Posts filed under 'Link Round-Up'

Link Round-Up for 9/13/07

So much Internet, so little timeHere are a few of the links I discovered this week.

First of all, I was looking for a quick way to format some XML on a ASP.NET web page for a quicky test project. This led me to XML Lab and their eXml control. If you’re looking for info on XML and .NET, you don’t want to miss their site.

Derek Slager has put together a nice AJAX online regular expression tester. Pretty neat stuff.

Venkat Reddy Chintalapudi has a nice blog on testing that has several great articles. I ran across this one linked from DZone: Non Reproducible Bugs - How to deal with them ? He has a lot of good stuff from the testing perspective so spend some time on his site.

I found this site, HackNot, and they had this article/story, If They Come, How Will They Build It?, that dealt with issue of ’secret tribal knowledge’ when someone new comes into a project. The email exchange sounds all too familar.

Over at d’bug Stephanie gives a review of a retail site’s redesign in this article: Kohls.com — when a redesign goes slightly awry. My take on the redesign is that this is a good example of what you see when large to mid sized brick-and-morter retailers go online and of a semi-failed project in general. Costs, schedules, and key development steps were probably cut to get the new site online by September 1 ahead of the Christmas shopping season. Make sure you read the rest of Stephanie and Brian’s blog. They’ve got a lot of interesting articles there.

If you’re in the mood for a laugh, check out Scrum Cartoons. Funny stuff.

Lastly, Mark Savage has a nice set of articles about the costs of firing a ‘bad developer’ (Part 1, Part 2). He has some good points to ponder before you decide to ‘flip the bozo bit’ on a developer.

That’s all for this week. Let me know of any .NET or general software development sites you think I should check out by leaving me a comment or using the Contact Me button.

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Add comment September 13th, 2007

Link Round-Up for 9/6/07

Mmm, yeah, I'm going to have to go ahead and ask you to blog on Sunday too. M'Kay?Here are some interesting links I ran across this week.

First off, I had only vaguely heard of DZone before this week. After my 5 Elements of Style For Error Messages article got posted there I heard about it as a lot of new visitors to this site suddenly appeared. If you want to keep up with the latest software development blog posts you’ll want to check it out.

Over at BNet I found this article, 10 Overrated Business Books (and What to Read Instead). I particular like how it took on popular management books that some pointy haired bosses love to quote from, such as “Who Moved My Cheese” and Jack Welch & the G.E. Way, and pointed out exactly what was wrong with them.

At Lullabot Jeff Eaton has a nice article entitled Why not ASP.Net?. He does a good job of comparing and contrasting his previous .NET development work with his current work in Drupal/LAMP.

Last week I wrote this article, How To Conduct a VB.NET Job Interview, with a general outline I like for interviewing job candidates. If you’re looking for something with more specific questions, take a look at this article series by Adam Wolkov: .NET Interview Questions - Part 1 and .NET Interview Questions - Part 2. His interview is obviously geared toward C# programmers but there are several good general .NET questions you can use for a VB.NET interview.

If you feel the urge to incentivise a creative paradigm or leverage some synergy you should read this article on TechRepublic, 10 signs that you’re not cut out to be an IT manager. I think the article is supposed to be serious, I’m not quite sure though. It really sounded like a reverse blueprint to becoming a boss parody like Bill Lumbergh.

That’s all for this week. If you know of an article on VB.NET or general programming that I should be aware of, please leave me a comment or use the contact me button.

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Add comment September 6th, 2007

Link Round-Up For 8/29/07

Links make the Internet go roundHere are some interesting items I’ve found this week.

Last week I had mentioned an article at TechRepublic about recommending an IT career to the next generation. Here’s another good one over at WindowsITPro, Are IT Pros Steering Their Children Away From IT?. While the discussion on this one wasn’t quite as lively, there were some good points made. I particularly liked this one by ROGJR

The industry uses so many recruiting agencies, short term contracts, and outsourcing that any position as an IT pro would be considered unstable. It’s close to being treated like a day laborer.

as well as this one by Formica

Now I realize that instead of working my tail off on a computer science degree, I should have been working on a business degree — easier classes and a position that sets the salaries and policies instead of being victimized by them.

Ouch! I’ve started work on my own article on this subject I hope to have ready soon.

Over at Digital Blasphemy, Jeremy Jarrell has this nice debugging tip: Overriding ToString for Easier Debugging. While it’s written for C# it’s easy to apply the same idea to VB.NET debugging as well.

‘Ciz’ had left me a comment earlier this week on my article, How To Conduct a VB.NET Job Interview, and mentioned his related article, Recruiting VB.NET developers. I don’t agree with his point about hiring a C# developer to do VB.NET work but I do agree with his ending statement:

The real expertise in .NET is an understanding of the framework, object-oriented design, and good general development practices.

To see why I think C# programmers shouldn’t be hired to program VB.NET, check out this article on Los Techies: VB.Net oddity of the day - Assignment/Comparison operator. While this is a relatively trival matter, C# programmers are likely to get annoyed by long-standing BASIC syntax just like VB’ers find typing a lot of semi-colons and braces bothersome.

