Archives / 2010 / November
  • 9 Ways Contract Lawyers are Like Software Developers

    Lawyers.  We love to hate them.  But they’ve been writing code since long before Ada Lovelace wrote the first computer program.  Here are 9 ways that Contract Lawyers are like Software Developers. Reason One: They Use a Language That Barely Resembles English Let’s face it, most attorneys writing contracts use language that one would be hard-pressed to find used anywhere on the planet in the last 100 years.  In part, this is because English (and most other natural languages) is not very good at being specific without being verbose (and even then, it’s often ambiguous).  This is the same reason why attempts to program computers using natural language … more

  • Software Craftsmanship 2011 Calendar

    The folks at NimblePros have put together a pretty sweet 2011 calendar showcasing principles of software craftsmanship and agile software development.  The calendars are arriving from the printer today and should start shipping out over the next week or so to those who have pre-ordered them (or won them in the twitter contest, which lasts until 8 December 2010).  Here’s my review of the calendar (before having an actual one in hand, mind you). On the Cover: It starts with The Manifesto for Software Craftsmanship: …and the Manifesto for Agile Software Development: Each month highlights a different principle, such as the Boy Scout Rule: The calendar grid itself … more

  • Zen and the Art of Software Craftsmanship

    Not long ago, I (finally) read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, which I’d had recommended to me since I was a teenager.  It’s a very interesting book and one I would certainly recommend to anyone, but especially to anyone with an interest in quality.  Quality is one of the recurring themes of the book, and there are a number of sections of the book that resonate with me as a software craftsman attempting to improve the quality of the work I produce and the work my team produces. One passage from the book really resonated with me in terms of the difference between workers who really care about what they’re doing, compared to those who do not.  In all honesty I’ve … more

  • Verify a List of URLs in C# Asynchronously

    Recently I wanted to test a bunch of URLs to see whether they were broken/valid.  In my scenario, I was checking on URLs for advertisements that are served by Lake Quincy Media’s ad server (LQM is the largest Microsoft developer focused advertising network/agency).  However, this kind of thing is an extremely common task that should be very easy for any web developer or even just website administrator to want to do.  It also gave me an opportunity to use the new asynch features in .NET 4 for a production use, since prior to this I’d only played with samples. Check if a URL is OK First, you’ll need a method that will tell you whether a given URL is OK.  What OK means … more

  • On Software Quality at Cleveland .NET SIG

    Last night I led a discussion on software quality at the Cleveland area .NET SIG.  Thanks to everyone who came and especially to those of you who shared your thoughts and opinions.  I enjoyed the discussion and I hope you did as well.  This was the first time I’ve done such a talk at this style of group, which typically just has a speaker lecturing for 90 minutes or so, and I thought it went well but of course I welcome any comments. I quickly looked through the evaluations after the discussion and on the whole they looked positive.  I saw a few positive comments, which I appreciate, and at least one comment that I recall where someone said they expected more discussion … more