A Software Developer’s Guide to HTTP

I came across an excellent series of articles on a Software Developers Guide to HTTP over on Scott Allens blog, Ode To Code.

Http Programming

The series covers subjects such as Resources, Messages, Connections, Architecture and Security. It’s a good worthwhile course. The links to each part are here :

Part I: Resources
Part II: Messages
Part III: Connections
Part IV: Architecture
Part V: Security

Scott us also a Pluralsight author who has developed some very good courses on web development and general development.

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Self Promotion for Developers in a Competitive Market

In today’s competitive job market it is more important than ever for developers to be able to market and promote themselves more effectively to stand out in the crowd. There are many ways that you can do this on-top of just being a great developer. This is something I realised my self over the last 2 years.

The best tactic you can start with is to try and create a public persona, and there are plenty of ways you can do this, via blogging, micro blogging (twitter), pod-casting, screen-casting, or contributing to web communities like stack overflow.

Whatever medium you choose to adopt, the overall theme is that you are trying to help people by sharing your knowledge. This could be via in-depth technical articles, commentary and op-ed pieces, or shorter technical articles explaining how you solve a particular problem. You can pretty much guarantee that if a piece of information was useful to you, then it will be useful for someone else.

Get Involved - Online Training Course for Developers

Get Involved – Online Training Course for Developers

There is an excellent introductory training course about this very subject by Scott Hanselman and Rob Conery on Pluralsight called Get Involved! – Online Training Course for Developers. What is even better is that this course is completely free to watch, so you don’t need to already have a Pluralsight account, although I recommend getting one as it is a fantastic training resource. The course is an 1 hour and 49 minutes long and covers the following subjects.

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Funny Code Comments

Funny Code Comments

Funny Code Comments

I came across this StackOverflow page asking what the best comments were that people had encountered. Some of the replies are hilarious. I particularly like :

// somedev1 -  6/7/02 Adding temporary tracking of Login screen
// somedev2 -  5/22/07 Temporary my ass
//When I wrote this, only God and I understood what I was doing
//Now, God only knows
stop(); // Hammertime!
// Replaces with spaces the braces in cases where braces in places cause stasis 
   $str = str_replace(array("\{","\}")," ",$str);

Maybe I need to get out more!

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Velocity is Not a Goal or Target

I was listening to an episode of the DotNetRocks podcast about Agile Metrics. There was an interview with Michael ‘Doc’ Norton about his experiences figuring out the right metrics to measure for the productivity of a development team. The basic issue discussed was that Velocity is a dangerous metric to rely on as a goal or target.

Agile Velocity is a Dangerous Target

Agile Velocity is a Dangerous Target

Velocity is a measure of units over time, so in an agile iteration or sprint, that would be the number of story points completed in the iteration. This is a dangerous metric because it is misleading to management. One week, your team may complete 10 story points in the iteration. Management may then say,

“Well, that’s great, if you can better that to say 12, we might finish early.”

The team, then starts their next sprint, aiming to complete 12 points, but they end up only completing 5. This is like a red rag to a bull to management, but this could be a valid scenario. The velocity of 12 from the previous sprint may have been achieved because all the development tasks where contain within the development team. If as part of the next spring you need input from other teams or departments, then this could affect your ability to get work done as planned. This just one example of an external influence affecting velocity, you could have people go of sick, on holiday, or anything else that can happen that is out of the teams control.

It is because of these external influences that the velocity metric becomes a bad metric to rely on. There is just too much variability in the numbers from sprint to sprint. This doesn’t mean you should ignore velocity completely, but managers should not ask teams to hit targets based on velocity.

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Not Limiting Yourself In Your Programming Career

I was watching an interesting conference video by Trisha Gee at the Goto Conference where she was giving lots of career advice, and one bit really struck a chord with me as it essentially outlined my philosophy on my career progression.

What Trisha talked about was not limiting your career by being type cast into one particular area or discipline, and she gave examples where she switched from web development and went into server side development across multiple business domains, and this is exactly what I have done. I did this because I believe it opens your eyes to different ways of thinking, new technologies, and working with different types of people.

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Training : Foundation CSS

In this article I have collated a few training links about the Foundation CSS framework. I will keep adding to this page as I find other useful free resources. If you have any videos or articles that you feel would be useful here then please let me know in the comments and I will add them to the post. I would like it to be an archive of good material.

