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Devyani Borade

Think You Can Be a Software Tester?

We all use software, and we all find it alarmingly easy to find bugs in it. Does that mean that we have a natural talent for testing software? Devyani suggests that there are some qualities that characterise software testers who are very good at their job. No matter whether you were born like that, or if you've worked upon, practised, developed and acquired them over time, they make all the difference. Read more...

Adam Bertram

Questions About Devops that IT Pros are Too Shy to Ask

DevOps isn't a particular technology, nor a job role. It is more of a software development method, initiating originally from system administrators, that promotes ways of enhancing collaboration and communication between development, QA, and IT operations throughout the entire software delivery pipeline with the aim of faster software delivery. Adam Bertrand answers the four most common questions that IT Pro's wonder about, but seldom ask publicly. Read more...

Feodor Georgiev

Getting to know your customers better – cohort analysis and RFM segmentation in R

It often pays to use a tool like R, in conjunction with a relational database, to quickly perform a range of analyses, and graphs, in order to ensure that you're answering the right question, to explore alternative hypotheses, or to provide insight into a problem. Feodor demonstrates how to quickly, and interactively, explore the ways that customers purchase goods and services using cohort analysis. Read more...

Robert Sheldon

How to Get NULLs Horribly Wrong in SQL Server

NULLs in SQL are a mixed blessing.The Three-Valued Logic of SQL has its uses but can cause difficulties to anyone who assumes that NULL has a 'value'. It can make reports go horribly wrong in a number of alarming ways, as Robert Sheldon explains Read more...

Michael Sorens

The Poster of the Plethora of PowerShell Pitfalls

One of the downsides of learning a new computer language is that transfer of training doesn't always work to your advantage. In fact, the habits you picked up in the past may now cause confusion. In this poster or wall-chart for long walls, Michael Sorens selects the thirty-six most common causes of confusion for anyone getting to grips with PowerShell. Forewarned is forearmed. Read more...

Dwain Camps

Software Engineering: Just How Immature is it?

"Facts and Fallacies of Software Engineering” by Robert L. Glass has become a classic of Software Engineering as cherished as 'The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering' by Frederick P. Brooks. They seem as radical today as when first written, mainly because the software industry repeatedly fails to learn from its mistakes. Dwain Camps reviews the book. Read more...

Tom Fischer

Safe(r) Custom User-Authentication

If you are still storing passwords with MD5 hashing you're doing it wrong. The .NET platform provides a Cryptography library that allows you to develop PBKDF2 user authentication to the standards of the Open Web Application Security Project. Tom Fischer explains the background, shows a solution, and discusses the issues. Read more...

Dino Esposito

Tracking Online Users

Sometimes, the requirements for a web application include a list of users that are currently logged-in. It would seem, at first glance, to be pretty trivial, but because few of us explicitly log out of web applications, the reality can get complicated. Even the best solution is a trade-off. Dino explains the issues and alternatives. Read more...

Sunil Pardasani

Behaviour Driven Development Overview Part 1 – Ubiquitous Language

Behaviour Driven Development is an Agile methodology that aims to allow software development and management teams to use shared tools and processes to communicate and collaborate, It describes the behaviour of the application in a language that is understood by business analysts, testers, developers in order to minimize misunderstandings and make the development process more visible. This structured description or 'Ubiquitous Language' then serves to define much of the testing. Read more...

Adam Aspin

SQLXML Bulk Loader Basics

SQLXML isn't exactly new technology, but like the even more venerable BCP, it remains the quickest and most reliable way of heaving large quantities of data into SQL Server databases. SQLXML is very versatile, and once set up is wonderfully reliable ETL system, but isn't trivial to learn. Adam Aspin comes to the rescue with a simple guide. Read more...

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