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Load Testing with Visual Studio Online

Testing TV - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 23:34
Most development teams realize that they should do load testing but can’t because of time or resource constraints. ?Now, with Visual Studio Online, load testing has never been easier. We’ve introduced a simplified, browser-based authoring and configuration experience that lets you quickly create a load test and execute it at scale, using the power of […]
Categories: Blogs

See the IBM UrbanCode Team at Gartner AADI in December!

IBM UrbanCode - Release And Deploy - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 21:45

Thinking about attending the upcoming Gartner Application Architecture, Development & Integration Summit 2014, taking place December 8-10, in Las Vegas, NV?

As a summit platinum sponsor, IBM UrbanCode would like to invite you to participate in these special on-site activities, including:

APN28Banner 300x250 See the IBM UrbanCode Team at Gartner AADI in December!

See IBM UrbanCode at Gartner AADI 2014

  • Stop by Booth #301 and to learn more and see demos on UrbanCode, Bluemix, WebSphere and all IBM DevOps Solutions!
  • Attend sessions:
    • DevOps – Software-driven innovation Delivered at Speed;
    • Hybrid Soup for the Soul – An IBM formula for leveraging key capabilities in the age of blended clouds
  • Join us in our Hospitality Suite: IBM Blue Lounge – Continuous BevApps Delivered at Speed
IBM UrbanCode Can Save You Money!

Register with priority code *APNS7* to save $300 off the standard price.
Learn more and register!

See more of what IBM UrbanCode is doing at Gartner AADI – Download our show flyer.

Flyer promo e1416255534107 See the IBM UrbanCode Team at Gartner AADI in December!

Download show flyer

 

What is Gartner AADI?

The Gartner Application Architecture, Development & Integration Summit is the single most important presentation of Gartner insight across applications priorities each year, bringing together 40 Gartner analysts and hundreds of application professionals. Nearly 50 analyst sessions, plus a robust agenda of keynotes, tutorials, end–user case studies, workshops and analyst–user roundtables, deliver the insight you need to modernize, innovate and transform the business.

 

Categories: Companies

Making Unit Testing Mistakes as a Junior Developer

Software Testing Magazine - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 19:50
Writing unit tests is easy in theory but could be more difficult in practice. Usually experience helps in getting better at unit testing. In this blog post, Patroklos Papapetrou shares some of his experience in writing Java unit tests. The post is based on a code example and its initial corresponding unit tests. Patroklos Papapetrou explains some of the mistakes contained in these initial unit testing code and provides some hints to improve them: * Developers tend to write unit tests only for the successful paths. * The test method should be ...
Categories: Communities

Announcing Sauce Labs’ New Platform Configurator

Sauce Labs - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 18:00

selenium platformsWe’ve just released our new platform configurator that easily generates the code you need to configure your automated tests to run on Sauce. You can select the automation API, device type, operating system, and browser version you want to test with, and it will automatically generate a snippet of code for those desired capabilities. You can toggle between code generated for different languages.

The configurator also allows you to set advanced configurations like screen resolution, screenshots, and videos.

The platform configurator makes it easier than ever to configure your tests to run on the Sauce cloud. Check it out in our docs.

Categories: Companies

CIO.com: Helping Developers Reduce Open Source Risk

Sonatype Blog - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 17:08
Last week, CIO.com shared a story of an inflection point in application security.  Lucian Constantin discussed how there needs to be a shift from manual open source risk analysis to more automated approaches.  His article stated, “The notion of using manual audits, manual approvals and traditional...

To read more, visit our blog at blog.sonatype.com.
Categories: Companies

Meet the uTesters: Michael Solomon

uTest - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 16:30

Michael Solomon is a Silver-rated tester on paid projects at uTest, hailing from the United States (New York). When he’s not testing softmichael solomonware, Michael works as a freelance sound man in TV. You can visit some of his work over at his website.

Be sure to also follow Michael’s profile on uTest as well so you can stay up to date with his activity in the community!

uTest: Android or iOS?

Michael: iOS! I have had an iPhone since the first one came out, and I think I have owned every model since the very first one. I do have a Samsung Galaxy S4 for testing purposes. While the Android platform has become easier for me to understand, I most definitely prefer iOS and its abilities to sync seamlessly with my Macbook Air, Calendars, iMessage, etc.

uTest: What drew you into testing initially? What’s kept you at it?

