Archives / 2003 / September
  • The Key to Good Software Estimates

    Scoble heard a new acronymn:

    I heard about a new three letter acronymn tonight. If someone says "DRE" on a report it means "Direct Rectal Extraction." Or, "I pulled these figures out of you know where."

    Funny, so now there's an official word for how I create my software estimates.  One of these days (when I have a free hour or so), I'll rant about how managers want to know how long it will take me to build something before they give me any type of requirements for what it is I need to build!

    That sh*t happes here all the time... right Mark ;)

    [Listening to: Acumen Nation - Parasite Nation]



  • The PDC Blogging Love Fest

    I saw on Scott's blog that the PDC BOF session has been approved:

    The PDC was already shaping up to being one big happy blog fest anyway, so it makes perfect since Robert's BOF session suggestion, “Weblogging: The Future of Conversational Software” was approved.

    This is one BOF session I'll make sure I will attend... It'll be nice to be able to meet the people behind all the blogs I read on a daily basis.

    [Listening to: Revco - Attack Ships on Fire]



  • Speaking of Whidbey

    I can't wait until after the PDC so I can chatter openly about how much Whidbey rocks! (I can... right?  I mean, is there an NDA covering bits from a conference like that?)



  • For those who are wondering...

    NUnit 2.1 will not load assemblies that are compiled with ...

    Oops!  Scratch that... NUnit 2.1 works just fine on assemblies compiled in [I've deleted the balance of this post after getting feedback from a few people.  Thanks guys!]



  • Daily list of sessions for PDC

    Ok, maybe I'm missing something here, but is there any way to print out a list of sessions in chronolgical order for each day?  I don't want to fall in love with a bunch of sessions, only to find out they are scheduled for the same time...

    Update: My bad... as Drew pointed out the schedule isn't yet finialized... Dan's post can be found here.

    [Listening to: Minor Threat - In my eyes]



  • PDC Countdown!

    ScottW's got a PDC counter on his personal blog.  Man, I'm counting the days!

    Traci (my wife) and I are making a vacation of it.  We're starting off on October 17th in Sacramento.  From there, the itinerary is:

    • 2 days in Lake Tahoe
    • 2 days in Napa
    • 3 days in San Francisco
    • 3 days in Big Sur!
    • Balance in L.A.

    I can't wait.  I fell in love with Big Sur last year on our vacation out there, so this year we are repeating.  I can't wait to get out there and go hiking.  If  you've never been, you must make the trip down Hwy. 1.  It's incredible!


  • Web development sucks!

    Well, that should get people going!  ;)  While browsing a bunch of weblogs tonight, I noticed how many developers are doing ASP.NET.  I guess I'm lucky, but I don't do any web development.  In fact, in my little over 3 years of .NET development, I've yet to create the first ASP.NET project!

    For many people, I'm sure this is heresy, but trust me... This is exactly how I want it!  I spent a few years doing ASP in its early days and that completely ruined me for doing web development.  Screw cross-browser compatibility issues.  The ultra-thin client.  Uggghhh....

    Of course, I've seen the future and maybe there's hope for me...

    Right now, I compare web development to being a funeral director, someone's got to do it...



  • New DDJ came today

    There are only 2 development related magazines published today that are worth reading, and one of them arrived today: Dr. Dobbs Journal!  whoo hoo!  I look forward to my DDJ every month.  It's a magazine that realizes that there's life outside of .NET.  Looks like this months issue will rock. ;)

    BTW, the other magazine is Software Development.  Everyone should subscribe to these two mags!



  • Reflector to the rescue

    Thanks to Lutz Roeder's kick ass tool Reflector, I was able to able to salvage about 5 hours worth of work (not to mention my sanity).  While using VS.NET today, I created a new class library and preceded to move classes from one project to another via the Solution Explorer.  Well, that was my first mistake.

    After moving the primary class in the project (ConnectionManager.cs), I right clicked the Class1.cs stub class VS.NET adds automatically and choose delete.  Sometime after that, VS.NET decides to select ConnectionManager.cs for me, and prompt me  to delete that file!  Mistake number 2: not paying attention to a dialog box that reads “ConnectionManager.cs will be deleted permanently”.  Before I fully comprehended that statement, I pressed the space bar, which promptly deleted my primary class file!  BTW, it skipped the recycle bin!

    So, during my 30 minute long rant about how screwed I was, Brenton says “Go grab reflector and decompile the .exe that class used to be in”.  Genius!  I forgot about Reflector.  I went to Lutz's site --> grabbed reflector --> unzipped it --> decompiled the .exe --> pasted the code into my project and... BAM!  I had my work back.

    Thanks Lutz!  Great tool!

    B.T.W. If you've never used Reflector, this only covers about 10 percent of its functionality!



  • Technical Debt Design

    On his Bliki, Martin Fowler has an excellent description of Technical Debt.

    You have a piece of functionality that you need to add to your system. You see two ways to do it, one is quick to do but is messy - you are sure that it will make further changes harder in the future. The other results in a cleaner design, but will take longer to put in place.

    I'm trying to figure out how I can get this point across to many of the development managers here.  At Turner the concept of Technical Debt is lost on them (actually, truth be told, many developers also think this is an acceptable way to code).  Poor Mark can attest to this.  Our timeline for Orion was so compressed, that after delivery that app was saddled with more debt than a doctor fresh out of med school!

    To his credit, he saw this and paid the debt down; and while it isn't gone for good those guys owe much less now than they did when we shipped.

    I guess it just comes down to the fact that hitting the date doesn't always make for a successful project.  People who manage development shops need to understand that you must deliver the product and ensure that it's low on Technical Debt.  Otherwise subsequent releases will not have as much additional functionality as they could have due to all the refactoring that must take place.

    [Listening to; 311- Hive]



  • It takes 14 hours to compile Longhorn

    Scoble says:

    I was snooping around the secret Longhorn sites on campus and learned that compiling Longhorn takes 14 hours. They start at 5 p.m. and it's ready at 7 a.m.

    Man, I would love to understand exactly how that build process works.  From start to finish.  Facinating!  I would like to understand MS's source code management (main trunk, and branches), how the pieces fit together, how the build works, what the build environment looks like, etc.

    For me, working at MS would be like nirvana.

    Disclaimer: In case anyone from work is reading... I love my job here also  ;-)

    [Listening to: Geburt Einer Nation - Laibach]



  • Microsoft Product Roadmap

    The guys over at SynEcology have a roadmap of MS releases.  This has got the be the most comprehensive listing of codenames/projected release dates I've seen in one place.

    For anyone who is a nut about upcoming MS schwag (or who wants to act like they're on the inside by knowing every possible codename) should check this out.

    [Listening to: DJ Acucrack - Red Star Alien Race]