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Simple-Talk Editorial Team

Monitoring SQL Server: An Interview with David Bick

Simple-Talk sat down with David Bick, a Red Gate Product Manager, to discuss his work on SQL Monitor and why passively monitoring SQL Server just doesn’t cut it anymore. Read more...

Hugh Bin-Haad

We don't need Source Control: we're Database Developers

As part of our long-running series of articles where we ask working database developers how database source control improves their work within development teams, we made the mistake of asking Hugh Bin-Haad, Database dev and relational theorist. Read more...

David Poole

Technical Debt and the Cultural Gap

Sometimes, technical jargon is often so readily understandable by the technical community that they forget that it may be interpreted quite differently by the rest of the business. 'Technical Debt' is an example of a metaphor that is considered very differently by others. By failing to adopt a common language, you could be giving a message about your IT project that is quite different to the one you intended. Read more...

Jonathan Hickford

Five Tips to Get Your Organisation Releasing Software Frequently

The frequency of releasing software varies widely in the industry. There can be good reasons for extended periods between public releases of software, but your development culture or methodology should never be a block. If the test and release process is made as reliable and predictable as possible, then everyone gains. But how do you get started? Jonathan Hickford writes from experience. Read more...

Dwain Camps

Fundamentals of Vendor Management

Creating and maintaining mutually beneficial relationships with external vendors is one of the pillars of good project management. Dwain Camps goes through what to expect and allow in your client-vendor relationship during the various stages of a given project to ensure its success and secure that all important win-win outcome. Read more...

Dwain Camps

The Proposals Conundrum

When you work for a small software development (or any services) company, one of the major challenges is to make sure that you expend your limited resources on opportunities that are economically sound. You may be approached by companies that have heard about you and think they might want to do business with you, but do these leads really represent opportunities? How much of your time should be spent finding out? Dwain Camps offers some guidance. Read more...

Richard Morris

Don Knuth and the Art of Computer Programming: The Interview

Fifty years after starting the 'Art of Computer Programming', (TAOCP), Don Knuth is still working hard at the project. He has almost completed the first five volumes. It is considered amongst the "hundred or so books that shaped a century of science”. Richard Morris asks him how things are going, and to find out more about his many achievements. Read more...

Al Noel

Some "Laws" of Software Development

Despite all the advances in software tools, there seem to be several enduring truths about software development. By understaning these 'laws', Ziv’s law, Humphrey’s Law and Conway’s Law, for example, you can remove some of the mystery of the process. Al Noel discusses these and other laws that seem to apply generally to the art of programming. Read more...

Dwain Camps

How to Avoid Software Projects Failing

Although it is necessary to deliver a software project on budget, to schedule, to the right quality, it isn't, by itself, sufficient to ensure success. It has to be be what all the participants expect and want. To achieve all this requires a balancing act, with tradeoffs and compromises, but it is great when you get it right. Dwain gives advice from hard-won experience. Read more...

Phil Factor

PowerPoint Presentation Burnout

Phil's dread of Powerpoint sales presentations is already known to his readers, but we've never before heard the story of how an intern in his team gave them the necessary insights to find a cure for their unfortunate tendency to doze off, and convince them that they were charmless geeks. Read more...

Phil Factor

The Art of the One-Pager

In which Phil finds himself in a place of work where, despite his penchant for insulting or upsetting senior managers, he survives purely due to his ability to distill complex IT documents into one-page strategy papers Read more...

Phil Factor

Project Mismanager

In IT, it is difficult to measure individual productivity, and it is particularly difficult to determine whether a project manager for a development project is 'pulling his weight'. Read more...

Phil Wise and Michael Williamson

Bureaucracy-Free Software Development

Could it be that, if you adopt Test Driven Development, Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment, then much of the bureaucracy of team-based software development becomes redundant? It is an intriguing idea which has led to a creative experiment. Read more...

Kat Hicks

Interviewing Tips for a Database Position

Interviewing for a database position is a careful game of give and take. Knowing what to expect and how to prepare for your interview is important, but it’s only half the battle. You’ll also need to ask questions to see if the job, and the company, is a good fit for you. Read more...

Chris Smith

Deploying Your Software Shouldn’t Feel like Visiting the Dentist

It is tempting to delay deployments but, the longer the delay, the more daunting they become. Instead they can be done easier and more frequently by automating the deployment mechanism where possible, streamlining the administration, and delivering valuable, incremental features. Read more...