Michael: When I came upon the site, I didn’t have formal testing experience. Turns out that having an inquisitive mind and a good head on your shoulders can be just as valuable as having formal technical training.

What’s kept me at it? The fact that it turns out I’m fairly good at it! I’ve always been a stickler for grammar, so I think that helps massively in my bug reports. I’m constantly going back into my bug reports to tweak a word here and there, which probably goes unnoticed by the Test Team Lead (TTL), Project Manager (PM), and client.

uTest: What’s your go-to gadget?

Michael: My iPhone 6 for sure! I love it. It’s a beautiful phone. Console logs are a breeze with Xcode, videos look beautiful, and in conjunction with HandBrake, you can attach some very high-resolution videos to your bug reports that measure up at just around three megs.

uTest: What’s one trait or quality you seek in a fellow software testing colleague?

Michael: Clear bug reports. Being part of a cycle at uTest involves going through the previous bugs that have been raised to make sure you’re not posting a duplicate. A good bug title goes a long way in terms of making my job easier when it comes to figuring out if I am posting a bug that has already been posted.

uTest: What keeps you busy outside testing?

Michael: Outside of testing, I stay busy with my day job, which is recording dialogue for many different types of TV programs. You can find my audio in various programs ranging from Impractical Jokers to the unveiling of the Lord & Taylor Holiday Windows with Nick Jonas, and from the first episode of Cake Boss to the Banksy Does New York documentary on HBO/HBO GO.

Categories: Companies

Takeaways from the DoubleClick Outage

On November 12th 2014, DoubleClick started having an issue delivering Ads.  This was seen by Dynatrace’s Outage Analyzer, a Big Data application which captures millions of domain requests from tens of thousand of tests run from the Dynatrace Synthetic Network. The issue was seen across almost every industry vertical that Dynatrace monitors (Automotive, Social Networking, […]

The post Takeaways from the DoubleClick Outage appeared first on Dynatrace APM Blog.

Categories: Companies

A Tech Lead Paradox: Consistency vs Improvement

thekua.com@work - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 13:32

Agile Manifesto signatory Jim Highsmith talks about riding paradoxes in his approach to Adaptive Leadership.

A leader will find themselves choosing between two solutions or two situations that compete against each other. A leader successfully “rides the paradox” when they adopt an “AND” mindset, instead of an “OR” mindset. Instead of choosing one solution over another, they find a way to satisfy both situations, even though they contradict one another.

A common Tech Lead paradox is the case of Consistency versus Improvement.

The case for consistency

Code is easier to understand, maintain and modify when it is consistent. It is so important, that there is a wiki page on the topic and the 1999 classic programming book, The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master had a chapter titled, “The Evils of Duplication.” Martin Fowler wrote about similar code smells, calling them “Divergent Change” and “Shotgun Surgery” in his Refactoring book.

Consistency ultimately helps other developers (or even your future-self) change code with less mental burden figuring out of there will be unwanted side-effects.

The case for improvement

Many developers want to use the latest and greatest tool, framework or programming language. Some examples: Java instead of C/C++, Python/Ruby instead of Java, JavaScript (Node) instead of Python/Ruby and then Clojure in place of JavaScript. The newest and latest technologies promise increased productivity, fewer bugs and more effective software development. Something that we all want. They promise the ability to accomplish something with fewer lines of code, or a simpler, clearer way to write something.

The conflict

Software is meant to be soft. Software is meant to be changed. A successful codebase will evolve over time, but the more features and changes a codebase has, the harder it becomes to add something new without making the codebase inconsistent. When a new technology is added to the mix, there is suddenly two ways of accomplishing the same thing. Multiple this over time and number of transitions, and a codebase suddenly has eight different ways of accomplishing

Transitioning everything to a new technology is a function takes time. Making a change to an old part of the system is a gamble. Leaving the codebase as it is makes potentially new change in this area hard. That new change may never happen. Migrating everything over has the risk of introducing unwanted side-effects and taking time that may never be worth it.

To the developer wanting the new technology, the change appears easy. To those who have to follow up with change (i.e. other team members or future team members) it may not be so clear. Making it consistent takes time away from developing functionality. Business stakeholders want (understandably) justification.

Phil Calçado (@pcalcado) tweeted about this paradox:
As a dev, I love going for the shiny language. As a manager, I want a mature ecosystem and heaps of bibliography on how to write decent apps

What does a Tech Lead do?

