons of Failure
Humans + Software Development = Always Interesting

About Dave

Success is a lousy teacher.  It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.

-Bill Gates, from “The Road Ahead”

Who/Where

I’m Dave Rodenbaugh.  Father of 3 girls, husband of 1 wife, and overlord to many Intel-based machines in my nerd cave.  I’ve been programming since I was 12, starting with BASIC on a Vic-20, courtesy of my father one lucky Christmas.  I fell in love with computers then and haven’t looked back.  My college degree is in physics, but don’t hold that against me.

Since that Christmas, I’ve spent time on almost every major operating system known to microcomputing:  Mac OS, UNIX (HP, AIX, IRIX, SunOS, Solaris, DEC, and VMS), Linux, DOS, Windows, and I’ll even cop to working on OS/2 for a few years.  My language experience is about as diverse:  Pascal, Fortran, C, C++, Java, Visual Basic, PHP, HTML, JavaScript, SQL, C# and I’ll even admit to a year’s worth of perl back in the 90s.  And no, it wasn’t just youthful indiscretion either.

Software is one of my passions.  I love writing useful applications, creating working systems from broken ones and occasionally connecting that one tiny broken wire that suddenly starts everything working.  I love it when a plan comes together.  I’ve cried in plenty of beers when it didn’t.

I live and work in the US in my home state of Colorado, mostly in the Denver/Boulder corridor.  I’ve worked as a consultant for companies or independently for the better part of my career, domestically and abroad.  I’ve been in everything from small startups to large, soulless corporations.  I’ve managed teams in person and offshore.  There’s something to be learned everywhere you go.  Just keep your eyes open, ears tuned and mouth shut as my father would say.

What/Why

Everyone trumpets their success in software–that’s fun and easy.  Very few discuss their failures and those that do often say it in a whispered voice, like it’s a source of shame.  Not here and not me.

I’d like to think I’ve learned a thing or two from failure in my near-two decades as a professional computer geek.  Using the lessons of failure from all aspects of software development, this blog is my way of discussing how we can collectively smarten ourselves by actually learning something from them.

Maybe it’s just that web hosting for this blog is a lot cheaper than psychotherapy.  You decide.

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