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  • Blog Post: Blast from the past—and still true today.

    Someone sent me this link in response to a customer request, and I had to laugh. The situation itself isn’t funny, especially for the customer, but sometimes if you don’t laugh, you’ll ______. You fill in the blank. My colleague [name doesn’t really matter] frequently gets requests from customers for...
  • Blog Post: The death of agile?

    Mike’s got some great points about how agile goes wrong. I’ve seen them all. The skills and talents of individual programmers are the main determinant of software quality. No amount of management, methodology, or high-level architecture astronautism can compensate for a poor quality team. The motivation...
  • Blog Post: Learning under fire. Is there any other way? =P

    I’m one of those folks who prefers to test the depth of a river with both feet, and this learning mode from CodeAcademy appeals to me. Codecademy does a pretty good job, but one group of programmers wanted to make it a little more accessible. Enter CodeCombat, a browser-based game where your in-game...
  • Blog Post: Dinosaur engineering org structure is #dead. #yammer

    This. Is. True. “People make the incorrect assumption that software engineering is writing code to a spec, but it’s not. The engineering decisions you make also matter a lot — and no one builds engineering organizations with this in mind.” Why Yammer Believes the Traditional Engineering Organizational...
  • Blog Post: Alas, IE9, we knew ye well…

    As we get to EOL for Windows XP, the transition to modern browsers should be well underway… Google Apps users will have to upgrade to either Internet Explorer 10 or 11 as Google moves away from supporting users on the older IE9. Google Apps Soon Ending Support for IE9 Users Google, at least, understands...
  • Blog Post: Scary. But probably true.

    Emphasis in the quote below is Jeff’s; I didn’t fiddle with the bold or italics. I just made it blue, because blue is good, right? Pretty soon, all programming will be web programming. If you don't think that's a cause for celebration for the average working programmer, then maybe you should find another...
  • Blog Post: How high is your impulse buy threshold?

    I think Jeff’s on to something: While there's an odd aspect of race to the bottom that I'm not sure is entirely healthy for the iPhone app ecosystem, the idea that software should be priced low enough to pass the average user's "why not" threshold is a powerful one. Coding Horror: Software...
  • Blog Post: South Park mobile business model?

    Microsoft Details How to Port iPhone Apps to Windows Mobile 1. Write an iPhone app. 2. ... 3. Profit! Heh. I’ll read this later when the mobile app store opens and I come up with a killer mobile app to fund my retirement. Or I stop waiting for Windows 7 phones to street and take a bite of the forbidden...
  • Blog Post: Vista SP2 Compatibility Mode Builds Character... on Windows 7

    The kids have gotten to the age where they’re pestering us to play Dungeons & Dragons with them. Well, my oldest son is and he’s dragging his sister along (kicking and screaming, metaphorically-speaking). Heh. Unfortunately, this isn’t his Grandpa’s D&D anymore (or his Dad’s). We didn’t have...
  • Blog Post: NTS: Always install the TFS Power Tools

    Or you’ll wind up with: TF10139: The following check-in policies have not been satisfied. Internal error in Changeset Comments Policy Well, you will whenever somebody else installs them on the TFS server and enables the Changeset Comments Policy... See also: TF10139 Error when checking in files: Check...
  • Blog Post: Two links I want to save for l8r: WM6.5 DTK and Windows API Code Pack for .NET 3.5

    From the MSDN Flash dated 20090623: Download the Free Windows API Code Pack for Microsoft .NET Framework The Code Pack is a source-code library that provides access to the new Windows 7 features (and some related Windows Vista features) from managed code. These features are not available to developers...
  • Blog Post: I wasn’t concerned about warbots. Until...

    The quote is long to provide context, but the bold part is what worries me. Ruh-roh. A recent study prepared for the Office of Naval Research by a team from the California Polytechnic State University said that robot ethics had not received the attention it deserved because of a "rush to market"...
  • Blog Post: To whom it may concern (code comments)

    I thought I was the only one who left warnings in my code for future maintainers... Or maybe Brian inherited one of my previous projects. Heh. Funniest code comment ever... Yes, today’s my last day in SQLBU, and I’ve left more than a few WARNING code comments alongside the TODOs and UNDONEs.
  • Blog Post: Developers MERGE thyselves?

    I was reading this CIO.com article a while back and wondering if “database developers” and “regular developers” agree. As Microsoft sees it, the roles of the database-centric developer and "regular" developer are less distinct than they once were, so the company is merging its VSTS database...
  • Blog Post: Testing the SQL Database

    Being a big fan of test-driven development of any kind, database or otherwise, I was honored to sit on a panel with some other much smarter people than I at TechEd*2008 entitled "Testing the SQL Database." Not only did I get to opine a bit, but I also got to learn some, too, which happens whenever you...
  • Blog Post: How to crash agile-ly?

    Charlie and I never worked together, but after reading his account of a recent cult experience, I could swear that we had. On that project. The problems started when we tried to integrate these methods into our existing environment. First, management demanded that we estimate—and commit to—a...
  • Blog Post: Can you tell a great architect from a bad one?

    Since I'm going to be sitting as a panel member on an MCA review board soon, I'd like to think I can, but apparently some researchers are having trouble... Highly capable designers have an incentive to choose somewhat more difficult designs to better prove their talent, while less-capable designers have...
  • Blog Post: Gender neutral code? Srsly?

    Admittedly being from Mars, my reaction to the this little piece is predictable... I won't bore you with my witty repartee (yes, that's a redundant phrase) involving Emma, my code and a kitchen. (Yes, I'm pretty much overdue for sensitivity training, and when my wife reads this, I'll be back in the doghouse...
  • Blog Post: Cool (Free, Open) Tools: SQL RSS

    Even if nobody has asked you for an RSS feed of data in one or more of your databases, it won't be long before they do! When they do, you can grab this configurable, easy to use data-driven RSS feed widget. A couple ideas for using this application: Business intelligence updates delivered to Microsoft...
  • Blog Post: XNA to the n-th power trumps Gears of War 2 trailer?

    I've been a closet XNA fan for a while. I've been lurking and watching to see how they plan solve some really hard user-generated content problems... “The time has come for the games industry to open its doors to all game creators, enabling anyone to share their creations with the world,”...
  • Blog Post: Are you fungible? Or are you a funge?

    A flamewar that I've been having with Steve (over @ SQLServerCentral.com ) got me thinking about developer fungibility again. It was something that I struggled with when managing teams of developers in previous lives. (Thankfully, I don't manage anybody anymore. Not even me. Heh.) It almost seems like...
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