Joel Cochran

A Sudden Move: One developer’s journey from C# to JavaScript

JavaScript is 'tragically important' because, although it is inherently flawed, it is used everywhere because it allows the developer to use the same language for a variety of platforms and purposes. At last, the uniformity of browser and Javascript standards give the promise of code that really is 'write once, run anywhere' Read more...

James Moore

The Benefits of Regular Deployment

When developing software, it makes sense to 'fail early, fail often'; to become aware of mistakes quickly and to learn from them. This means being able to deliver software as early in development as possible. This makes it easier to gather opinions and promote discussions with the people who would want to use the application; and then respond to the feedback. Read more...

Richard Morris

Alex Payne: Big in the IT Business

Alex Payne worked on developing Twitter for three years. When he started, it was a small side-project: When he left, it had become an international cultural phenomenon. Since then, he has worked with several early-stage start-ups. He has been researching a book on the history of programming languages, and is co-author of a book on Scala. Read more...

Buck Woody

The Value of Professional Associations

If you're a technical professional, it is a good idea to belong to a professional association. There are several to choose from, and they all provide benefits. It is worth checking what each of the associations state as being their primary goal, before deciding which ones are right for you. Read more...

Jeremy Jarrell

Looking Back; or How to Improve Your Team with Retrospectives

Instead of waiting until the end of a project to ask 'what worked and what didn't, why not use regular retrospective analysis as part of the development process to find out what is, and isn't, working, and learn from the conclusions there and then? Read more...

Buck Woody

Learn Where You Are

In order to make progress in your career in IT, you need to actively plan your professional development rather then allow others around you to control it. For anyone in IT, the task of learning new skills and technologies is part of your work: and you can do it right where you are, in your current job. Read more...

Richard Morris

James Hong: Big in the IT Business

James Hong was one of a generation of entrepreneurs who fell into the role almost accidentally by creating an application purely for their own age-group. Unlike many others, James has learned from his experiences and has become a successful advisor to, and investor in, startups, Here, he gives sage advice about surviving in the technology business. Read more...

Alamzeb Khan

Technical Plagiarism: the Scourge of Pakistan’s Educational and Creative Industries

After suffering the wholesale plagiarism of articles from Simple-Talk by a Pakistan-based website (now 'suspended'), we asked our Pakistan Correspondent, Alamzeb Kahn, to find out more about the extent of the problem in IT, and the increasing government involvement in international action against the global problem of plagiarism. Read more...

Buck Woody

The Lure of Simplicity in IT

A deceptively simple solution to a business-re-engineering problem can beguile companies into selecting a compromise that doesn't actually meet all their needs. Simple is great, but not at the expense of functionality. Some IT solutions are complex because the problem is complex, but they can be made conceptually clearer Read more...

Richard Morris

Chuck Lathrope: DBA of the Day

Chuck Lathrope was a finalist for the Exceptional DBA of the Year award in 2009. We contacted him to find out more about how he became a DBA and for his views about the profession. What is the making of an excptional DBA? Read more...

Richard Morris

Josh Klein: Big in the IT Business

It is hard to categorize Josh Klein. Author, Technologist, Developer, Entrepreneur, polymath? He has participated in several startups, and is a popular speaker at conferences. He describes himself as an expert in 'taking things apart or putting them together again', reworking existing systems in unorthodox ways. Read more...

Hugh Bin-Haad

Introducing IM#1: The Final One?

Our resident expert in current advances in Computer Science, Professor Bin-Haad, reviews the first details to emerge about the experimental language IM1, which has been a remarkable University project jointly sponsored by the major players in the battle for the Desktop. On this special day, we hear about the radical features of the new language, designed once and for all to resolve the apparently irreconcilable demands of the proponents of all the different computer languages required in order to create portable applications. Read more...

Scott Devereux

Steam and the question of hosted-software

The software industry has always worked on the assumption that software is licensed, not purchased. Until cloud-based software became possible, licenses couldn't easily be revoked if the license agreement was breached. Now that they can be, the task of resolving question of 'ownership' of software has been given a new urgency. Read more...

