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Richard Morris

Philip Greenspun: Geek of the Week

Philip Greenspun is probably best known to other geeks for his Tenth Rule of Programming: "Any sufficiently complicated C or Fortran program contains an ad hoc, informally-specified, bug-ridden, slow implementation of half of Common Lisp." Amongst the general public, he is most famous for founding ArsDigita and suffering the subsequent miseries that came from accepting venture capital. Read more...

Joe Celko

SQL Style Habits: Attack of the Skeuomorphs

Although we like to think that our programming techniques are progressive and in tune with the bleeding edge of software development practices, too often they are directly influenced by restrictions faced in the post-war decades when computers first became mainstream. As these restrictions no longer apply, is it time to relinquish such things as cursors, 'tibbling', storing display formats, using short names for symbols and primary keys? Read more...

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...

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...

Mike Fal

DevOps and the DBA

Michael Fal is a huge advocate of automation and many ways it can improve the lives of developers and DBAs alike, but you can’t just automate all your problems away. The real challenge is breaking down barriers and having developers and DBAs functioning smoothly together. You may have heard of DevOps, and so Mike explores what the buzz might mean for database administrators. Read more...

Devyani Borade

Developer-Tester Relationships

In a development team, there are times when the relationships between developers and testers can become strained. How can you turn this potential conflict into something more positive? Is it part of the skill of team-working to find ways of avoiding friction, or should one blame a system that relies on good social skills to work well? Read more...

Richard Morris

Alan Cooper: Geek of the Week

Alan Cooper helped to debug the most widely-used PC language of the late seventies and early eighties, BASIC-E, and, with Keith Parsons, developed C-BASIC. He then went on to create Tripod, which morphed eventually into Visual Basic in 1991. Alan remains enthusiastic and interested in development with strong views on Agile and Pair Programming. Read more...

Richard Morris

Swizec Teller : Geek of the Week

Why do programmers work best at night? Is this related to the idea that drinking alcohol improves cognitive ability? Is programming a young person's game? How do you tackle spaghetti code and avoid job-burnout? Swizek Teller has achieved fame in providing a wry commentary on these questions, and the way that computers have come to dominate our lives. Read more...

Patrick Roach

Meet the Faces of Software Release - Full House

Patrick Roach has already introduced us to the first set of software engineering Greats features in the Release! card game, and they already make up a strong hand. Now that the team at Inedo have interviewed everyone who's lending their face and support, Patrick introduces the rest of the roster, covering everyone from Kathy Sierra to Gene Kim, and points out just how they've contributed to our field. Read more...

Patrick Roach

Meet the Faces of Software Release

Around the middle of last year, Alex Papadimoulis introduced us to Release!, the game about building software. With their wildly successful kickstarter, and enthusiastic support from many pillars of modern software development, the team have create a fun game with a strong pedigree. Patrick Roach is the lead game designer for Release!, and who better to introduce us to the software engineering Greats who have contributed their support and their faces to the game. Read more...

Richard Morris

Conrad Wolfram: Geek of the Week

Conrad Wolfram is the 'younger Wolfram' of Wolfram Research, the company behind Wolfram|Alpha and Mathematica. He wants to transform the way in which we engage with mathematics. In particular, he would like to reform mathematics education to make greater use of information technology, and he is also leading the way with interactive publishing technology. Read more...

William Brewer

IT Compliance and Software Development

What is IT Compliance and is it really necessary for contemporary Agile applications to be constrained by the requirements of compliance? William Brewer argues that if the objective is rapid delivery of applications, then compliance controls must be understood as early as possible in development. Read more...

Steve Smith

Release Testing Is Risk Management Theatre

"You cannot inspect quality into a product" - Harold Dodge. The adoption of Continuous Delivery often leads to the discovery of suboptimal practices within an organisation, and the Release Testing antipattern is a common example. Steve Smith explores the questions: what is Release Testing, and why is it an example of Risk Management Theatre? Read more...

Matt Hilbert

Going to Extremes to Release Bug Fixes and New Features

XP is no general panacea; but for the right team, and for a product that needs to release bug fixes and new features as fast as possible, its benefits are obvious. Working on one of Red Gate's most popular tools, SQL Prompt, Aaron Law and David Priddle use Extreme Programming (XP) . But is their adherence to XP a personal preference or does it bring real benefits? We sent Matt Hilbert to find out. Read more...

Dan Appleman

The Salesforce Platform: The Return of the Citizen Programmer

The current popularity of the Salesforce software development platform has taken the industry by surprise. The current IT culture favours the esoteric, yet here is a development platform geared to the idea that anyone can use it: a populist language like BASIC. Does this threaten the careers of professional developers? Paradoxically, not at all, says Dan Appleman. Read more...

Matt Hilbert

Staying Ahead of the Game

Matt Hilbert has noticed a term that keeps popping up: The Next Generation DBA. He believes it's been coined because change is afoot, and a lot of change that will transform the way DBAs work. But what exactly is going on – and what can you do to actually become a Next Gen DBA? Read more...

Matt Hilbert

Does NoSQL = NoDBA?

There’s a joke doing the rounds at SQL conferences and seminars: three DBAs walk into a NoSQL bar and leave when they can’t find a table. You may have heard it before, but it made Matt Hilbert sit down and ponder. What’s happening? Is there a division opening up between the newly fashionable NoSQL followers and DBAs? Matt bravely enters the shiny new world of NoSQL to investigate. Read more...

Joe Celko

Data Is Crazier than You Think

As a society, we have an unrealistic respect for data, especially if it has a decimal point somewhere and uses metric units. We who are in the business of data need to cultivate a renewed interest in the sceptical and rigorous science of statistics: it is too important to leave to 'Data Scientists'. If the data is wrong, or the way we analyse or report it is misleading, much of what we do is pointless Read more...

Grzegorz Strzelecki

The Role of the Technical Architect in Development

What do Technical Architects (TAs) actually do when in a development role? Are they just senior developers 'pushed upstairs' into a management role? Is there a clear distinction between a TA and a product, or project, manager? In an increasingly automated and joined up development environment, the role is important, varied and wide-ranging; as Grzegorz Strzelecki explains Read more...

Tony Davis

Tony Davis is an Editor with Red Gate Software, based in Cambridge (UK), specializing in databases, and especially SQL Server. He edits articles and writes editorials for both the Simple-talk.com and SQLServerCentral.com websites and newsletters, with a combined audience of over 1.5 million subscribers. You can sample his short-form writing at either his Simple-Talk.com blog or his SQLServerCentral.com author page.

As the editor behind most of the SQL Server books published by Red Gate, he spends much of his time helping others express what they know about SQL Server. He is also the lead author of the book, SQL Server Transaction Log Management.

In his spare time, he enjoys running, football, contemporary fiction and real ale.


Phil Factor

Phil Factor (real name withheld to protect the guilty), aka Database Mole, has 30 years of experience with database-intensive applications. Despite having once been shouted at by a furious Bill Gates at an exhibition in the early 1980s, he has remained resolutely anonymous throughout his career. See also :

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Damon Armstrong

Damon Armstrong is a Senior Engineering Team Lead with GimmalSoft in Dallas, Texas, and author of Pro ASP.NET 2.0 Website Programming. He specializes in Microsoft technologies with a focus on SharePoint and ASP.NET. When not staying up all night coding, he can be found playing disc golf, softball, working on something for Carrollton Young Life, or recovering from staying up all night coding.


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