Monday, 25 May 2015

Do not control the flow of your code using Exceptions

This is old news, but I constantly see code that does this.  You would think that the name Exception would make the intent of exceptions clear.  Don't throw an exception when a simple condition check would do.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Enable HTTP Compression in IIS Express

Open a Command Prompt as Administrator.  Go to the IIS Express installation folder

  • 32 bit : cd %programfiles%\iis express 
  • 64 bit: cd %programfiles(x86)%\iis express
Run the following command to enable dynamic compression:
appcmd set config -section:urlCompression /doDynamicCompression:true
You should see the following message:
 Applied configuration changes to section "system.webServer/urlCompression" for "MACHINE/WEBROOT/APPHOST" at configuration commit path "MACHINE/WEBROOT/APPHOST"
 Now add the mime-types to compress.  I'm using wildcard entries.  Static types first:
appcmd set config /section:httpCompression /staticTypes.[mimeType='*/*'].enabled:"true" /commit:apphost
You should see the following message:
Applied configuration changes to section "system.webServer/httpCompression" for "MACHINE/WEBROOT/APPHOST" at configuration commit path "MACHINE/WEBROOT/APPHOST"
Now for the dynamic types:
 appcmd set config /section:httpCompression /dynamicTypes.[mimeType='*/*'].enabled:"true" /commit:apphost
And the final message you should see:
 Applied configuration changes to section "system.webServer/httpCompression" for "MACHINE/WEBROOT/APPHOST" at configuration commit path "MACHINE/WEBROOT/APPHOST"


Thursday, 18 September 2014

Less Compiler for Eclipse

I'm doing a project in Java and using Eclipse as my IDE.  This is a note to myself on what plug-ins I am installing.  Please note I am doing this all on Windows 7 and 8.1.

So first thing, install node (I use chocolatey for my Machine Package Manager).
C:\> choco install nodejs.install
I'm using the nodejs.install as it installs node and npm under "Program Files" and sets up the system PATH.  Close and re-open the command prompt before continuing.

Now we install less using npm (Node Package Modules).
npm install less -g
 We need to be able to edit LESS files in Eclipse and for that I'm using Eclipse plugin for LESS
LESS is a language which extends CSS with dynamic behavior such as variables, mixins, operations and functions. This plugin extends the Eclipse IDE by providing handy features to edit and compile LESS stylesheets.
You can drag the install button below onto Eclipse and it will install the plug-in.

To automatically build the LESS files as they are changed I used Maven and included the lesscss-maven-plugin.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Need to create a VM from a windows image?

This is just what I needed.  I had the ISO for Windows 7  and I needed to create a new Hyper-V VM for some testing I needed to do.  Enter Convert-WindowsImage.ps1.  I simply ran the ".\Convert-WindowsImage.ps1 -ShowUI" command in PowerShell, pointed it to the .ISO and created the VM.  Quick and painless.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Only the most recent version of IE available for a MS supported operating system will receive technical support and security updates

Finally users are going to have to use the latest Internet Explorer versions!  It is all laid out in the following blog post.

In practical terms that means the rest of the world can now (well not quite now, January 12, 2016) stop supporting IE versions less than 9.

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 here
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. :)