Richard Morris

Glenn Berry: DBA of the Day

Glenn Berry works as a Database Architect at Avalara in Bainbridge Island, Washington. He is a SQL Server MVP, and has a whole collection of Microsoft certifications, including MCITP, MCDBA, MCSE, MCSD, MCAD, and MCTS. As well as working as a DBA, he is an Adjunct Faculty member at the University of Denver, where he has been teaching since 2000. He wrote chapters in the SQL Server MVP Deep Dives books as well as 'SQL Server Hardware' for Simple-Talk. Read more...

Richard Morris

Seth Godin: Big in the IT Business

Seth Godin has transformed our understanding of marketing in IT. He invented the concept of 'permission marketing', sees the end of the "TV-Industrial complex" and the techniques of 'interruption-marketing' Instead he sees a sunny future, one where the consumer has the power to drive sales on merit Read more...

Richard Morris

Scott Shaw: DBA of the Day

Scott Shaw was one of the finalists to the 2011 Exceptional DBA Award (XDBA). The award was founded in 2008 to recognize the essential but often overlooked contributions of DBAs, the unsung heroes of the IT community. In this interview, Scott describes the challenges of being a DBA in a busy Healthcare company, and his work for the DBA community. Read more...

Alamzeb Khan

Pakistan: Cyber Warfare and Internet Hacking

The extent of malicious hacking on the internet, in pursuit of political or economic advantage, crime or just plain mischief, threatens to escalate the cost of even basic IT infrastructure. In the emerging economies, organised hacking is now beginning to impede economic growth so much that organised counter-measures are now required. Our Pakistan correspondent describes the problem there, and suggests some solutions. Read more...

Richard Morris

The Marmite or Miracle Whip of Computer Languages

What is it about C++ that makes it one of the most important computer languages for systems work, yet so reviled by so many? Like Marmite, or Miracle Whip, nobody seems to take a neutral opinion of it. We asked the languages' creator, the great Bjarne Stroustrup. Read more...

Red Gate Books

The Developer's Progress

With apologies to the famous print of 'The Drunkards Progress' of 1846, we track the plight of the application developer to serve as a warning. Read more...

Richard Morris

Jeff Moden: DBA of the Day

Jeff Moden's election to the Exceptional DBA of the Year award for 2011 was a popular one. Although all the finalists were exceptional, Jeff has impressed everyone with his energy, stamina and wit, particularly with his work on SQL Server Central. In conversation with Richard Morris, Jeff comes up with several nuggets of advice and opinion that are valuable for any DBA or database developer. Read more...

Hugh Bin-Haad

The DBA in Space Videos: A Film Critic Writes

We invite the distinguished film critic Hugh Bin-Haad to examine our DBA in Space videos and give his opinion as to their artistic merit. Read more...

Jonathan Allen

On Organising Technical Community Events

SQL Relay was a great success. The UK SQL Server community managed to pack thirteen SQL Server User group events into one week, and they were on offer absolutely free, It gave everyone a great opportunity to get involved in the SQL community in their local area. Jonathan Allen lists the lessons that were learned by the organisers, so as to help anyone else who is planning this sort of community-based event. Read more...

Bob Cramblitt

Anatomy of an Acquisition: Inside Cerebrata / Red Gate

The sale of a favourite software company can be disheartening for users, creating concern that the tools and team you love will vanish. Red Gate’s Luke Jefferson and Matt Dickens, and Cerebrata’s Gaurav Mantri, discuss how they plan to avoid acquisition pitfalls. Read more...

Bob Cramblitt

A Simple-Talk exclusive: Stars of the DBA in Space webisodes - Revealed!

A lot of the buzz around the DBA in Space campaign has centered on the hosts of the snazzy, 60s space-noir webisodes created by Red Gate and The Mill. Simple-Talk sent intrepid reporter Bob Cramblitt to the Rodenberry Launch Center to interview the two hosts, Brad McGehee and the fetching Miss Friday. Read more...

Troy Hunt

On Remembering Secure Passwords

Troy Hunt believes that it is time that we stopped kidding ourselves that we are capable of remembering different secure passwords for all the sites we use. We can't use the same password in more than one site, and passwords must be fit for purpose. So what's the solution? Read more...

Mike Mooney

The Framework Myth

If ever there was an irresistible programmer’s platitude, it is that code-reuse is invariably a good thing. Unfortunately, even the best of advice can be taken to a ludicrous extreme, the construction of generic frameworks within organisations. Mike Mooney gives a warning, based on painful experiences. Read more...