If you’ve wondered about using an Interface or Abstract Class, Kirill Osenkov has an answer for you in this article: Choosing: Interface vs. Abstract Class. He raises several good points in where NOT to use an interface and opts for a very minimalist approach. I’m not sure if I agree with him 100% but he does raise some very good points.

EDIT: One quick addition this week. If you’re a former VB6′er and miss the Line and Shape controls, check out the Visual Basic 2005 Power Packs 2.0 from Microsoft. This new pack, released on 8/13/07, adds enhanced versions these controls as well as incorporating the previously available PrintForm and Printer Compatibility components.

That’s all for this week. If you know of an article on VB.NET or general programming that I should be aware of, please leave me a comment or use the contact me button.

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2 comments August 30th, 2007

Link Round-Up for 8/23/07

Fixed a broken link todayHere are some links to interesting articles and blog posts I ran across this week on the subjects of VB.NET and software development teams.

To lead off this week, Jeff Atwood at Coding Horror wrote this piece, Leading by Example, that fits in well with my article on Marine Corps leadership, and not just because he has a picture of Gunny Hartman (R. Lee Ermey) from Full Metal Jacket in it. In the article he goes into the pitfall of being seen as an enforcer and not a leader. Good stuff.

In my article earlier this week, 10 Ways To Insure Project Failure, I mentioned the practice of using methodologies like Agile and Scrum as political cover for failed projects. To be fair, I should highlight that not everyone uses them as a way to do a CYA dance. While I’m still kind of skeptical about these processes, having seen and heard of them being misused, some organizations are using them successfully. If you want some further resources on Scrum and Agile development methods, check out this article by Billy McCafferty, Introduction to Scrum and Agile Development.

Over at dream.in.code they have free reference sheets for C++, Java, VB6, ColdFusion, and VB.NET. I recommend downloading them and tacking them up in your cubical.

On TechRepublic this week there was a lively discussion about this column by Jason Hiner, Sanity Check: Is IT still a profession worth recommending to the next generation? My opinion is that for most people entering the working world from college or making a career change IT is not a good career option for several reasons (which I may cover in depth in my own article later). Some people disagreed, some with good points other with cheesy patronizing platitudes. Anyway, it was a good discussion about IT careers and the future direction they may take.

If you want to get a heads up on what people are saying in the .NET world, check out DotNetKicks. It’s sort of like Digg for the .NET community where you can view current blog articles on .NET topics and approve of them by giving them a ‘kick’. If you like my articles, make sure you give them a kick by clicking the DotNetKicks icon on the social bookmarking bar at the bottom of the post.

That’s all the links for this week. If you know of any articles or blog posts related to VB.NET or general programming practices that you think I should take a look at, please leave me a comment or use the Contact Me page to send me a private note.

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Add comment August 23rd, 2007

Link Round-Up for 8/16/07

LinksHere are some links to some useful articles, links and blog posts I came across this week that relate to VB.NET and software development teams.

First of all, there were a few articles I ran across about bad managers. If you have a bad boss you may wonder why he or she hasn’t been fired due to their antics, this Reuters article, Bad bosses get promoted, not punished?, offers some insight based on a survey. It seems that making your subordinates miserable or even sick helps some bosses get ahead. I don’t know if they full survey results will be made available online or not, I couldn’t find them right off, but it would be interesting to see the details of this study.

Along the same lines Ramon Padilla at TechRepublic has this article, Seven traits of fearful managers, that raises some good points about what can cause a manager to become fearful and, thus, an ineffective leader. A lot of his points tie in well with my series on Marine Corps leadership and some of my other articles that discuss toxic workplaces.

Also in the article he brings up this very important personal finance tip:

The workplace, as is the world, is a very unpredictable place and hardly ever fair. Never get so settled in a position that you become complacent. Always plan for your next move. Put away some money in an “emergency cache” that can fund six months of unemployment. It may take you awhile to build it, but having it gives you the peace of mind that your world hasn’t completely fallen apart should you find yourself out of work. That peace of mind also works to reduce anxiety about being let go.

I highly recommend this strategy for anyone working in IT, manager or non-manager. Employment in the IT workplace is usually very unstable and complacency coupled with lack of savings is quite risky. Having this safety cushion, even if it isn’t a full six months at first, will reduce your job stress and anxiety significantly.

Over at CodeBetter, Jeremy Miller has this article, On Software Teams, where he gives his view on development teams. I found myself agreeing with his points a lot, particularly the main one, “Happy developers are productive developers.” He has several other good software team articles in his blog as well so check them out too if you get a chance. They’re linked at the end of the article above.

On the VB.NET front, check out this video interview with Lisa Feigenbaum, a Program Manager on the Visual Basic Editor, over at Channel9: Visual Basic Intellisense Improvements in VS 2008. If you’re wondering what improvements you’ll see in Visual Studio 2008’s rendition of VB.NET, you’ll want to watch this video. It looks like a good job so far. I just hope it isn’t too Vista-ized. If you want to keep up with what’s going on inside the VB.NET development team, check out their blog: The Visual Basic Team.

That’s it for this week. If you see a good VB.NET or general programming article or web site let me know about it by leaving a comment.

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Add comment August 16th, 2007

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