Friday, March 15, 2013

Scrabble Puzzle

I like Scrabble, for many reasons.

I like words. I like to write. I like to read.

But one of the things I like best about Scrabble is how it is so much like life.

Every time I play a game of Scrabble, something totally amazing about the pattern of play in that game will strike me:

"Check it out! Ten turns and not a single letter E was used!"

"Whoa, that's amazing. Every word that contains an A also contains the letter I!"

and so on.

So why do I say Scrabble is like life? Because both Scrabble and life are filled with patterns that seem to be very amazing and profound, but in fact are meaningless, nothing more than coincidences to which our brain happens to be attuned.

OK, time for the Scrabble Puzzle:

A week ago, I played a game of Scabble with Veva and scored 36 points by placing the word "SEEN" on the board.

Now, every letter in "SEEN" is worth 1 point, making it very difficult to get to 36 points. But I attached "SEEN" to a word on the board (of course!) and I got my 36 points by using a total of 8 letters, two of which were worth 3 points and the other 5 were worth 1 point each.

Still not a whole lot of points to work from.

So how was I able to get to 36 points? I will post the answer next week.

Monday, March 11, 2013


Programmers are highly skilled logicians, masquerading as worker bees.

Programmers are craftsmen and craftswomen, masquerading as highly skilled logicians.

Programers are artists, masquerading as craftsmen and craftswomen.

Programmers are worker bees, masquerading as artists.

Very few programmers are artists.

Coding Therapy Videos from Dell

For the past several years, I have given my Coding Therapy talk to Oracle technologists, offering insights through:
  • Dream therapy
  • Shock therapy
  • Game therapy
  • Couples therapy
It is, of course, entirely tongue-in-cheek, but also (I hope) helpful to programmers, in giving them a different perspective on some of the challenges they face in their work.

These talks have usually been very well-received, which inspired then-Quest Software to bring me out to Hollywood (well, Aliso Viejo, anyway) to shoot a series of videos in which I impersonate a therapist and provide coding therapy to a programmer in need.

Here I am, deep in my therapist role:

Very convincing, right?

But then Dell bought Quest Software and I worried: would they still release the videos?

Of course, they would, and they did, starting today!

The therapy sessions will be released on Facebook over the next month. Check out the first one here.

And if you share this video on Facebook, you will be entered automatically in a raffle to win a thoroughly delightful Toad t-shirt.