Tech Leads ride the paradox by encouraging improvement and continually seeking consistency. But how? Below I provide you with a number of possible solutions.

Use Spike Solutions

Spikes are a time-boxed XP activity to provide an answer to a simple question. Tech Leads can encourage spike solutions to explore whether or not a new technology provides the foreseeable benefit.

Improvement spikes are usually written stand-alone – either in a branch or on a separate codebase. They are written with the goal of learning something as fast as possible, without worrying about writing maintainable code. When the spike is over, the spike solution should be thrown away.

Spikes provide many benefits over discussion because a prototype better demonstrates the benefits and problems given a particular codebase and problem domain. The spike solution provides a cheap way to experiment before committing to a particular direction.

Build a shared roadmap

Improvements are easy to make to a small, young codebase. Everything is easily refactored to design a new tool/technology. It’s the larger longer-lived codebases that are more difficult to change because more has been built up on the foundations that must be changed.

A Tech Lead establishes a shared understanding with the team of what “good” looks like. Specifically, which tool/technology should be used for new changes. They keep track of older instances, looking to transition them across where possible (and where it makes sense).

Techniques like the Mikado Method are indispensable for tackling problems that eating away at the bigger problem.

Playback the history

A new developer sees five different ways of doing the same thing. What do they do? A Tech Lead pre-empts this problem by recounting the story of how change was introduced, what was tried when and what the current preferred way of doing things are.

Ideally the Tech Lead avoids having five different ways of accomplishing the same thing, but when not possible, they provide a clear way ahead.

If you liked this article, you will be interested in “Talking with Tech Leads,” a book that shares real life experiences from over 35 Tech Leads around the world. Now available on Leanpub.

Categories: Blogs

How to remain relevant – price change

The Social Tester - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 13:00

How to remain relevant Just a short post to let you know that my book, Remaining Relevant – testers edition, will be going up in price on 30th November 2014. The price is changing to make way for a new book launch next year and also a non-testing edition of Remaining Relevant also coming out … Read More →

The post How to remain relevant – price change appeared first on The Social Tester.

Categories: Blogs

How to get the most out of impact mapping

Gojko Adzic - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 12:35

im-contexts Ingrid Domingues, Johan Berndtsson and I met up in July this year to compare the various approaches to Impact Mapping and community feedback and investigate how to get the most out of this method in different contexts. The conclusion was that there are two key factors to consider for software delivery using impact maps, and recognising the right context is crucial to get the most out of the method. The two important dimensions are the consequences of being wrong (making the the wrong product management decisions) and the ability to make investments.

These two factors create four different contexts, and choosing the right approach is crucial in order to get the most out of the method:

  • Good ability to make investments, and small consequences of being wrong – Iterate: Organisations will benefit from taking some initial time defining the desired impact, and then exploring different solutions with small and directed impact maps that help design and evaluate deliverables against desired outcome.
  • Poor ability to decide on investments, small consequences of being wrong – Align: Organisations will benefit from detailing the user needs analysis in order to make more directed decisions, and to drive prioritisation for longer pieces of work. Usually only parts of maps end up being delivered.
  • Good ability to make investments, serious consequences of being wrong – Experiment: Organisations can explore different product options and user needs in multiple impact maps.
  • Poor ability to make investments, serious consequences of being wrong – Discover: The initial hypothesis impact map is detailed by user studies and user testing that converge towards the desired impact.

We wrote an article about this. You can read it on InfoQ.

Categories: Blogs

Agile Education Engine - Bringing Power to your Agile Transformation

When I look across the numerous Agile deployment efforts, I see a lower rate of success in achieving the business benefits than I would expect.  May I suggest that in order to improve the odds of achieving Agile success and gaining the business results it can bring, there are three success factors. The first is that the Agile change must be thought of an organizational level change.  The second is that the Agile change must focus on getting the mind Agile-ready.  This is emphasized in the article Are you Ready for you Agile Journey.  And the third is that in order to bridge the gap between the Agile values and principles to Agile methods and practices, people need to be well educated in ways to build more customer value, optimize the flow of work, and increase quality with feedback loops.    
The current level of Agile education tends to be limited to 2-days of training and a variety of books.  I think most people will acknowledge that 2 days of Agile training does not provide enough learning.  On the other hand, reading lots of books takes a lot of time and are often not aligned with each other.  The other challenge with some of the Agile education is that it is often focused only on implementing the mechanics.
What is missing from many Agile transformations is an Agile Education Engine that helps you truly understand and embrace Agile and helps bridge the gap between Agile Values and Principles and the Agile methods and practices.  This will help folks better understand how to understand, embrace, and implement Agile and move beyond simply following the Agile mechanics of the methods and practices.  The Agile Education Engine can help ready the mind for an effective transformation.  


