Software Developers Lifecycle

I’m a fan of Jeff Atwoods Coding Horror blog.  He does not just blog about technology, he also includes good information about the best practices and overall philosophies of being a software developer.  A great example is this post about the two types of programmers in the world.  If you didn’t read it please take a few minutes to read through it before continuing on.

I’d like to think that I’m in that top 20%, but in reality I’m probably in the top 20% of the 80% group Jeff describes.  I love coding, but I also enjoy many other things like spending time with family and friends.  Being the father of two children under the age of 5 (and another expected soon) when I get home it’s time to be a dad not a coder.  I also enjoy watching sports (This is my reality TV), playing sport, playing video games and generally getting out and enjoying life.  So, I rarely code on the weekend for fun.  I do it every now and then just to keep up with the latest and greatest .Net releases but it’s few and far between.

Right now your probably thinking who cares?  The reason I mention all this is that I believe just like the phases of the software development lifecycle, we as software developers also go through a ‘lifecycle’.  When I was fresh out of college I was all about the latest and greatest technology and spend much of my free time coding and researching.  I even took a weekend crash course in .Net 1.0 beta that took up my every weekend for 2 months.  It was fun.  At this point I was in the top 20%. 

However, once I got a family my free time diminished and I took a corporate job that allowed me to put in my 40 hrs a week and go home to my family.  At this point I fell into the 80% range.  Not that there is anything wrong with that. That is where I was at in the Software Developer Lifecycle.

Now, my kids are getting a bit a older and I’ve gotten back into the realm of consulting which gives me more flexible hours to ‘play’ with technology.  I’m trying to get back into the top 20%.

The moral of this post is depending on your life priorities you might have to change your perspective on the kind of developer you are.  Just like in the Software Development Lifecycle, you might have to drop into maintenance mode for awhile.  Then once your priorities change, you can add new features to your career or start back over at requirement gathering…

Float DBParam to a Money column

I ran into a very interesting issue today.  I was passing in 0.0100 as a parameter to an SP.  When I ran it through debug it did not bring back any records.  However, when I called the exact same SP with the exact same params from SQL Server management Studio it worked fine.  I fixed it by adding a specific cast to my SP in SQL.  The Example is below:

where ShippingCostApplied = Cast(@ShipRateByCube as Money)

I think it might have something to do with the type conversion from .Net into SQL.  There is not a money data type in C# that I know of.  So, I was storing the data in code as a float.  Not sure why the float was not getting converted right, but keep this in mind when messing with the money data type.

LINQ Slides and Demos

I’d like to thank everyone who attended my LINQ talk at the South Colorado .Net Users Group on Tuesday.  I thought it was a good discussion.  I’m still finding my way around LINQ myself and your questions and comments will help me become a LINQ master..

Below are the zip files from the meeting.  One is the presentation in both Office 2003 and 2007 format.  The other is all the demos.  You will need Visual Studio 2008 Beta 2.  You will also need to download and install the Entity Framework.  Enjoy!

I will do some research to answer some of the questions we could not answer and post my results.

File Attachment: LINQ Presentation.zip (1685 KB)

File Attachment: LINQ Demos.zip (1745 KB)

Visual Studio 2008 Releases by the End Of The Month

Tim Heuer the .Net Evangelist out of Phoenix just spilled the news.  Read about it here.  I’m excited to start using it.  I’ve been using the betas off and on for about 2 months now and I really like it.

I’m also doing all my LINQ demos with the Beta 2 version tomorrow night at the South Colorado .Net User Group.  Stop by if you want a preview of LINQ or a quick look at Visual Studio 2008 in action. 

LINQ talk at the South Colorado .Net User Group on Tuesday

Sorry for the recent draught of post out here, but I’ve busy preparing a talk I’m giving on Tuesday Nov. 6th at the South Colorado .Net User Group.  The group meets in Colorado Springs.  My talk is on LINQ (Language Integrated Query).  I’ve been doing research and creating samples and demos so I’ve had no time to post.  However, once I complete the talk I should have some time to blog about my LINQ discoveries as well as some CRM stuff I’m been hearing about.  Until then, I hope to see you all at the user group meeting.