Archives / 2008 / February
  • Agile For Customers

    Tom Hollander wrote about why your customers will love agile (even if they think they hate it) last week, and made several interesting observations about how agile methodology has taken hold in many companies and teams, and why customers should really be fighting for it, rather than fearing it.  He notes that, while generally project management principles aren't particularly sexy or interesting to developer types, many developer types are totally into Agile.  I think some of this has to do with a very good marketing job on the part of Agile's proponents.  You've got things like "Extreme Programming" that make coding sound like competing in the X-Games.  And then you've … more

  • Money For Content - Book

    I've been reading a ton of books, as usual, lately.  The interesting thing, to me at least, is that I'm actually trying to make time to read some books that aren't technical, which is quite refreshing.  For a while there, I was in "keep up with everything coming out" mode and so I went a long while without reading any fiction or non-computer books (with the exception of Harry Potter's finale).  Anyway, as I've been reading a fair bit lately on a variety of topics, I'm planning on a new post category for my blog which will cover some of the books I've read and my thoughts on each. This week's book is actually one I read quite a while ago and really enjoyed.  I wrote up a … more

  • Use Unit Test Framework to Test Production DB Consistency

    For Lake Quincy Media's AdSignia Ad Server, I wanted to be able to ensure that the database had some internal logic rules checked periodically.  What kinds of rules?  Well, probably an example would be best.  Suffice to say up front, though, that we're talking about more than NOT NULL or enforcing referential integrity.  For example, part of the ad engine's job is to redirect requests to ads to their destination URL on the advertiser's page.  These URLs are stored in a field in the database.  Occasionally, through cut-and-paste, there would be newlines in the URL field, which would be difficult to detect visually, but which would cause the redirect to … more

  • Scott Guthrie Promoted to Corporate Vice President

    Earlier this week, Microsoft announced a number of promotions, among them Scott Guthrie, who is now Corporate Vice President, .NET Developer Division (executive profile - promotion press release).  Many of you know Scott from his extremely popular blog, on which me mixes news and roadmaps for the products he oversees with technical walkthroughs and tutorials on the latest and greatest technologies.  He's one of the nicest, humblest people I know, especially among successful technologists and bloggers.  He always has time to answer questions from anybody, with great patience, and while I'm sure he's human like the rest of us, I've never known him to lose his temper or let pride … more

  • Stored Procedure Performance Varies Between ADO.NET and Management Studio

    I ran into this very annoying issue earlier this week, that my buddy and SQL guru Gregg Stark was able to track down for me.  I have a fairly intense XtraReport report that gets its data from a stored procedure.  When I run that stored procedure in SQL Management Studio, it returns in less than a second.  When I run it on my web site, it takes over 30 seconds and times out.  WTF?  I confirmed, ad nauseum, that it really was running the same sproc with the same parameters. So I hit up Stark and he suggests I try messing with ARITHABORT settings in Management Studio.  Lo and behold, when it's ON it's fast - less than one second.  When it's OFF it takes 90 … more

  • CIO Magazine on Agile Development

    The latest issue of CIO Magazine has a featured article on Getting Clueful: 7 Things CIOs Should Know About Agile Development.  It includes quotes from a bunch of developers, including some names you'll surely recognize if you follow Agile discussions at all, like Scott Ambler.  In addition to gurus like Scott, there's also yours truly in there, talking up the value of well-tested code as a long term gain on a short term investment.  If you're trying to adopt some agile practices within your organization, and expecially if you're looking to incorporate test driven development or continuous integration, this article might provide some good supporting evidence for your case with … more

  • Windows Release Schedule 2008

    For those of you eagerly awaiting Window Server 2008 (formerly Longhorn), especially you ASP.NET types salivating over IIS7, the wait is nearly over.  Today Microsoft has announced that it as released Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista SP1 to manufacturing.When Can I Get It?That would seem to be the driving question.  What does Released To Manufacturing (RTM) mean, anyway?  Well, essentially it means it's done and it's in the "pipeline" to get into your eager little hands.  However, even though this is software and not, say, XBox consoles, it still takes some time to print CDs and boxes, put little licensing stickers with holograms and retina scanners … more

  • Hosting Experience

    I've recently completed a fairly major database server move involving about a dozen production databases running on a single server, along with a rather old Lyris installation that handles all of the mailing lists on  Both the old and new database servers are hosted at ORCSWeb, where pretty much all of my sites are hosted (with one exception noted below).  I've been hosting with ORCSWeb for a long time - forever in Internet time, since we're talking back into the 90s.  Brad and Scott and Steve and the rest of the team have always been great to work with, and I recommend them without qualification.  Here's how hosting should work (and does … more

  • Microsoft Proposes Yahoo Acquisition

    This just in - Microsoft has proposed to acquire Yahoo for $31 per share in a $44B deal.  The full details, including the letter sent from Steve Ballmer to the Yahoo board can be found here.  If this deal goes through, it should help Microsoft to compete with Google in the online space, and would seem to be a (rare) case where Microsoft beat Google to the punch on an acquisition deal. more