Rethinking Quality

In a post I made not too long ago, I expressed my dismay at the scattershot nature of my posts to date (at the time, mid-August):

This blog was intended to be about me learning to program; however, most of what I’ve posted thus far has been… all over the map 😳 . […] I really want the [reading] experience to be a pleasant one that actually stays (mostly) on-topic. [BG]

This is my fiftieth post (!) on BG, and I have not exactly “stayed on topic” according to the standards I set in that post. If anything I have strayed much further from that ideal of a (nearly) pure coding blog. Why? As I learn more about programming, I have found that much of my learning process is taking place outside of the strictures of code — so my blog has continued to reflect that blurry line between code and (hacker) culture. Even my About page (unintentionally) straddles this blurry line:

This is my personal blog, wherein I document my personal endeavor to enter the world of computer programming. [BG]

It is slowly dawning on me that becoming a hacker is more concerned with having the hacker mindset than having superhuman programming abilities (though it sure helps to have them). Are my posts about coding somehow more hackerly than the ones about my employer finally getting a file server, proprietary video drivers, or making a free 80×15 GPLv3 banner (just to name a few)? And I have to conclude that they aren’t — both kinds of posts express my curiousity to explore complex systems, my inclination to always look for the Right Way to do things, and my desire to contribute my thoughts, talents, and experiences back into the community in a positive way.

So what is the boundary? What is this blog about? It’s about a melding together of those two ideals of good code and hacker culture, not trying so somehow banish one from the other. My new commitment to quality is to make every post on BG as top-notch as I can make it, no matter the topic, so everyone can benefit from it (or at least enjoy it for what it’s worth).


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