Nick Harrison

A Developers' Guide to Refactoring Databases

When Agile meets 'Big Design', the result can be frustration on both sides. Is it possible for database development to to easily coexist with Agile methodologies for application development? Nick suggests that the technical solutions already exist, and the dissonance is more due to cultural and organisational problems Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: The Holiday

With Derek away, Peter gets underhand and underfoot. Read more...

Bob Cramblitt

Red Gate's new Scary DBA: Coming to a town near you

Grant Fritchey, The Scary DBA, has now taken the leap from being a Simple-Talk author and FoRG(Friend of Red Gate) to being employed by Red Gate as 'product evangelist'. As Bob Cramblitt finds out, it means that Grant gets more time to do what he enjoys doing; talking and writing about SQL Server topics that fascinate him, such as query tuning, execution plans, performance monitoring and backups. Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: Dinner Out

Derek sees all, knows all, won't say how. Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: Blame Game

You can't please all the people all of the time, because, after all, some of them are jerks. Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: Derek in Therapy

Our DBA gets in touch with his inner circuits. Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: Happy Holidays

Just how firm are those deadlines? Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: Personal Space

Arthur enhances his intelligence. Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: To Delete or Not to Delete?

A Sumerian DBA's Dilemma. Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: Teamwork

Derek suffers from fragmentation. Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: The Eyes of Derek

Keeping Developers in the Proper Frame of Mind. Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: Summer on the Lake

Derek gets away from it all. Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: Healthy Caution or Something Else?

Derek slips a cog. Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: Wake-up Call

A robot's reaction may be a little different from yours or mine. Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: Beyond Global

There's more than one way to be green. Read more...

Bob Cramblitt

Tracy Hamlin, Exceptional DBA of 2010, on what it means to go the extra mile

Tracy Hamlin has been elected by judges and the SQL Server community as the Exceptional DBA of 2010. The annual awards program, hosted by SQL Server Central and sponsored by Red Gate Software, drew the largest number of community votes in its three-year history. In the interview, Simple-Talk contributor Bob Cramblitt talks to Tracy to uncover the essence of an exceptional DBA. Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: Efficiency Unit

Leila's layoff generates an innovative workflow strategy. Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: Consultant, Superstar

Does success in one field transfer to another? Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: Command-Line Nostalgia

Arthur finds philosophy deep in a dialog box. Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: Refugees

Why are they here? Why is anyone? Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: Four Nines

Jill's cloud looks like a winner. Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: Surface Area

Some surfaces are easy to overlook. Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: To Sleep, Perchance to Green

Derek drops off. Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: Order! Order!

Leibniz breaks out of a buyer's dilemma that might defeat a subtler mind. Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: Decisions, Decisions

Centuries ago, the philosopher Leibniz had a dream that all decisions could be made by machine. Today, his vision comes to life, more or less. Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: No Man is an Island

Not in a Networked World, No Indeed! Read more...

Richard Morris

Giancarlo Niccolai: Geek of the Week

Falcon isn't exactly new. It is a scripting language that is designed with a number of programming paradigms for multi-threaded applications. It is growing rapidly in importance. Richard Morris decided to contact Giancarlo, the language's creator, find out why there was so much interest in it. Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: Gurgle, Incorporated

Derek Encounters Intelligent Plumbing. Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: The Job Interview

A robot never lies. Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: Performance Metrics

Derek adds some bells and whistles to the system. Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: The Meaning of Life

Who needs DBAs, and why? Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: Og, Sumerian DBA, Part 2

A disruptive innovation raises an old, old question. Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: Spyware

Eyes are everywhere, but what do they see? Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: The Terminator

I'm big and impersonal. Are you? Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: Derek Digs Deep

The intrepid DBA knows no obstacles but one. Read more...

Hugo Shebbeare

Deployment Management is Worth IT: These Templates Should Make You Believe It Too

Even experienced managers of IT operations can stumble over the most critical part- the documentation. If only there were useful examples around! We commissioned Hugo Shebbeare to explain what is required of such documentation, and why. He has also provided the templates to make it all easy for the pen-chewing DBA or SysAdmin. Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: Redundancy and Frugality

Backing up is hard to do. Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: Derek on Alert

Arthur's security blanket lulls him to sleep. Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: The World at Your Fingertips

For the geek who has everything. Read more...