Foundation CSS Framework

Foundation CSS Framework

Foundation CSS

Foundation for Beginners: Getting Started

Foundation CSS : Getting Started

Getting started with Foundation 5 – Understanding HTML Markup and Installations

Zurb Foundations Basics Part 1

Zurb Foundations Basics Part 2

Zurb Foundations Basics Part 3

Responsive design – CSS Frameworks

ZURB Foundation – Jonathan Smiley at Schmonference Conf

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Training : Selenium Automation Testing

In this article I have collated a few training links about the Selenium Automation Testing Framework. I will keep adding to this page as I find other useful free resources. If you have any videos or articles that you feel would be useful here then please let me know in the comments and I will add them to the post. I would like it to be an archive of good material.

Selenium Automation Testing Framework

Selenium Automation Testing Framework

Selenium IDE

Selenium IDE Tutorial

Selenium IDE Tutorial: Learn Automated Testing with Selenium IDE

Selenium Tutorial 1 – Selenium IDE Training 

Selenium-IDE Documentation

Selenium Tutorial : IDE

Learn Selenium in 7 Days

Selenium Web Driver

Selenium Tutorial 2 – Selenium WebDriver Training Selenium Training

Test Automation using C#, Selenium WebDriver and NUnit

Selenium 2.0 WebDriver with Visual Studio, C#, & IE – Getting Started

Unit Testing and Test Automation : Integrating Selenium with Visual Studio

How to run Selenium Webdriver code with Visual Studio Test Framework

Selenium Server

Selenium Remote Control

Selenium Remote Control Setup and first test run

Introduction Selenium RC Server Tutorial

Execute Selenium test on Remote machine using Selenium 2 using C#

Building a Selenium Framework

Test Automation Framework in Page-Object pattern using C#, Selenium, SpecFlow and NUnit

Selenium Testing Framework Pt. 1: Testing Concepts

Selenium Testing Framework Pt 2: Base Classes

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Training : Windows PowerShell

In this article I have collated a few training links about Windows PowerShell. I will keep adding to this page as I find other useful free resources. If you have any videos or articles that you feel would be useful here then please let me know in the comments and I will add them to the post. I would like it to be an archive of good material.

Windows Powershell

Windows Powershell

PowerShell Tutorial Sites

Powershell Pro : PowerShell Tutorials

PowerShell Tutorials

Windows PowerShell Tutorial Microsoft’s New Scripting Language

Video : PowerShell: Introduction and Scripting Tutorial

Video : PowerShell Scripting and Toolmaking Online Video Training

Video : Windows PowerShell 2.0 for Beginners Training & Overview

PowerShell and .NET

Writing a Windows PowerShell Cmdlet

Writing a PowerShell module in C#, Part 1: The basics

Write Your First PowersShell Cmdlet in C#

Executing PowerShell Scripts from C#

How to Run PowerShell Scripts from C#

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Smoke Tester Version 0.03 Released

I have just released version 0.03 of the Post Deployment Smoke Testing Tool. This release focuses on 3 main area.

  • Usability enhancements to the Test Configuration Editor, like linking tests from the editor and the test runner view, sorting tests by execution result and a tool for generating file checksums (MD5, SHA1, SHA256) to make the Checksum tests easier to use.
  • Writing out of Txt, Csv, or XML test reports from the Test Configuration Editor or Command Line Test Runner tool.
  • Added 2 new test types for spawning command line / batch files.
SmokeTester 0.03

SmokeTester 0.03

The 2 new tests for calling command line applications / batch files are useful if you need to test something that the Smoke Tester doesn’t support out of the box. One of the tests (CallExecutableCheckReturnCodeTest) lets you run an executable and check the return code. The other test (CallExecutableCheckOutputTextTest) lets you run an executable and check for the existence of a text string in the console output. These are very useful if you have some separate tools that you use for system checking.

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The 3 Laws of Testing

Asimov's IRobot

Asimov’s IRobot

A tester colleague of mine, sent me this little play on Asimov’s 3 Laws of Robotics. They made me smile, so I thought I would share them.

  1. A Tester may not injure a Developer or, through inaction, allow a Developer to come to harm.
  2. A Tester must obey orders given it by BA’s except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A Tester must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law. 

It’s good to see our testing colleagues have developers backs covered. ;-)

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