Tuesday, 19 August 2014


Tuesday, 12 August 2014

LinkedIn - Profile updates

Why is it that LinkedIn feels the need to report to the world that I have a new role if in fact I clearly told it that it is a role I have been in for years?

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Finding good candidates

We've been looking for another developer since October last year.  A little over 4 months.  This is what I have experienced and a little insight into our recruitment process.  Let's see if any future candidates find this post.

I am currently working at Grosvenor Financial Services Group Ltd. and our developer recruitment process is roughly as follows:

  • We place an ad on Seek, our ads are fairly generic and since we rarely, if ever, specify a narrow experience level.  We are interest in passionate driven developers at any level.  I have recently had really good experiences with NBR Talent and may use them exclusively in the future.
  • There is some initial screening when we receive CV's.
    • We have a policy that we do not sponsor anyone outside New Zealand.  Any CV's received from candidates outside New Zealand are normally rejected, unless the CV is exceptional and the candidate has indicated that they do not require sponsorship.
    • I review all CV's and the interesting ones are passed on to the development team for their input.
  • Any candidates that get the thumbs up from the whole development team gets asked to complete what we call the "Dev Test".  This consists of three coding questions, of which they only need to complete 2, they are also given at least three days to complete it.  The questions have been developed to test what the developer knows about development patterns.  It also gives us some insight into their coding style and how up to date they are with current techniques.
    • It is amazing that CV's and the resulting Dev Tests in the majority of cases do not match up.
    • I'm not going to divulge what we look for as I don't want to give future candidates an advantage, but I will say that if you are truly passionate about development this should be a breeze.
  • For the few developers that hand in a half decent Dev Tests we get them to come into our office to sit a 1hr "Technology Test".  This is done on a laptop and covers development technologies and methodologies and is designed to give us some insight of the candidates more general I.T. knowledge.
  • Following the technology test the candidate meets the whole development team (we are a small team) and for an hour we go over technical questions.  Part of the process is to get the candidate to write code while we are interviewing them.  It is amazing how many people will tell us they are experts in SQL and when we ask them to do a simple SELECT they have no idea where to start.  Making developers write at least some basic code in an interview is an absolute must.
    I am currently amazed at this stage as well what the salary expectations of some candidates are compared to their actual technical expertise.
  • The candidates that make it past the technical interview stage has their references checked and then interviewed by staff from the rest of the business.  Including the CEO.
  • The successful candidate(s) are then made an offer.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Crystal Reports for Visual Studio

If you are still using Crystal Reports then you can get the latest support packs herehttp://scn.sap.com/docs/DOC-7824
Visual Studio 2013 is not yet supported.  Looks like they are planning a support pack 9 that will include support for VS2013 sometime in March.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

I feel like the SyncToy guy!

The top 2 posts on this blog are:

The crazy thing is I have not used SyncToy since 2010. :)

Friday, 29 November 2013

“GatherAllFilesToPublish” Error in Upgraded VS2013 Projects

I started getting this error after I upgraded my Azure SDK
So the first thing I tried was adding
<Target Name="GatherAllFilesToPublish">
to my .csproj file.
This stopped the error, but caused all my source files to be copied when I did a publish.
I finally found this, instead of '10.0' I used '12.0' and it worked.  My projects publish correctly again.

    <VisualStudioVersion Condition="'$(VisualStudioVersion)' == ''">12.0</VisualStudioVersion>
    <VSToolsPath Condition="'$(VSToolsPath)' == ''">$(MSBuildExtensionsPath32)\Microsoft\VisualStudio\v$(VisualStudioVersion)</VSToolsPath>
Hope this helps someone.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Must have Visual Studio extensions - for me at least ;)

In alphabetical order:

  • AnkhSVN - Subversion for Visual Studio - Free
    "Open Source Subversion SCC Provider for Visual Studio 2005, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2013."
    In my opinion the best Subversion SCC Provider for Visual Studio.
  • DevExpress Tools - Not Free
    "Powerful code-creation, navigation, refactoring, and code visualization technologies designed for Visual Studio."
    I happen to love CodeRush and the DevExpress tools.  Makes me a much more productive.
  • DevExtreme - Not Free
    "Easily build multi-channel applications - from Windows 8 and the iPad to iPhone and Android smartphones."
  • NuGet Package Manager for Visual Studio 20xx - Free
    "A collection of tools to automate the process of downloading, installing, upgrading, configuring, and removing packages from a VS Project."
    Get it, learn it, use it, love it.
  • NUnit Test Adapter - Free
    "NUnit adapter for integrated test execution under Visual Studio 2013 RTM, Update 1-4, and Visual Studio 2013.  Compatible with NUnit 2.0 through 2.6.2"
    I love being able to do as much as possible inside Visual Studio.
  • Web Essentials 20xx - Free
    "Adds many useful features to Visual Studio web developers"
    If you do any sort of web development you must have this!
  • xUnit.net runner for Visual Studio 2012 and 2013 - Free
    "xUnit.net is a unit testing tool for the .NET Framework.  Written by the original inventor of NUnit, xUnit.net is the latest technology for unit testing C#, F#, VB.NET and other .NET languages."I use this to run tests on all the Open Source code I download and read.
If you have not noticed, I don't like to many extensions loaded, but these are the minimal essential tools for me.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Internet Explorer basher

Historically I have not been an IE basher.  It did what I wanted, well mostly.  Then along came a browser called Chrome.  I can't remember when I started using Chrome full time, but I've been using it exclusively for at least the last 3 years, if not more.
And almost everyday I am shocked at how badly IE handles and performs almost anything I try to do with it, compared to Chrome.  Being the dominant browser in the business market we have to support it.
The reason for the post is that I have a fairly simple graph I display to users and firstly it didn't work in IE8.  Turns out IE8 didn't like a piece of javascript that runs absolutely fine in IE10 and all other browsers.  Once that was fixed the performance under IE (all versions 7+, even 10) is shocking.  Chrome takes <200ms to render the graph.  IE takes over 10 seconds.  With Chrome I can interact with the graph in real time.  IE, it is a matter of click, then wait, click, then wait.  
Just had to get that off my chest.


Why are there still systems out there that does this:
And this: 

If you develop systems that require any form of authentication and you need to store passwords.  Do not encrypt your passwords, hash them.  Preferably use bcrypt (http://codahale.com/how-to-safely-store-a-password/).

And some additional links: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2012/04/speed-hashing.htmlhttp://security.stackexchange.com/questions/4781/do-any-security-experts-recommend-bcrypt-for-password-storage/6415#6415