MediaMath Developer Blog Authors

A Picture of Walt Howard
WALT HOWARD Senior Software Developer

Walt Howard is a Senior Software Developer on the CORE engineering team at MediaMath. He began his C++ career with version 1.0 of the Microsoft C++ compiler. In his own words, "I was a C programmer and was continually frustrated because C didn’t have certain automatic, housekeeping functions I thought were only sensible, like destructors, templates, and exceptions. When C++ came out it was all my programming dreams come true. I was an instant convert. It was like Bjarne Stroustrup was reading my diary." Walt finds himself in the peculiar position of being a right-brained programmer in a left-brained programmers' world. He values simplicity where most programmers strive for complexity. “I would rather augment a naive, overly simplistic solution than try to undo a tangled up mess caused by complexity.” As for experience, Walt has been involved in software development with evolving techniques and team sizes since before MS-DOS.

A Picture of Walt Howard
WALT HOWARD Senior Software Developer

Walt Howard is a Senior Software Developer on the CORE engineering team at MediaMath. He began his C++ career with version 1.0 of the Microsoft C++ compiler. In his own words, "I was a C programmer and was continually frustrated because C didn’t have certain automatic, housekeeping functions I thought were only sensible, like destructors, templates, and exceptions. When C++ came out it was all my programming dreams come true. I was an instant convert. It was like Bjarne Stroustrup was reading my diary." Walt finds himself in the peculiar position of being a right-brained programmer in a left-brained programmers' world. He values simplicity where most programmers strive for complexity. “I would rather augment a naive, overly simplistic solution than try to undo a tangled up mess caused by complexity.” As for experience, Walt has been involved in software development with evolving techniques and team sizes since before MS-DOS.

articles by this author:

When You’re Done, You’re Only Halfway Done

You’ve just checked in your code, given it a version number and are about to send it to QA, but wait, are you sure you are done? Sometimes when I use a new whizbang program, only to find it lacks some things which every useful program should have.  It is easy, especially when building a complex program with unique functionality, to focus entirely on the unique offering of the program. While an enormous amount of time should be put into differentiating a program, there are certain features that users now expect in order to get the highest performance out of […]

Whattup With Walt: Whattup with programmer time vs. user time?

Whenever I write software I keep this in mind: Any task the computer doesn’t do will have to be performed over and over and over by every user of the program. For example: Invest an hour in writing a clear, complete error message. It will save a human being from having to manually figure out the error, over and over and over again, and it will affect every user of the program from now until, well, a long time. Don’t leave work for the user to do if you can do it. Your time is not worth more than the […]

Whattup With Walt: Whattup with blindly using the crippled APIs someone else provides you?

Be ever willing and ready to enhance the APIs you are given by wrapping them in your own functions and classes. At some point, you will discover the “standard” function  or class will prove to be incomplete, cluttered, broken, lame, slow, bloated, byzantine, obtuse, and a host of other adjectives best summed up as “annoying.” When I use the functions provided by a general-purpose library, I find they have been weighed, measured, and found wanting. They always have some deficiency that drives me nuts. Give me any function provided by standard Linux or Windows API libraries, and I’ll show you […]

Whattup With Walt: Whattup with debugging?

Every time I’ve had a big debugging problem, it was because something was going on in the code that I wasn’t seeing. I’m sure you’ve had the experience of, after solving a bug, saying, “Oh, of course, that should have been obvious.” Well, it would have been obvious if you had seen what you thought was obvious, earlier. Having that experience, over and over again, taught me to make the inner workings of my program as visible as possible. #1. Write complete, detailed logs I start with writing complete and detailed logging. My log messages contain time, date, thread, log […]