New Teammates

It’s a bit weird when I talk to one of my new contractors at 7:30pm then again a few minutes before 8am.  He’s only been around for a few days and we have not been in the same physical space, but I’m actually looking forward to getting his input on a number of projects that I have running right now.  He seems to be as passionate about “doing the right thing” when it comes to code.

Working code isn’t enough.  It’s a starting place.

In case you haven’t noticed, I try to treat my contractors like peers.  Having been a consultant/mercenary for well over a decade I don’t see why your employment status should make any difference when it comes to doing your job.  The mercenary roll can be very difficult at times.  You have to limit your output and emotional investment, because in the end you don’t own the work product.  It’s someone else’s baby once it’s been brought into the light of day.  I guess you could say that for everything we write that isn’t written 100% during our (non-existent) free time.  Intel owns everything I write during the day.  My other clients own the code I write in the evenings.    It’s the nature of my profession.

I’m hopeful that our latest round of “contingent workers” are going to measure up.  Time will tell…

Interviewing / Team Building

I’ve talked about interviews and team building a bit before in my “team” post.  I suppose you could view this as the other side of the coin for team building. The dark, dirty underside…  It ain’t pretty and I can admit that I am part of the problem but…  By perceiving my role in the status quo, I have an opportunity to change.

Catalyst:

http://techcrunch.com/2015/03/08/on-secretly-terrible-engineers/

http://sockpuppet.org/blog/2015/03/06/the-hiring-post/

http://java.dzone.com/articles/dogma-driven-development

Continue reading Interviewing / Team Building

ToolBarTray Adapter

There isn’t a native ToolBarTray adaptor built into the Prism library. Creating an adapter is only a matter of learning the secret handshake.

It takes three parts to get an adaptor to work. The first part is the adaptor itself. The second is wiring it into the bootstrapper. The third part is the XAML to define the region. Below are samples of all three.

Continue reading ToolBarTray Adapter

Aspect-Oriented Programming

As I build up the next version of my Carbon framework, I have been researching everything and anything that might help make my life and my teammates’ lives easier.  To that end, I hit upon Aspect-Oriented Programming (again).  I had seen it before but for whatever reason it failed to resonate with me.  This time, I hit a power chord by way of PostSharp.
Continue reading Aspect-Oriented Programming

Marshmallow Test

You might think I’m kidding but one the program owners that I work with has a strict “Do not talk to Ivan” policy for her team.

Why?

Simply put: Interruptions kill progress.

Programmers have to mentally load extremely complex mental models to do our jobs.  There are a million and one little things that I’m trying to keep “in mind” when I write code.  Stuff I write ends up in dozens of apps.  Those apps help drive a multi-billion dollar business.  (58 billion, at the last reporting.)   So do you really want me to answer your question about highlight colors in a editable cell or would you like for me to keep my mind on writing the validation logic?   Continue reading Marshmallow Test

Win7 Re-install Media

If you installed the Windows 10 Technical Preview (like I did), you might want to roll back to Windows 7.  As will all preview builds, there isn’t an easy way to do that.  Microsoft has stepped up and provided a mechanism to rollback your Win10 TP install to a regular Win7 install.

Continue reading Win7 Re-install Media

Slow down!

This week has been a killer in some ways.

I went into the office on Monday.  I walked into a project in crisis.  The features were there but the performance wasn’t.  The BAs screwed up by not pushing the users to do a full mock-cycle.  When the forecasting cycle rolled around last week, some of our users opened the app then closed it without doing any work in the tool.   Users complained that the pivot grids were too slow to update after an edit.  Performance in production was crap.

“Umm…  Why did we hear about this issue over a month ago at UAT or during last-months mock-cycle?”  Heads are starting to roll on that side of the fence.

Where am I going with this? Continue reading Slow down!