IS Department

SQL Server SSIS Video

Posted in Programming by richk1994 on July 27, 2007

I found a good introduction to the SQL Server 2005 SSIS.  The is the replacement of SQL Sever 2000 DTS.  It’s about 40 minutes long, but worth the time.


Be a Champion, Mutual Authentication, Agile, and TDD

Posted in Network,Programming by Brian Russell on July 26, 2007

Here are a couple links I found recently that I really liked.

Champions Pay The Price(from the 37 Signals blog) –  Well said.  I love the not so obvious messages in this post:  Don’t be the person that kills a good idea through fear, doubt, and uncertainty.  Try to be the champion of ideas even though it means you will have to work hard.  Explore ideas out for the positives before stepping to the other side of the line and looking at the negatives.

A Study In Mutual Authentication – When you sit down to think about it, there are so many ways to be socially engineered in order to steal your identity.  This is very thought provoking when you realize where he is coming from.

McAfee SiteAdvisor Phishing Quiz – Want to test how good you are at identifying a phishing site?  Goes hand in hand with the link above.

– Programming Specific –

Project Behavior Issues – Thoughts towards how agile methodologies are supposed to work from the team perspective so everyone holds their own weight.

User Stories to User Experience – Good post talking about developing user stories and what, as a developer, you are trying to get to by performing this step.

Have Your Cake – More talk about agile and how it works or doesn’t in the organization.

You’re a TDD newbie on a project team with Jeremy, what do you do? – Jeremy Miller talking about the do’s and don’ts of TDD.

How NOT To Implement A Bug Submission Form

Posted in Uncategorized by Brian Russell on July 17, 2007

(Stay with me for a bit on this, I will get to the bug submission form)

We came across an issue where Adobe Acrobat isn’t rendering PDF files correctly.  The actual problem is some bolded words are rendered out on the screen a little fuzzy on either the top or bottom.  Here are some pictures:

Adobe at 143%: adobe 1 

Foxit at 143%: foxit 1

So I did the normal troubleshooting steps to identify whether the problem was the software or the actual file (as if it isn’t already obvious).  First thing I did was zoom-in to see if the fuzzyness was shown even up close:

Adobe at 300%: adobe 2

Foxit at 300%: foxit 2 

The fuzzyness that Adobe displayed went away once I zoomed in close enough.  Foxit looked good all the way through the zooming process.  So now I know the file is good, and it appears there is no arguing that Adobe Acrobat Professional is just screwing up at displaying this file.

OK, armed with that knowledge, I decided to let the Adobe team know about this issue.  I searched for their bug submission form.  I found the link through the forums.  They call it a “wishform” in the url….makes me feel real confident about the effort I am about to give to let them know about this issue.  At least the title on the page says “Feature Request/Bug Report Form”, so I continue on.

I start to fill this sucker out and realized there is no where to attach my PDF file so they can actually see the issue:

 adobe form

This is when I realized that there is no way for me to actually describe this problem to them with words alone.  What can I say? 

Uh, if you had my file, you could open it up and see the fuzzyness, but since you don’t, you are going to have to guess what I mean by fuzzyness.  Please do a good job, thanks!

Come on, how obvious can this be?  You are Adobe, the creators of the PDF.  You are allowing people to submit bugs for your “Viewing” application.  Don’t you think there is ever a time you would need to see a document and/or screenshot?

Unbelievable!  Great Job Adobe, you just got a big F- in my book!

Explosives, Wii Figures, and Some Mac Love

Posted in Uncategorized by Brian Russell on July 5, 2007

Want to play with explosives?  You bet your ass I do!

If you have a Wii, this will be weird and funny at the same time, for all you others, don’t try to understand.

Scott Bellware, who ironically is a MVP with Microsoft, says he is Free At Last, Free At Last.  I understand what he means, do you?

Windows losing ground with developers?  Kind of fits in with the topics of my other two posts.

Getting Familiar With Behavior Driven Development

Posted in Programming by Brian Russell on July 3, 2007

I have never been able to fully utilize TDD/BDD in a real project yet, but I am very eager to do so.  Here is a site that does a great introduction to BDD.  I really like the section titled: “BDD provides a “ubiquitous language” for analysis“.  The section starts out describing a way to simplify analysis:

Chris and I realized we were trying to define a ubiquitous language for the analysis process itself! We had a good starting point. In common use within the company there was already a story template that looked like this:

As a [X]
I want [Y]
so that [Z]

where Y is some feature, Z is the benefit or value of the feature, and X is the person (or role) who will benefit. Its strength is that it forces you to identify the value of delivering a story when you first define it. When there is no real business value for a story, it often comes down to something like ” . . . I want [some feature] so that [I just do, ok?].” This can make it easier to descope some of the more esoteric requirements.

The section moves on to talk about acceptance critera:

We started describing the acceptance criteria in terms of scenarios, which took the following form:

Given some initial context (the givens),
When an event occurs,
then ensure some outcomes.

Check out the article.

Starting out with Ruby on Rails

Posted in Programming by Brian Russell on July 3, 2007

I am going to try to use this post as a way to track links in one single post that I can send people that are interested in Ruby on Rails.  I had a few requests lately and I scrambled to produce the links that I know are out there.  Here they are: 

Are you just starting out with Ruby on Rails?  Here is an article titled “Starting Ruby on Rails: What I Wish I Knew

Here is a big list of rails plugins.  Big list without descriptions.  Most of them are worded where you can understand their purpose pretty easily.

Add Google Analytics to your Rails app.

Code Line Counting and Fixing Win Mobile Alarm That Won’t Quit

Posted in Mobile,Programming by Brian Russell on July 2, 2007

Couple free utilites I have recently used that I think are pretty neat and worth blogging about:

I had a need recently to count up lines of code on an application we were releasing.  I wanted to give some stats out to users of the application in order to let them understand the size and scope of the application.  I found this free tool called LocMetrics.  Pretty slick.  It counts your blank lines, comment lines, code lines and even your code lines with comments as well.

My smartphone all of a sudden started waking me up with a 6:00 am alarm even though I didn’t set it.  I found out that this is a little problem that happens time to time with the Windows Mobile phones.  After living with it for almost a week now, I decided to figure it out.  It turns out there is a problem with the notifications queue or something, and you can easily clear it out by downloading this slick tool called SKTools lite.  It is freeware (located down the page a bit).  After looking around this application, I realized that it is pretty powerful and there is more to it than just clearing a rouge alarm.  Check it out.  Hopefully it worked and I don’t have to wake up at 6am tomorrow.