One of the best Agile education engines that I have seen is the material found in the Value Flow Quality(VFQ) work-based education system.  VFQ provides a set of well-researched topics that are easily digested in the form of readings, case studies, activities, and experiments.  It provides students with the ability to study a little, then experiment a little within their own context (aka, project or team).  The benefit of the VFQ work-based learning system is that it helps people apply their newly learned skills on the job when they need them.  This bodes very well for the learners because, they can learn at their own pace and as they are trying to implement the Agile values, principles, and practices. 
Some topics that VFQ offers are: Why Change, Optimizing Flow, Feedback, Requirements, Priorisation, Trade-offs, Understanding your Customer, Delivering Early and Often, Teams, Motivation, Attacking your Queues, Work in Progress, Trade-offs, and more.  Each topic includes a number of techniques that will help you achieve the business outcomes you are looking for.  The VFQ materials will provide you with knowledge on Value Stream Mapping, Story Mapping, Cost of Delay, 6 Prisms and much more.   
In addition, VFQ really helps you get to the state of “being Agile”.  It moves you away from thinking about the mechanics.  Instead, it provides you a layer of knowledge in a critical thinking manner to ensure you apply the principles and behaviors to the practices to gain the outcomes that you want.  Finally, applying the VFQ education is also an excellent way to kick-start an Agile transformation.  This way, the Agile champions for the transformation and teams are armed with a variety of different ways to bring Agile to the organization. 
If you find yourself struggling with getting a good baseline of Agile education, then consider the Value Flow Quality (VFQ) work-based learning system.  It will help you bridge the gap between the Agile values and principles and Agile methods so that you bring the Agile mindset to bear as you start or continue your Agile journey. 
Categories: Blogs

Inspiration from Leonardo da Vinci

James Grenning’s Blog - Sun, 11/16/2014 - 09:12

While in Singapore, we visited the Leonardo da Vinci exhibit at the Marina Bay ArtScience Museum. We took the guided tour with expert from Milan. We think he was a Catholic priest by the roman collar. We were both amazed at the great influence and knowledge da Vinci had in math, science, art, music, technology, weapons, architecture…

He started with a disadvantage; he spoke no Latin, the language of the educated. His accomplishments would have been amazing if it were 10 people rather than just one. You better go read more here about him.

Leonardo da Vinci believed in experience and observation over dogma. In this we may be able to call him one of the great-great*-grandparents of Agile, Extreme Programming, and Deming’s PDCA.

Leonardo was a religious man, and he believed that God speaks to man through math. He saw the Golden Ratio as the mark of God. Many of you know the golden ratio through the Fibonacci sequence used in Planning Poker. I don’t think that God’s hand is part of software estimation in any form. That’s all on us. It is fascinating how it appears throughout nature and that the polymath Leonardo saw it so well. For you math types, here is an interesting description of the relationship between Fibonacci numbers and the golden ration.

Another cool fact about da Vinci, his written works are all in mirror writing. You have to look in a mirror to read them, or turn your brain inside out. There are two main reasons the scholars surmise. The popular reason is that he was trying to hide his work. Our guide’s more informed reason is that he was left handed. In those days, writing was done with a quill and ink. A left handed person would make a pretty big mess of that. There is no mess, just precision. These drawings are quite small with very fine detail. Mirror writing is a rare skill it seems.

He actually did not reveal all his work, but not necessarily out of secrecy; he just kept all his notes and did not try to publish them. It sounded like he was somewhat of an introvert.

Leonardo taught drawing. He had his students use a silver point, and duplicate his drawings. The silver point could not be erased. I guess that would have led to the artists being very careful. Copying Leonardo’s work meant they had to learn to draw as he did. Not until they mastered drawing with the silver point were they allowed to use paint. He focused on craftsmanship and growing knowledge and skill.

Here are a few more photos

This is a picture of some of Leonardo’s geometry, witnessing the symmetry and attempting to find a way to square a circle.

