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  • Slack: I've seen the future, and it reminds me of the past

    Posted August 15, 2014 - 6:00 am

    When I was a youngster I used to toil away for days on IRC. It was my first taste of the real power of the internet. This week I imposed a movement to Slack and away from Google Hangouts as our primary interoffice communication tool and it feels like coming home.
  • NoSQL is a no go once again

    Posted July 25, 2014 - 11:00 am

    Twice now I’ve deeply investigated NoSQL for an upcoming project, and twice now I’ve come to the conclusion that it would be a bad decision.
  • Why is the NoSQL choice so difficult?

    Posted July 22, 2014 - 6:00 am

    The last time I was evaluating NoSQL databases I ended up sticking with a relational database. I’m evaluating them again today and this time I’m pretty sure I’ll have to actually choose one. The choice is really hard for a number of reasons.
  • Gain insight into your time and effort with Toggl

    Posted July 2, 2014 - 6:00 am

    You might think that you’ve got a general idea of how you spend your time and effort at work, but tracking such things is usually more effort than it’s worth. With Toggl, they’ve reduced the friction to recording time so much that it’s barely any effort at all and you have a lot to gain.
  • The very worst subject lines

    Posted June 16, 2014 - 10:04 pm

    If you're going to be shooting out email messages as part of your job, you really ought to think about your recipients' reactions. Here are some of the least reader-friendly subject lines and why they likely won't work.
  • Unix: Why you should love nmap

    Posted June 4, 2014 - 2:50 pm

    Discovering hosts and services isn't just something that hackers do. A good sysadmin needs to work with an up-to-date view of the systems they manage or those they want to keep an eye on.
  • Open data saves New York City drivers from parking tickets

    Posted June 4, 2014 - 6:00 am

    Here’s a great example of how making government data open can directly benefit you
  • Choosing a Linux web server: Nginx vs. Apache

    Posted June 3, 2014 - 6:00 am

    The rise in popularity of nginx and the steady decline of Apache in the web server market has caused many to believe that the choice has become clear cut for new deployments. Indeed, in my most recent larger scale server setup I ended up choosing nginx for the job - but should I have?
  • How to set up remote debugging in Visual Studio 2013

    Posted May 23, 2014 - 6:00 am

    As is the custom, the code which works perfectly in your local environment rarely works as perfectly in your remote test environment. Some issues can only be reproduced on the different hardware running as a different service account etc. To find out exactly what’s happening in that environment, you need to set up remote debugging.
  • Unix: Automating your server inventory

    Posted May 12, 2014 - 5:42 pm

    Keeping an up-to-date inventory of your Unix servers can be less painful if you throw a bunch of helpful Linux commands into a script that you run periodically.
  • Improving Wordpress Security with Wordfence and WP Security

    Posted May 9, 2014 - 6:00 am

    The popularity of Wordpress has made it a prime target for site attacks. The more people using the same platform of any type, the more success hackers will have exploiting a larger number of users. Wordpress is one of the best CMS and publishing platforms out there, so rather than avoiding it entirely, you should do the work to improve the security of your site instead.
  • How to measure developer productivity

    Posted May 5, 2014 - 6:00 am

    Developer productivity. It's a very difficult thing to measure objectively and it only gets more difficult with size. Finding an accurate gauge of developer performance, one that is quantifiable, is the holy grail of IT management in larger organizations.
  • Google's real plan behind the purchase of the Nest thermostat

    Posted April 25, 2014 - 6:00 am

    Google purchased Nest back in January this year for $3.2B and people everywhere are still wondering why. The Nest is a handsome device to be sure, but at around $250 a pop, it’s not exactly a household name. To recover its purchase price, Google would have to sell a lot of Nests...except they won’t have to.
  • In programming, a little guidance goes a long way

    Posted April 22, 2014 - 8:00 am

    When I started out programming, everything was unknown to me. Getting the computer to do anything was exciting. My breadth of knowledge was narrow and the depth was shallow. This meant that each new problem, no matter how trivial, was a monumental undertaking to solve. Building on that issue was the fact that I’d succumbed to a common pitfall of rookie developers, I built everything from scratch using only what I knew.
  • The true costs of UI development in .NET

    Posted April 17, 2014 - 8:00 am

    Building a user interface heavy application in .NET is a difficult task. With the rise of tablet computing, the technique you use is more important than ever if you want your app to perform on a wide range of devices. But each technique has its trade-offs.
  • If you're developing in Visual Studio and not using WebDeploy, you're doing it wrong

    Posted April 11, 2014 - 8:00 am

    Pushing code to a server - test, production, or otherwise - is an error prone hassle. Invariably you forget to update a connection string or push a DLL or include new image resources. True, lots of solutions exist for continuous integration, but they’re not always practical during development.
  • LinkedIn makes creating web page tours simple with Hopscotch

    Posted March 21, 2014 - 8:00 am

    Have you ever been to a website that took you on a nice looking, interactive tour of its features? If you have, I bet you thought “hey, that’s pretty neat”, or maybe “zomg, such fancy, wow”. Regardless, you probably also wondered how they accomplished it. Here’s one solution from the folks over at LinkedIn called Hopscotch.
  • API documentation made beautiful with

    Posted February 28, 2014 - 9:00 am

    The least exciting part of any software project I work on is the documentation. With APIs in particular, documentation can be time consuming because it needs to provide enough detail for any consumer to understand and interface with it. For that reason, proper documentation of an API is even more crucial.
  • Does relying on an IDE for development make you a bad programmer?

    Posted February 24, 2014 - 9:00 am

    The other evening I was reading this post by Rob Conery about his career decisions, programming language choices, and regrets. There is a lot there that surprised me, but a subtle bullet point in a list about the cons of .NET development got me thinking. Among others, a negative point he made about being a .NET developer was that he became more reliant on an IDE than he would have with PHP.
  • Free, real-time analytics for your mobile app from Google

    Posted February 7, 2014 - 9:00 am

    Google Analytics is a staple of the web world. It offers a simple attractive interface which is both approachable and incredibly deep. Relatively recently it started offering real-time traffic analytics for the web. Even more recently it started offering all of this for mobile. All for free.
  • The state of software in 2014

    Posted January 30, 2014 - 9:00 am

    Earlier this month Tim Bray wrote a fantastic piece entitled Software in 2014. His insight is spot on and matches what I’ve seen over the past couple years. The most interesting talking points come in the areas of mobile development and client-side programming.
  • Why RAID might not be enough to protect your data

    Posted January 21, 2014 - 10:47 am

    Last week Jim Salter over at Ars Technica wrote a thorough and interesting article about the phenomenon known as bitrot and how next generation file systems are gearing up to combat the problem.
  • Why I don't suggest JavaScript as a first programming language

    Posted January 9, 2014 - 9:00 am

    A few days ago I wrote a post about what programming language you should learn first for a career in programming. This sparked a lot of conversation.
  • What's the best programming language to learn first?

    Posted January 3, 2014 - 9:00 am

    This debate has raged on for a long time. In your opinion, what is the best programming language to learn as your first programming language?
  • How to block traffic from other countries in linux

    Posted December 27, 2013 - 9:00 am

    It’s a sad fact that the majority of malicious web traffic to US sites originates from the same handful of foreign countries. If your site doesn’t benefit from actual users living in those countries, you may resolve to block them from accessing your site entirely in order to prevent repeated attacks. Here’s how to blacklist entire countries under linux using iptables and ipset.
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