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A Recipe For Development

Take a university campus, attach a subdivision, stir in some start-up firms, and incubate.

5 min read

In 1986, three students came up with the idea of an in-car navigation system as part of a new course in technological entrepreneurship at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in Troy, N.Y. The idea was so compelling that some local investors involved with the university-owned Rensselaer Technology Park and Rensselaer Incubator Program threw in a little seed money to get the students' business rolling. The result blossomed into MapInfo, also based in Troy, now a US $165 million business with 900 employees worldwide.

But it doesn't stop there. Recently, one of the three student founders donated a substantial sum to start an annual competition among RPI students to devise life-enhancing technologies. And one of the early MapInfo investors used part of his earnings to endow a faculty chair in entrepreneurship at RPI.

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Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

11 min read
A plate of spaghetti made from code
Shira Inbar

You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

So why did they take shortcuts? Maybe they didn’t realize that they were cutting any corners. Only when their code was deployed and exercised by a lot of users did its hidden flaws come to light. And maybe the developers were rushed. Time-to-market pressures would almost guarantee that their software will contain more bugs than it would otherwise.

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