That is a picture of the enlarged image that covered a wall. We also could see the original in a dark and frigid room. The room conditions were to protect the 500 year old documents. The original was about 6″ wide. His writing and drawing was precise and tiny in all these works.

da Vinci had drawings for the construction of a water lift. Here is the model build from it. His drawings had detailed measurements on dimension and construction.

It kind of looks like a modern day grain elevator.

We also saw the original of this drawing. Right click this one and open it on another page to see the detail.

Again, the precision and measurements allow physical models to be built.

The guide told us that if Leonardo had titanium, he could have built these so they could fly. Leonardo knew that men did not have the strength to actually fly with these wings. It is important to know limits, but he did not seem to be constrained by any conventional wisdom that went against what he could witness.

da Vinci used his knowledge and skill from one field and applied them to others. We can all learn and be inspired from him.

Seeing what da Vinci accomplished and hearing his approach, reinforces that we need more of this in software development. Learning from observation, mastering your craft, preferring observation over dogma, experimenting, and learning from failure should be valued more and sought after. Let’s take the lesson to Scrum users. The cycle of Scrum is essentially an observe and improve cycle. Are you cycling, but not bothering to observe and approve, concerning yourself only with the dogma of Scrum? What would Leonardo’s approach software be?

You can find some more of my photos here.

Categories: Blogs

Thoughts on the Consulting Profession

Sometimes I come across something that makes me realize I am the "anti" version of what I am seeing or hearing.

Recently, I saw a Facebook ad for a person's consulting course that promised high income quickly with no effort on the part of the "consultant" to actually do the work. "Everything is outsourced," he goes on to say. In his videos he shows all of his expensive collections, which include both a Ferrari and a Porsche. I'm thinking "Really?"

I'm not faulting his success or his income, but I do have a problem with the promotion of the concept that one can truly call themselves a consultant or an expert in something without actually doing the work involved. His high income is based on the markup of other people's subcontracting rates because they are the ones with the actual talent. Apparently, they just don't think they are worth what they are being billed for in the marketplace.

It does sound enticing and all, but I have learned over the years that my clients want to work with me, not someone I just contract with. I would like to have the "Four Hour Workweek", but that's just not the world I live in.

Nothing wrong with subcontracting, either. I sometimes team with other highly qualified and experienced consultants to help me on engagements where the scope is large. But I'm still heavily involved on the project.

I think of people like Gerry Weinberg or Alan Weiss who are master consultants and get their hands dirty in helping solve their client's problems. I mentioned in our webinar yesterday that I was fortunate to have read Weinberg's "Secrets of Consulting" way back in 1990 when I was first starting out on my own in software testing consulting. That book is rich in practical wisdom, as are Weiss' books. (Weiss also promotes the high income potential of consulting, but it is based on the value he personally brings to his clients.)

Without tooting my own horn too loudly, I just want to state for the record that I am a software quality and testing practitioner in my consulting and training practice. That establishes credibility with my clients and students. I do not get consulting work, only to then farm it out to sub-contractors. I don't consider that as true consulting.

True consulting is strategic and high-value. My goal is to do the work, then equip my clients to carry on - not to be around forever, as is the practice of some consulting firms. However, I'm always available to support my clients personally when they need ongoing help.

Yes, I still write test plans, work with test tools, lead teams and other detailed work so I can stay sharp technically. However, that is only one dimension of the consulting game - being able to consult and advise others because you have done it before yourself (and it wasn't all done 20 years ago).

Scott Adams, the creator of the Dilbert comic strip had a heyday with poking fun at consultants. His humor had a lot of truth in it, as did the movie "Office Space."

My point?

When choosing a consultant, look for 1) experience and knowledge in your specific area of problems (or opportunities), 2) the work ethic to actually spend time on your specific concerns, and 3) integrity and trust. All three need to be in place or you will be under-served.

Rant over and thanks for reading! I would love to hear your comments.

Randy


Categories: Blogs

Temporarily ignore SSL certificate problem in Git under Windows

Decaying Code - Maxime Rouiller - Sat, 11/15/2014 - 04:43

So I've encountered the following issue:

fatal: unable to access 'https://myurl/myproject.git/': SSL certificate problem: unable to get local issuer certificate

Basically, we're working on a local Git Stash project and the certificates changed. While they were working to fix the issues, we had to keep working.

So I know that the server is not compromised (I talked to IT). How do I say "ignore it please"? Temporary solution

This is because you know they are going to fix it.