Bob Cramblitt

Inside Red Gate's HyperBac acquisition

Red Gate’s acquisition of HyperBac pairs two companies that are remarkably similar in technology and customer-service philosophies. Simple-Talk assigned freelance writer Bob Cramblitt to talk to the principals in the new alliance: Jeffrey Aven, director of HyperBac, and Simon Galbraith, joint CEO of Red Gate. Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: Mirror, Mirror, on the Desk

Seeing ourselves as we see ourselves. Read more...

Alamzeb Khan

Software Piracy in Pakistan

Alamzeb Khan, our Simple-Talk correspondent in Pakistan, goes undercover to discover the true scale of software piracy in his native country. Shocked by his findings, he interviews everyone from professional software engineers to government ministers in his hunt for potential solutions, and to understand the insidious dangers of letting the current level of piracy continue. Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: Robotic Resources

Derek is judged by a jury of his peers. Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: The Trojan Horse

Excuse me, was that geek or Greek? Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: The Temptations of a DBA

Derek hears voices. Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: Recurses!

An argument goes as far as it can and no further. Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: Performance Acceleration

Sometimes it's best to keep your secrets to yourself. Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: Deep Data

In Which "Data Mining" Acquires a Whole New Meaning. Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: The Sensitive DBA

Derek is replaced, briefly. Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: Minds on Fire

As some things cool down, others heat up. Read more...

Larry Gonick

Og, Sumerian DBA

A tale from the days when civilization was young and everything was harder than it is now Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: Santa's Choice

Sometimes that lump of coal comes studded with gumdrops Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: Special Delivery Attempt

Based on Numerous True-Life Experiences. Read more...

Richard Morris

Buck Woody: DBA of the Day

Buck Woody is an irrepressibly ebullient DBA who, since he joined Microsoft, has managed to give the SQL Server development team a much better insight into the everyday problems facing DBAs. He remains refreshingly independent-minded and entertaining. Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: Ultimate Union

The Brave New World of Virtual Romance. Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: The Virtual Attendee

Do You Know Where Your Virtual Computers are Living? Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: The Cube

Arthur takes some data for a spin. Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: Mediocrity Defended

Somebody Has to Do It, Apparently. Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: A Frank Exchange of Views

Different Strokes for Different, um, Robots. Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: The Corrupt Vendor

Everyone has something to offer. Read more...

Alamzeb Khan

Insurgency and IT in Pakistan

It is unsurprising that Pakistan is a source of concern for people who are worried about terrorism and political stability in the world at large, or who have a humanitarian bent. As a significant player in the global skills-outsourcing market, Pakistan's IT sector also has a considerable impact on businesses further afield. Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: Preparing for Disaster

Where does annoyance leave off and catastrophe begin? Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: Launch Party

Derek tries to augment the draw by adding features. Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: Psychiatric Science

An oxymoron, you say? No argument here! Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: Time Warp

Eddies in the organizational flow chart may destabilize a naive observer. Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: The Low Bid

When a job is too simple to be done in-house, how far down the phylogenetic tree should you go? Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: True Love

The object of Derek's affection is, well, an object. Read more...

Bob Cramblitt

An interview with Josef Richberg - The Exceptional DBA of 2009

Josef Richberg, a DBA with HarperCollins Publishers, has been selected by judges and the DBA community as winner of 2009’s Exceptional DBA Awards, sponsored by Red Gate Software. Freelance writer Bob Cramblitt spoke to Richberg about the role of the DBA and the importance of sharing knowledge with the community. Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: The Little Engine That Could

Total Information Awareness can destroy your sanity. Get used to it. Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: Insatiable

You can never have enough (fill in the blank). Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: Medical Records

Data security, meet national security. Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: Rights Restored

Don't forget to watch your language Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: Hoop Dreams

Derek has an 'accident' Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: Waiting

Leila learns patience Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: Alternative Energy

Revenge is a dish best served cold, but body temperature's OK, too. Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: Administration Automated

Every system has its limits. Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: The Nightmare

It's good to identify with your work, isn't it? Read more...

Larry Gonick

Expecting the Worst

Optimists are often disappointed Read more...

Phil Factor

To Boldly Ask IT for Development Work

Phil has always been mystified by the way that, in Science-Fiction films, the crew of space-ships are able to reprogram their ships' computers in order to respond to emergencies, needing no more than a brief klip...klop...klip on the keyboard to effect a huge software change. A life in IT has seemed so different, and so he wonders if there a more realistic way that one might imagine IT's contribution to Space adventures Read more...

