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February 25, 2006 » 3:13 am

Clean Hacking Stations

Fun Fact About Eugene #322: I’m obsessed with cooking shows. There’s nothing I like better on a Saturday morning than rolling out of bed, turning on PBS, and watching Jacques Pepin work his magic. What’s amazing about these chefs is that they always have a clean cooking station. Always. It’s apparently a principle they teach at cooking school, and it makes a lot of sense. It also seems to apply to other areas of life. Getting Things Done. Project Management. And of course, hacking.    (K95)

Ingy dot Net (The Hacker Formerly Known as Brian Ingerson) was in town this past week, and we hacked a little bit on Wednesday night. “Hacking” with Ingy for me so far has mostly consisted of me watching him in action, catching a typo here or there and occasionally pursuing some philosophical disagreement. But it’s cool, because I enjoy watching other folks code, especially folks who are better than me.    (K96)

(Earlier this month, while working on the Ruby YADIS library with Brian Ellin, I learned for the first time about command completion in Emacs using meta-backslash. Emacs has been my primary programming environment for about 15 years, and yet, I never knew about this. Very embarrassing.)    (K97)

One thing that surprised me about Ingy is that he doesn’t code very fast. On the other hand, one thing he does incredibly well is that he always has a “clean hacking station.” Even when he creates temporary directories or inserts debug statements in his code, he does it in a very clean way. It’s a practice I’d like to do a better job of emulating.    (K98)

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