PowerShell code:

$env:GIT_SSL_NO_VERIFY = "true"

CMD code:

SET GIT_SSL_NO_VERIFY=true

This will get you up and running as long as you don’t close the command window. This variable will be reset to nothing as soon as you close it. Permanent solution

Fix your certificates. Oh… you mean it’s self signed and you will forever use that one? Install it on all machines.

Seriously. I won’t show you how to permanently ignore certificates. Fix your certificate situation because trusting ALL certificates without caring if they are valid or not is juts plain dangerous.

Fix it.

NOW.

Categories: Blogs

The Yoda Condition

Decaying Code - Maxime Rouiller - Sat, 11/15/2014 - 04:43

So this will be a short post. I would like to introduce a word in my vocabulary and yours too if it didn't already exist.

First I would like to credit Nathan Smith for teaching me that word this morning. First, the tweet:

Chuckling at "disallowYodaConditions" in JSCS… https://t.co/unhgFdMCrh — Awesome way of describing it. pic.twitter.com/KDPxpdB3UE

— Nathan Smith (@nathansmith) November 12, 2014

So... this made me chuckle.

What is the Yoda Condition?

The Yoda Condition can be summarized into "inverting the parameters compared in a conditional".

Let's say I have this code:

string sky = "blue";if(sky == "blue) {    // do something}

It can be read easily as "If the sky is blue". Now let's put some Yoda into it!

Our code becomes :

string sky = "blue";	if("blue" == sky){    // do something}

Now our code read as "If blue is the sky". And that's why we call it Yoda condition.

Why would I do that?

First, if you're missing an "=" in your code, it will fail at compile time since you can't assign a variable to a literal string. It can also avoid certain null reference error.

What's the cost of doing this then?

Beside getting on the nerves of all the programmers in your team? You reduce the readability of your code by a huge factor.

Each developer on your team will hit a snag on every if since they will have to learn how to speak "Yoda" with your code.

So what should I do?

Avoid it. At all cost. Readability is the most important thing in your code. To be honest, you're not going to be the only guy/girl maintaining that app for years to come. Make it easy for the maintainer and remove that Yoda talk.

The problem this kind of code solve isn't worth the readability you are losing.

Categories: Blogs

Do you have your own Batman Utility Belt?

Decaying Code - Maxime Rouiller - Sat, 11/15/2014 - 04:43
Just like most of us on any project, you (yes you!) as a developer must have done the same thing over and over again. I'm not talking about coding a controller or accessing the database.

Let's check out some concrete examples shall we?

  • Have you ever setup HTTP Caching properly, created a class for your project and call it done?
  • What about creating a proper Web.config to configure static asset caching?
  • And what about creating a MediaTypeFormatter for handling CSV or some other custom type?
  • What about that BaseController that you rebuild from project to project?
  • And those extension methods that you use ALL the time but rebuild for each projects...

If you answered yes to any of those questions... you are in great risk of having to code those again.

Hell... maybe someone already built them out there. But more often than not, they will be packed with other classes that you are not using. However, most of those projects are open source and will allow you to build your own Batman utility belt!

So once you see that you do something often, start building your utility belt! Grab those open source classes left and right (make sure to follow the licenses!) and start building your own class library.

NuGet

Once you have a good collection that is properly separated in a project and that you seem ready to kick some monkey ass, the only way to go is to use NuGet to pack it together!

Checkout the reference to make sure that you do things properly.

NuGet - Publishing

OK you got a steamy new hot NuGet package that you are ready to use? You can either push it to the main repository if your intention is to share it with the world.

If you are not ready quite yet, there are multiple way to use a NuGet package internally in your company. The easiest? Just create a Share on a server and add it to your package source! As simple as that!

Now just make sure to increment your version number on each release by using the SemVer convention.

Reap the profit

OK, no... not really. You probably won't be money anytime soon with this library. At least not in real money. Where you will gain however is when you are asked to do one of those boring task yet over again in another project or at another client.

The only thing you'll do is import your magic package, use it and boom. This task that they planned would take a whole day? Got finished in minutes.

As you build up your toolkit, more and more task will become easier to accomplish.

The only thing left to consider is what NOT to put in your toolkit.

Last minute warning

If you have an employer, make sure that your contract allows you to reuse code. Some contracts allows you to do that but double check with your employer.

