Stories by Peter Wayner

  • Beyond iPhone and Android: 5 hot new platforms for developers

    A long time ago in a mind-set far away, I spent a lunch with friends trying to figure out what we'd do if we could reprogram our cellphones. Our ideas were, in retrospect, lame. Maybe we would change the font on the dialer or come up with a screensaver animation. Wouldn't it be cool if we could get flying toasters running on the screen of our cellphone?

  • Top 7 dilemmas facing today's developers

    Your boss wants it yesterday, but it better be good when judged by the standards of tomorrow. Your customers want every feature they can imagine, but don't you dare confuse them by giving them all the buttons they want. Your fellow programmers want your code documented, but they just respond "tl;dr" to anything you write.

  • 7 top tools for taming big data

    The floods that devastated the hard disk industry in Thailand are now half a year old, and the prices per terabyte are finally dropping once again. That means data will start piling up and people around the office will wonder what can be done with it. Perhaps there are some insights in those log files? Perhaps a bit of statistical analysis will find some nuggets of gold buried in all of that noise? Maybe we can find enough change buried in the couch cushions of these files to give us all a raise?

  • 10 hard truths developers must learn to accept

    On most days, programming is a rewarding experience, with no problem too challenging to solve. Perseverance, intuition, the right tool -- they all come together seamlessly to produce elegant, beautiful code.

  • Review: 2 PHP tools rise above the rest

    The news is now old that investors will be given a chance to trade big piles of cash for a piece of the pile of code known as Facebook.com. Just a short time ago, few of us would have predicted that a pile of PHP would be worth billions of dollars, but clearly we underestimated the power of the platform.

  • Node.js tools: Server-side JavaScript comes of age

    The story of <a href="http://www.infoworld.com/slideshow/24605/infoworlds-2012-technology-of-the-year-award-winners-183313#slide19">Node.js</a> reads like it came from a Hollywood script assembly line: Some kids are monkeying around with scrap they picked up around the Internet and find a new way to snap it together. The next thing you know, they're lapping the pack at the racetrack and coasting to the winner's circle.

  • Programmer personality types: 13 profiles in code

    To the world at large, computers are scary machines that are impossible to understand, and programmers are the mysterious geniuses who know how to manipulate them even if they are never able to fix yours for whatever reason.

  • Enterprise Hadoop: Big data processing made easier

    It's been <a href="http://www.infoworld.com/slideshow/24605/infoworlds-2012-technology-the-year-award-winners-183313#slide5">a big year for Apache Hadoop</a>, the open source project that helps you split your workload among a rack of computers. The buzzword is now well known to your boss but still just a vague and hazy concept for your boss's boss. That puts it in the sweet spot when there's plenty of room for experimentation. The list of companies using Hadoop in production work grows longer each day, and it probably won't be long before "Hadoop cluster" takes over the role that the words "crazy supercomputer" used to play in thriller movies. The next version of the WOPR is bound to run Hadoop.

  • The year's best hardware, software, and cloud services

    Was it the philosopher George Santayana who said, "Those who don't remember the past are condemned to repeat it?" Did he offer any hints for those of us who want to repeat the past, especially the successes? We're beyond the teary elegies of 2011 and deep into making resolutions for 2012. If we're going to stand half a chance of creating something great this year, it only makes sense to pause and celebrate what went right in 2011.