Lars Diget

I Hate Screen Protectors

May 1, 2021
I just bought a new iPad and of course I had to install a screen protector. Why wouldn’t I? A brand new iPad needs to be protected, right? The case for the Screen Protector I bought the best screen protector money can buy, Paperlike. Paperlike is excellent for when using the Apple Pencil; it gives a bit of friction to the pencil to feel (and sound) a bit like paper when drawing or writing on the screen.

Planning in the Dark

Jan 15, 2021
Why are we so afraid to show temporary or early drafts of plans to our teams, and why are we so obsessed with planning reveals at kick-offs? I don’t know, but it seems to be our ways-of-working when it comes to planning, road-mapping, or defining objectives. We have this idea that planning only involves the product owner/lead/manager and relevant stakeholders. We tend to have a non-transparent process of what the quarterly - or half-year plans will look like until we do the final unveil at the next “kick-off” with the rest of the team.

Making a ZX Spectrum Game - Part 4 - Graphics

Dec 1, 2020
I have now come to the point, where I would like to add a bit more graphics to the prototype. Instead of having basic characters act as standins for the graphics, why not do the actual graphics themselves. To start with, I would like to render a lime instead of the “@” character. Before I can begin, I need to better understand the graphics capabilities of the ZX Spectrum and what options there are.

Making a ZX Spectrum Game - Part 3 - Cross Compiling in ZX Basic

Nov 24, 2020
The time has come to look into cross compiling my code for the ZX Spectrum. As I alluded to in part 1 of the series, I intend to use ZXBASIC for cross compiling, which also means I can basically take (no pun intended) the prototype already writen in Sinclair BASIC and rewrite it in ZXBASIC. The advantage of ZXBASIC, besides compiling to assembler, is that it is also a modern take or dialect on BASIC (especially when compared to Sinclair BASIC), where it tries to keep some of the original Sinclair BASIC features, which definitely eases the transition from one language to the other, but it also offers features of a cross compiled language, such as data types and the possibility to do inline assembly code.

Making a ZX Spectrum Game - Part 2 - The Initial Prototype in Sinclair Basic

Nov 17, 2020
Now it is time to write some actual code. As I described in a previous post, I want to create an initial prototype directly in Sinclair BASIC, which will allow me to test out the gameplay of the Awakeman game on a ZX Spectrum. It has been a while since I coded in BASIC. My first job as a developer was to create small programs in Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), so building this prototype will also act as a refresher to BASIC.

Making a ZX Spectrum Game - Part 1 - My Development Setup

Nov 10, 2020
With side-projects like this one, I tend to leave the project unchanged for weeks. Therefore, I have found it good practice to write down the explicit details about my development setup; it makes it a lot easier to return to a project set on pause for a while. As a general rule-of-thumb, my development setup has to be as platform-agnostic as possible. I think this is good practice. It allows a broader audience to follow-along when doing tutorials like this one, and it makes me independent from whether my next primary computer would be a Mac or a Windows PC.

Making a ZX Spectrum Game - Part 0 - Defining the Project

Nov 4, 2020
For sentimental reasons, I recently bought a ZX Spectrum from a dear colleague, but what to do with it? I could play games from my childhood, but why not make my own?! The Speccy, after all, was what created a generation of bedroom coders. Because of the 8-bit hardware limitations, this would be an excellent opportunity to flex my programming muscle, something I do not get to do all that often.

Revisiting My Workplace Manifesto

Oct 4, 2020
In July 2013, I posted my workplace manifesto on a Tumblr blog I had back then. It was a list of five priorities I wanted for a current – or future workplace; some of them felt a bit far-fetched or maybe even utopian, so how do they stack up today? The Manifesto Without further ado here is the manifesto: Be able to work on projects that excite you! Be able to put in the hours to finish the project and NOT be bound by the project’s price-tag.

Making OKR Work for Small Development Teams

Sep 28, 2020
A current trend in our industry is to formulate your goals as Objectives and Key Results (or OKR). However, there are a few challenges when implementing OKR, especially on a team level. This post is an overview of how we use (or misuse) OKR on a small development team. To give you a little context, our team consists of 3 developers and a product owner (that is I). We have a daily stand-up every day at noon and do refinement session once a week.

Make Your Presentations Fun

Sep 23, 2020
When asked to do a presentation about something or the other, I struggle to find the motivation from time-to-time. Here are a few tips on what I do when preparing for a talk. To quickly summarize, these are the steps I go through: Somehow make the subject exciting Challenge myself Think about the presentation; can I make this entertaining to the participants Make the Subject Exciting Often I am asked to make a presentation about something I know by heart, which is great because this means that I probably have a presentation already on the subject tucked away somewhere that I can reuse.