If you are a company, make sure not to bill your client for the time spent building your tool or he might have the right to claim them as his own since you billed him for it.

In case of doubt, double check with a lawyer!

Categories: Blogs

Software Developer Computer Minimum Requirements October 2014

Decaying Code - Maxime Rouiller - Sat, 11/15/2014 - 04:43

I know that Scott Hanselman and Jeff Atwood have already done something similar.

Today, I'm bringing you the minimum specs that are required to do software development on a Windows Machine.

P.S.: If you are building your own desktop, I recommend PCPartPicker.

ProcessorRecommendation

Intel: Intel Core i7-4790K

AMD: AMD FX-9590

Unless you use a lot of software that supports multi-threading, a simple 4 core here will work out for most needs.

MemoryRecommendation

Minimum 8GB. 16GB is better.

My minimum requirement here is 8GB. I run a database engine and Visual Studio. SQL Server can easily take 2Gb with some big queries. If you have extensions installed for Visual Studio, it will quickly raise to 1GB of usage per instance and finally... Chrome. With multiple extensions and multiple pages running... you will quickly reach 4GB.

So get 8GB as the bare minimum. If you are running Virtual Machines, get 16GB. It won't be too much. There's no such thing as too much RAM when doing software development.

Hard-driveRecommendation

512 GB SSD drive

I can't recommend enough an SSD. Most tools that you use on a development machine will require a lot of I/O. Especially random read. When a compiler starts and retrieve all your source code to compile, it will need to read from all those file. Same thing if you have tooling like ReSharper or CodeRush. I/O speed is crucial. This requirement is even more important on a laptop. Traditionally, PC maker put a 5200RPM HDD on a laptop to reduce power usage. However, 5200 RPM while doing development will be felt everywhere.

Get an SSD.

If you need bigger storage (terabytes), you can always get a second hard-drive of the HDD type instead. Slower but capacities are also higher. On most laptop, you will need external storage for this hard drive so make sure it is USB3 compatible.

Graphic Card

Unless you do graphic rendering or are working with graphic tools that require a beast of a card... this is where you will put the less amount of money.

Make sure to get enough of them for your amount of monitors and that they can provide the right resolution/refresh rate.

Monitors

My minimum requirement nowadays is 22 inches. 4K is nice but is not part of the "minimum" requirement. I enjoy a 1920x1080 resolution. If you are buying them for someone else, make sure they can be rotated. Some developers like to have a vertical screen when reading code.

To Laptop or not to Laptop

Some company go Laptop for everyone. Personally, if the development machine never need to be taken out of the building, you can go desktop. You will save a bit on all the required accessories (docking port, wireless mouse, extra charger, etc.).

My personal scenario takes me to clients all over the city as well as doing presentations left and right. Laptop it is for me.

Categories: Blogs

SVG are now supported everywhere, or almost

Decaying Code - Maxime Rouiller - Sat, 11/15/2014 - 04:43

I remember that when I wanted to draw some graphs on a web page, I would normally have 2 solutions

Solution 1 was to have an IMG tag that linked to a server component that would render an image based on some data. Solution 2 was to do Adobe Flash or maybe even some Silverlight.

Problem with Solution 1

The main problem is that it is not interactive. You have an image and there is no way to do drilldown or do anything with it. So unless your content was simple and didn't need any kind of interaction or simply was headed for printing... this solution just wouldn't do.

Problem with Solution 2

While you now get all the interactivity and the beauty of a nice Flash animation and plugin... you lost the benefits of the first solution too. Can't print it if you need it and over that... it required a plugin.

For OSX back in 2009, plugins were the leading cause of browser crash and there is nothing that stops us from believing that similar things aren't true for other browsers.

The second problem is security. A plugin is just another attack vector on your browser and requiring a plugin to display nice graphs seem a bit extreme.

The Solution

The solution is relatively simple. We need a system that allows us to draw lines, curves and what not based on coordinate that we provide it.

That system should of course support colors, font and all the basic HTML features that we know now (including events).

Then came SVG

SVG has been the main specification to drawing anything vector related in a browser since 1999. Even though the specification started at the same time than IE5, it wasn't supported in Internet Explorer until IE9 (12 years later).

The support for SVG is now in all major browsers from Internet Explorer to FireFox and even in your phone.

Chances are that every computer you are using today can render SVG inside your browser.

So what?

SVG as a general rule is under used or thought of something only artists do or that it's too complicated to do.

