Friday Reads – 18th December 2015 – #14

Ho ho ho, and all that.

It’s the last Friday reads of 2015. I’ve resisted the temptation to Christmasify this, so here’s a bog-standard list of reads.

Happy Christmas and new year.

An Engineer Explains Why You Should Always Order the Larger Pizza

Do you know how hard it is to organise pizzas for group of people at a meeting? ‘Very’, is the answer I found out this week.  Whilst it sounds a bit like stating the obvious, there’s some sound reasoning here:

90:9:1 – the odd ratio that technology keeps creating

Something to rival Moore’s Law?

Avoiding The Politics of Code Review

There’s been a quite a code-review theme of late to these posts. It continues here with some patterns and anti-patters regarding office politics and pitfalls involved in getting a process in place.

Web Scraping in C#

I’ve used HTMLAgilityPack in the past with various degrees of annoyance. But this now seems to have gone dead, and hasn’t been updated for since September 2014. AgileSharp seems to be current and do so much more.

Microsoft Edge’s JavaScript engine to go open-source

Continuing with Microsoft’s impressive drive towards open source.

The Rules Of Attraction

I’ve posted in the past about company culture, recruitment and attracting talent. This continues in the same vein. A though-provoking read.




A whole coders life:

When you’ve been keeping a project running by the skin of your teeth:

Friday Reads – 11th December 2015 – #13

The Most Important Code Metrics You’ve Never Heard Of

Actually, you’ve probably heard of some of them. I’d be interested to understand how they measure them, though.

Can you solve GCHQ’s Christmas card puzzle?

People not processes – a personal lament

The author did not mention it, but the title is a key part of the Agile manifesto

Unit Tests are Your Specification

A critique of a unit test suite. Well worth reading if you’re regularly reviewing code that includes unit tests.


Wiki Patterns

What are the good and bad behaviours that are often observed when running a wiki within an organisation?

Do Interfaces Terminate Dependencies?

Great discussion on the possibly-misguided notion that substituting an interface in place of a concrete class automatically removes that dependency.

New Language Support in Visual Studio 2015

The latest update to Visual Studio includes syntax highlighting and the beginnings of IntelliSense for over a dozen new languages.

Given the Java IDE wars that have been raging for a decade, Is VS looking to challenge the remaining warriors (Eclipse, Netbeans & IntelliJ)?

And for the Java aficionados, here’s the latest twist in that war!

Bitcoin’s Creator Satoshi Nakamoto Is Probably This Unknown Australian Genius

I’m a great believer in the future of bitcoin, or a bitcoin-like model. Up until now it’s creator has been largely anonymous. Looks like he’s been outed now, though.



This language sucks:

Drop all SQL Database Connections

I must have run this a dozen times in the last few days. Dead useful, which is why I’m posting it. Mostly for my own reference

USE master

DECLARE @kill varchar(8000) = '';
SELECT @kill = @kill + 'kill ' + CONVERT(varchar(5), spid) + ';'
FROM master..sysprocesses 
WHERE dbid = db_id('MyDatabaseName')


Friday Reads – 27th November 2015 – #12

Code Coverage is a Useless Target Measure

You can have 100% code coverage and no asserts. Code coverage is still very useful for a measure of paths tested, just not very good for setting is as a target.

Test-Driven Development Is Stupid

Focusses on the lunacy of writing ALL your test cases first, rather than the Red-Green-Refactor pattern.

What Do Programmers Want?

Pretty much says it all.

3 Reasons Why Daily Scrums Take So Much Time

I remember working on a project with 45 minute scrums daily! Fortunately, these are banished to the distant past.

The Day Google Deleted Me

A small warning: some colourful language in this one. Pretty funny, though.


After a chance discussion with a colleague, I thought I’d share this. It’s an older article from 2013, but documents  why the creator of MySQL decided to fork it to create a MariaDB.

DB-Engines Ranking

Despite the sentiment of its original creator (see above article) the popularity of MySQL (now Oracle-owned) remains in rude health.


The New Framework:

Arbitrary Goals:

Friday Reads – 20th November 2015 – #11

Thoughtworks Technology Radar

I could have spent hours on this site. If you’re wondering what’s hot in the Techniques, Tools, Platforms, Languages and Frameworks, or even want a simple paragraph explaining them, this is the site to go to.

To ECC or Not To ECC

Looking at a historical (home-made) Google server rack and examining the merits of Error-correcting code memory (ECC memory).

I like to give servers a little pep talk while I build them. “Who’s the best server! Who’s the fastest server!”

The Zen of Code Reviews: the Reviewer’s Tale

Extensive advice on reviewing TDD authored code. Interesting to note that it should be reviewed in a TDD manner.

You can’t fix your culture at compile time.

There’s many things you can trap at compile time. Development culture isn’t one of them.

Map of Developers Hitting Stackoverflow in Real Time

Actually, that’s not the main point of the article, and map is fixed around your location (I assume that not everyone is seeing Europe!). Nice to look at if you like seeing differently coloured random dots appearing on a map.

Three Days To Fix A Bug

Off you go then….