November 12, 2006

.NET 3.0 links

We're all excited that .NET 3.0 is here. Here are a few links and comments to help you out...

If you have previous versions of .NET 3.0, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do yourself and your friends a huge favor and run the Pre-released Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 Uninstall Tool.

Once you've installed, the RTM link to .NET 3.0 is: here

UPDATE: 11/30/2006 : 3:11pm
Apparently i'm not the only one happy about .NET 3.0 shipping.  Aaron Skonnard just posted a link of Doug and Don dancing and singing on channel 9


Code Camp 2006 - What a great day

The inaugural Twin Cities Code Camp was yesterday at New Horizons of Minnesota in Edina, MN.  I don't have the exact stats, but I heard there about 140 attended!

The facilities were first rate, Magenic provided plenty of pizza and soda for lunch, and the camaraderie was excellent.  I saw .Net people talking to Ruby people talking to Java people; it really warmed the heart :)

I attended the following sessions:

  • Neil Iversen's SharePoint as a Development Platform
  • Jason Bock's State of Languages in the CLR
  • Robert Boedigheimer's Utilizing .NET Cryptography
  • Andy Morrison's Building Reusable Business Processes in BizTalk
  • (my session) Securing Web Serivces in WCF
  • Scot Yokiel's Intro to WCF

Being a security enthusiast, Robert's session was one of my favorites. It distilled the essence of hashing and crypto into very tidy, bite-sized pieces to digest. Grab the slides/code and check it out. Robert has a really nice demo on how to tamperproof querystrings, which has implemented.

The content was first rate, I got to meet a lot of people, see a lot of old friends, learned a lot (technical and about presenting) and the post-event speaker party was good clean fun as well.

Thanks again to Jason Bock for getting this started.  Thanks to all of you who attended, presented and sponsored food/prizes.  I'm looking forward to the next one (April 2007???)!


November 07, 2006

Some Halloween pairing wisdom from Mr. Fowler

I was catching up on some blogs this afternoon and ran across this one from Martin Fowler's posted on 10/31/2006...

From my experience, XP/Agile has a lot to do with doing what makes sense in development and getting rid of the stuff that doesn't and if something is 'Agile', very little is mandated or else it wouldn't be very 'Agile', right? :)

I've been on teams where pairing is done.  One particular project we did a lot of pair programming which turned out very nice IMHO.  There were few bugs, we hit our estimates and the code was clean and well-factored.  Most importantly, the client loved it and it solved a real business problem!!!

Another pairing benefit (which Mr. Fowler alludes to in his final point) is in the area of code reviews (you *ALL* do code reviews, right?).  Just like documentation, security, and testing, code reviews are sadly one of the first qualities to go when a project gets behind because “there's not time to do it”, even when the reality is that “there's not time not to do it”.  I see too much poor quality code get written and developers spending too much time firefighting because of hastily constructed in “heroic code“.

The final point in Mr. Fowler's post is about code smell; I have nothing to add except “RIGHT ON”!  Developers constantly raise the layer of abstraction to raise productivity which is why we don't write business apps in assembly anymore.  Duplicated code stinks, espically when there is a bug in it and it gets copied throughout the organization...grrr...

I think developers should give pairing more thought; if for no other reason than to reduce the chance of carpal tunnel syndrome by 50% :) 


November 01, 2006

Back from darkness + CODE CAMP IS NEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Blogging has been on the backburner for a while due to project deadlines at my current client. After AJAXifying a couple of pages, making them IE and FireFox compatible and fixing some JSON, it looks like the project is sitting in good shape, so I'll rip out a few blog posts again. :)

As Mr. Bock points out, Twin Cities Code Camp is coming up in less than 2 weeks (11/11/2006, yes that is a Saturday but come on out and build the community and/or learn something!). If building community or learning (voice of Austin Powers here) "aren't your bag baby" (back to my voice, sorry), you can at least come out and win some fabulous prizes donated by some very generous contributors.