Larry Gonick

Green Enterprise

How to Profit from saving the world, or not Read more...

Larry Gonick

Smelly Code

Sometimes viewing a problem from a distance can clarify matters Read more...

Karla Kay Remail

Thinking of Setting up a SQL Server Users Group?

The work of setting up a SQL Users Group isn't always easy, but, as Karla relates, it can be a very rewarding experience. She gives some detailed and useful advice for anyone wishing to get a local group up and running, gleaned from her first year with the excellent Pensacola SQL Server Users Group. Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: Being and Knowing

Schrödinger's cat escapes its box. Read more...

Richard Morris

Ken Blanchard meets the One Minute Reporter

With economic doom and gloom all around him, Richard Morris decides to seek advice before starting a business. Who better, we suggest, than Ken Blanchard, the relentlessly optimistic purveyor of uplifting materials to the wannabe entrepreneurs, and author of the best-selling 'One Minute Manager'. We sent him of into the rain in his trilby to interview Ken and infuse himself with some get-up-and-go Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: Data Revisions

Raw Materials Comic Strip: A deleted table leaves some ghostly data behind... Read more...

Phil Factor

The Book 'Confessions of an IT Manager'

For three and a half years, the 'Confessions of an IT Manager', by Phil Factor, have been a distinctive part of Simple-Talk's output. Now compiled into a 300 page book, they form a unique commentary of the comic, and someties bizarre, nature of a career in IT. Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: Disapproval

"It is a narrow mind that cannot see things from more than one point of view." —George Eliot Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: Harmonious Connections

In which Arthur makes some changes for the sake of another. Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: Cloud Computing, the Next Generation

The pros and cons of having computing power close at hand. Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: Recipe for Disaster

A hardware problem disrupts a culinary algorithm. Read more...

Larry Gonick

Raw Materials: Transportation Management

Transportation Management is an information technology problem in more ways than one. Read more...

Larry Gonick

Auguries

Raw Materials: In his quest for certainty, Arthur plays chicken with common sense. Read more...

Richard Morris

Sarah Lacey on The Rise of Web 2.0

Sarah Lacy's commentary on the IT Industry for BusinessWeek is widely read and causes polarised opinions. She is a skilled and experienced writer whose work on TechCrunch is a virtuoso display of the art of blogging. Her treatment at the hands of the audience at SXSWi 2008 Tech-fest was the stuff of every journalist's nightmare, and baffling to those of us who watched the video in retrospect. We sent Richard Morris meet her and find out more. Read more...

Larry Gonick

The Wardrobe Compatibility Matrix

The Theoretical foundations of wardrobe security are little understood. Read more...

David Craig

Making IT Work in the Public Sector

The Information Technology Reform Act, commonly known as the 'Clinger-Cohen' act, spelled the end of the 'Wild West days of federal IT'. By contrast, in the UK, the cowboys are everywhere in the public sector since the British Labour Government decided to bypass the Civil Service and use their favorite management and IT systems consultants to implement a host of unmitigated and shameful IT disasters. Read more...

Larry Gonick

Females Explained

Raw Materials Comic Strip:Language can mean more than we intended, or less. Read more...

Larry Gonick

Childish Games

Raw Materials Comic Strip:Digitization transforms yet another of our most cherished traditions. Read more...

Richard Morris

Simon Sabin Says SQLBits

SQLBits is the largest SQL Server conference in Europe. Because it is held on a Saturday, and is free, it has proved extremely popular with database professionals, especially in the current economic climate. SQLBits is renowned for the quality and independence of the speakers. To find out more about SQLBits, , we sent Richard Morris off into the February snows to interview Simon Sabin, the organiser. Read more...

Larry Gonick

Everyone Wants to Win

Raw Materials Comic Strip: Leila plays chess against a truly competitive computer. Read more...

Larry Gonick

The Vermillion Screen of Death

Raw Materials Comic Strip: An elementary error foils Peter's plans for world domination. Read more...

Phil Factor

Phrenetic Phil and the SQL Shootout

Phil Factor turns to burlesque in order to reinforce his point that an ability to answer SQL Technical questions isn't really a measure of anyone's fitness for a real job of work. He is struck by the expression 'SQL Shootout', and the rest is left to his over-active imagination. The first SQL Cowboy story? Read more...