My recommendation is to start cracking today on using libraries that leverage SVG. By leveraging them, you are setting yourself apart from others and can start offering real business value to your clients right now that others won't be able to.

SVG has been available on all browsers for a while now. It's time we start using it.

Browsers that do not support SVG
  • Internet Explorer 8 and lower
  • Old Android device (2.3 and less), partial support for 3-4.3
References, libraries and others
Categories: Blogs

Microsoft, Open Source and The Big Ship

Decaying Code - Maxime Rouiller - Sat, 11/15/2014 - 04:43


I would like to note that this post takes only public information available and are not based on my status as Microsoft MVP. I did not interview anyone at Microsoft for those answers. I did not receive any privileged information for writing this post. All the information I am using and the insight therefor are based on publicly available information.

When it happened

I'm not sure exactly when this change toward open source happened. Microsoft is a big ship. Once you start steering, it takes a while before you can feel the boat turn. I think it happened around 2008 when they started including jQuery in the default templates. It was the first swing of the wheel. Back then, you could have confused it for just another side project. Today, I think it was a sign of change.

Before this subtle change, we had things like Microsoft Ajax, the Ajax Control Toolkit and so many other reinvention from Microsoft. The same comment came back every time:

Why aren't you using <INSERT FRAMEWORK HERE> instead of reinventing the wheel?

Open source in the Microsoft world

Over 10 years ago, Microsoft wasn't doing open source. In fact, nothing I remember was open sourced. Free? Yes. Open source? No. The mindset of those days has changed.

The Changes

Initiatives like NuGetintegrating jQuery into Visual Studio templates, the multiple GitHub accounts and even going as to replace the default JSON serializer byJSON.NET instead of writing its own are all proofs that Microsoft have changed and is continuing to change.

It's important to take into account that this is not just lip service here. We're talking real time and money investment to publish tools, languages and frameworks into the open. Projects like Katana and Entity Framework are even open to contribution by anyone.

Without letting slip that Roslyn (the new C#/VB.NET compiler) as well as the F#'s compiler are now open sourced.

This is huge and people should know.

Where is it going today

I'm not sure where it's going today. Like I said, it's a big ship. From what I see, Microsoft is going 120% on Azure. Of course, Windows and Office is still there but... we already see that it's not an Open-Source vs Windows war anymore. The focus has changed.

Open source is being used to enrich Microsoft's environment now. Tools likeSideWaffle are being created by Microsoft employees like Sayed Hashimi and Mads Kristensen.

When I see a guy like Satya Nadella (CEO) talk about open source, I think it is inspiring. Microsoft is going open source internally then encouraging all employees to participate in open source projects.

Microsoft has gone through a culture change, and it's still happening today.

Comparing Microsoft circa 2001 to Microsoft 2014.

If you were at least 10 years in the field, you would remember that way back then, Microsoft didn't do open source. At all.

Compare it to what you've read about Microsoft now. It's been years of change since then and it's only the beginning. Back then, I wouldn't have believed anyone telling me that Microsoft would invest in Open Source.

Today? I'm grinning so much that my teeth are dry.

Categories: Blogs

List of d3.js library for charting, graphs and maps

Decaying Code - Maxime Rouiller - Sat, 11/15/2014 - 04:43

So I’ve been trying different kind of library that are based on d3.js. Most of them are awesome and … I know I’m going to forget some of them. So I decided to build a list and try to arrange them by categories.

Charts
  • DimpleJS – Easy API, lots of different type of graphs, easy to use
  • C3.js – Closer to the data than dimple but also a bit more powerful
  • NVD3.js – Similar to Dimple, require a CSS for proper usage
  • Epoch – Seems to be more focused on real-time graphs
  • Dygraphs – Focus on huge dataset
  • Rickshaw – Lots of easy chart to choose from. Used by Shutterstock
Graphs

Since I haven’t had the chance to try them out, I won’t be able to provide more detailed comments about them. If you want me to update my post, hit me up on Twitter @MaximRouiller.

Data Visualization Editor
  • Raw – Focus on bringing data from spreadsheets online by simply copy/pasting it.
  • Tributary – Not simply focused on graphics, allows you to edit numbers, colors and such with a user friendly interface.
Geographical maps
  • DataMaps – Not a library per say but a set of examples that you can copy/paste and edit to match what you want.
Categories: Blogs

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