Unfamiliarity Causes Rejection

Recently I listened to a talk given by an ex-ThoughtWorker, Simon Harris. One of the things that Simon talked about was how we, developers (and generally speaking – human beings) sometimes tend to reject what is unfamiliar to us. Within software development context it can be an existing/legacy application or a module that we need to extend, and which is difficult to understand.

Really, how many times we looked at someone else’s work (eg:. a developer that has left the company a long time ago) and thought “Dude, this is so weak … come one”?

Instead of just pointing fingers, maybe we should stop for a moment, try to think and understand, what were the reasons for producing that mediocre piece of code? Look at the current software’s state from a different angle. Sure, sometimes a poorly written software is simply just that – a poorly written software without a particular reason. But at other times, perhaps there were unknown variables in the equation that prevented developers produce something of a higher quality: technical limitations? Some internal politics? Tight deadlines? Environment?

Understanding the historical/current state of an application, can only help us to come up with better results in the long run. I really enjoyed Simon‘s talk, he clearly draws from his extensive experience.

LateX – Transparent Watermark Image

If you want to add a watermark image to your LaTeX document, you can achieve it easily using three packages: graphicx, tikz and eso-pic:

Graphicx package allows to load images into documents. If you want to add transparency to your image, you need also to use tikz package. Tikz is used for producing vector graphics from a geometric/algebraic description, but is also allows to play with opacity levels.

Eso-pic package provides hooks to inserts the images on one or more pages as a background (in other words – a watermark).

\\usepackage{graphicx}
\\usepackage{tikz}
\\usepackage{eso-pic}

\\newcommand\\BackgroundPicA{\\put(270,440){{%
\\begin{tikzpicture}\\node[opacity=0.1]{%
\\includegraphics[scale=0.80]{letter-watermark.jpg}};%
\\end{tikzpicture}%
}}}

\\newcommand\\BackgroundPicB{\\put(-80,-40){{\\reflectbox{%
\\begin{tikzpicture}%
\\node[opacity=0.1]{%
\\includegraphics[scale=0.80]{letter-watermark.jpg}};%
\\end{tikzpicture}%
}}}}

\\makeatletter%
\\AddToShipoutPicture{\\BackgroundPicA}%
\\AddToShipoutPicture{\\BackgroundPicB}%
\\makeatother

\\begin{document}
.
.
\\newpage
.
.
\\end{document}

I have attached a final result as PDF, so you can see the output: PDF with semi-opaqued watermark.