David Craig

Free Download of David Craig's book

Simple Talk gives their subscribers an exclusive Ebook, Rip Off! by David Craig worth £8.50 Read more...

Richard Morris

Up Against It: Gary McKinnon

In the first of a new series about IT people or organisations in trouble, or 'Up Against It', we send Richard Morris to interview a curiously nondescript hacker from Crouch End called Gary, who gives an impression completely at odds with the 'evil Genius' described by US prosecutors who are applying for his extradition. Is Gary a stoned loner looking for evidence of UFOs, or a terrorist capable of influencing the US Government by intimidation and coercion? Read more...

TJay Belt

Can Twitter Help your Professional Development?

At PASS this year, there was a great deal of 'twittering' going on. Effectively, the attendants were able to broadcast text messages amongst themselves, by using Twitter. Suddenly, Twitter was more than a technology looking for a use. TJay Belt explains why DBAs are taking to twitter. Read more...

Stephan Onisick

Taking Back Control of your IT Career

It can, and does, happen during the average IT career. Suddenly you have lost your job. It is a time when you have to think carefully about your strategy, what you want to aim for, and then take back control of your IT Career. Stephan Onisick writes frankly about his own successful odyssey to put his career back on track. Read more...

Brad McGehee

Tech-Fest of Champions: How to run a community IT conference

Everybody who attended seems to speak well of the IndyTechFest. It is a great example of how to organise a free local conference for IT people who wish to increase their skills and knowledge. So how is it done? Brad McGehee decided to find out by talking to one of the organisers, John Magnabosco who blogs here on Simple-Talk. Read more...

Phil Factor

The Data Center that Exploded

A while back, in a Simple-Talk editorial meeting, someone bet Phil that he couldn't come up with a Halloween story. To our surprise he said he could, as long as he didn't have to keep to the strict literal truth. In the end, he came up with a story about a story, and it is true that he first told the story in a data Centre at Halloween! Read more...

Brian Harris

Chrome Browser: A Novel Approach to Language

As a Technical Author, one of the most important tasks that you face is to make the language of applications as obvious, intuitive and accessible as possible. Google's approach to language attempts to do this AND to reflect its overall ethos - that it's homely and easy and accessible to all. Brian is pondering whether this is a general trend, and how he can apply it. Read more...

Richard Morris

Women in IT: Change at Every Level

In the past, straight-forward sexism was a real problem in the IT industry – women in IT were discriminated against simply because they were women. Overt sexism like that is finished, legally, and in the western societies we have moved on. However, a second, more subtle form of disincentive exists in the way we work; both in terms of hours and in terms of “male” thinking. Read more...

Joe Webb

Creating Technical Presentations

Making a technical presentation is like being interviewed. It is not a skill that you are likely to need often, but when you do, advice culled from experience can make all the difference to the outcome; and like successful interviews, successful technical presentations can really help your career! Read more...

Phil Factor

Bunnikins!

When an IT manager is selected as a victim of office politics of a large corporate, it is time for him to engage in intelligence-gathering. Phil Factor exposes a ruthless streak when called to account over an Engineering Workflow system. Read more...

Bob Cramblitt

The Future of Reflector

Simple Talk asked freelance writer Bob Cramblitt to sit down with the two people behind the agreement that Red Gate will be responsible for the future development of .NET Reflector, and discuss with them what it means to the community and the future of Reflector. Read more...

Phil Factor

The Wrong Fabia

There is often more than a twinge of embarrassment when an Email goes astray, and is received by the wrong person. Phil remembers an occasion when it nearly ended a career, but somehow, ironically, changed it for the better. Read more...

Anna Larjomaa

The First Business Application Programmer

David Caminer, who died on June 19th must surely be the First Business Application Programmer. He invented the software concepts and systems that we still use today to develop business software. He wrote the worlds first working computerized payroll system, introduced in 1954, followed by the first stock control system and a host of other business software. He went on to create the VME operating system for ICL and supervise the construction of the European Commission's computer network Read more...

Phil Factor

The Walrus and the Manager

Why do Phil's eyes water whenever he hears the poem 'The Walrus and the Carpenter'? Is it the voice of his conscience or memories of struggles selling software services to large companies? Why does he identify so strongly with the eldest oyster? Read more...

