Programmers, mental models and decisions

Introduction I listen to the podcast Art of Manliness - its title is possibly misleading, as it's quite a mix of philosophy, practical skills, self improvement, lives of interesting people and so on.  The episode I listened to most recently was about mental models, from Shane Parrish who is the person behind Farnam Street. I … Continue reading Programmers, mental models and decisions

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Automating the deployment of SSIS packages

Introduction This post describes how I have automated the deployment of SSIS packages to different environments (test, staging, production etc.)  There are definitely other ways of doing it, and some of these are possibly better - I think that this is the oldest-school way possible.  I will describe our context which I hope will explain … Continue reading Automating the deployment of SSIS packages

The emotional rollercoaster of automation projects

Yes, it's another amazing piece of artwork, showing my amazing artistic skill and drawing tools.  If you missed my previous effort, have a look at a previous post on statistics - although I think that the previous post's artistic style is influenced by Wait, But Why, and this one is more influenced by xkcd. I've … Continue reading The emotional rollercoaster of automation projects

Writing documentation can be in your own interests

Introduction Some people take the agile manifesto's ... We ... value ... working software over comprehensive documentation the wrong way.  They think it means We don't value documentation This is: a) not the same as what the agile manifesto says; b) wrong, even if you act purely from self-interest. There are at least two selfish … Continue reading Writing documentation can be in your own interests

S.E. Radio podcast on latency

I'm still slowly working my way through the back catalogue of the Software Engineering Radio podcast.  One episode that I particularly liked is 277: Gil Tene on Tail Latency.  It has interesting and useful stuff that helps you see things clearly.  For instance: How there's more than one measure of latency (mean, median, 90th centile, … Continue reading S.E. Radio podcast on latency

An introduction to Entity Framework

Introduction This is article isn’t a hands-on guide to getting started with Entity Framework (EF).  Instead it aims to give you an understanding of what EF is, whether it’s for you, and if so, which of its options apply best to you. In the next article I will do the hands-on stuff, where I walk … Continue reading An introduction to Entity Framework

When is a speech and language interface a poor choice?

Introduction This post is in a series about computers, speech and language: Why are speech and language interfaces useful? What makes speech and language interfaces hard to create?  Part 1: Overview What makes speech and language interfaces hard to create?  Part 2: Speech What makes speech and language interfaces hard to create?  Part 3: Language … Continue reading When is a speech and language interface a poor choice?

What makes speech and language interfaces hard to create? Part 3: Language

Introduction This article follows on from a few about computers, speech and language: Why are speech and language interfaces useful? What makes speech and language interfaces hard to create?  Part 1: Overview What makes speech and language interfaces hard to create?  Part 2: Speech What makes speech and language interfaces hard to create?  Part 3: … Continue reading What makes speech and language interfaces hard to create? Part 3: Language