Richard Morris

Risking your Reputation

IT companies sometimes don't survive an incident that damages their reputation. Often, when happenstance brings a commercial disaster, businesses make things worse by their instinctive reaction to clam up. We sent the square-jawed Richard Morris off into the rain in his trench coat to find out more. As 'reputation-management" is his daytime job, he was soon back in the dry with some tips on what to do when the night-soil hits the ventilation system.. Read more...

Phil Factor

The Time Bomb

Phil cheerfully admits to his fair share of accidental IT disasters. His experiences some time ago with the Time Bomb, where his software crashed and threatened civil unreast in a far-away country were, however, deliberate. Read more...

Richard Morris

The Burning Men - The IT drug habit

It would seem bizzare that IT staff who depend on their quick wits for their living should ever think it a good idea to fry their brains with recreational drugs. It is therefore worrying to hear that there has been a 34 percent increase in IT employees in the US testing positive for cocaine usage in the workplace. We sent the taciturn Richard Morris to find out more. Read more...

Neil Davidson

The Paradox of the Middle Man

As we get swamped by more and more information, and more and more choices, we're going to need more and more help filtering the data and making our choices...It's a paradox: the more we can remove middle men, the more we need them. Read more...

Richard Morris

Blogged to death

Suddenly, Bloggers aren't just writing the news, they are the news. Are we expected to believe that the pressures of the job are enough to cause premature death and disease amongst professional bloggers? Is it now time to feel sorry for the high-profile personalities of the blogosphere? Once again, we send our own journalist, Richard Morris, out into the rain in his trenchcoat to find out. Read more...

Andrew Clarke

Selling Software

In some ways, wanting to make a living as a Software tool writer is like wanting to be a professional rock star or footballer. The success-stories are more visible than the others. Here, Andrew Clarke salutes the others and explains some of the pitfalls. Despite everything, he is always keen to wish anyone luck who wants to give it a try. Read more...

Phil Factor

The New Man

Working in IT, one meets all sorts of people, but rarely quite so odd, or creepy, as a 'New Man'. Phil Factor relates how a brush with such a character got him the sack on the second day in a new job. Read more...

Richard Morris

The Dark Arts of Journalism

Although the IT industry is usually blamed for security breaches in confidential databases, it is likely that it is usually the staff that operate the databases that are responsible. Should we be designing IT systems that log and report every access by the users? We sent our roving reporter, the steely-eyed Richard Morris, to find out. Read more...

Richard Morris

Level Playing Field

The Federal Government in the States accepts tenders for their IT projects from a wide-range of competent, innovative software companies. In Britain, by contrast, 11 firms account for 80% of the UK government IT projects, despite some spectacular disasters. Why is this? We send Richard Morris to investigate. Read more...

Richard Morris

Exporting our Competence

There are several initiatives that have ambitions to replace the Internet. Some of these, in the States and Europe, we know about, but the ones that should concern us are the ones we know almost nothing of. In China, the funding and the political will is at its strongest. 'They are so much more clear sighted than we are. And they need the money!' . We sent our man in the raincoat, Richard Morris, to investigate. Read more...

Richard Morris

The Seven Billion Dollar Man

When the incredible news broke, last week, that a trader at the third-largest bank in France, the Société Générale, had allegedly managed to over-ride the entire compliance mechanism of the bank, implemented at immense cost by a department of 2000 IT compliance 'officers', to cause a massive $7 billion loss, it sent waves of panic throughout the IT industry, as well as the money markets. So we sent our roving reporter, Richard Morris, to try to find out what went wrong. Read more...

Phil Factor

Creation by Committee

Phil Factor got to wondering how on earth the wonderful frescos of the Sistine Chapel ever got painted, if the type of corporate 'best-practice' and management now seen in IT development projects were in place then. Phil Factor imagines the pressures on Michelangelo and the Pope, from strategists, MVPs,  project managers, analysts, architects, sponsors, and bureaucrats, and conjures up two visionaries in a very modern predicament. Read more...

Richard Morris

Cybercrime Cop-out

In the US, the IC3 has shown the world how to tackle the immense threat of Cybercrime. Britain's current government record makes a painful contrast. Richard Morris, our roving reporter, exposes a sad, but familiar, tale of British muddle and spin. Read more...

Richard Morris

The Winter of our Missing Disc Content

The UK government, ten years ago, launched several reforms of the public sector, pinning their faith in radical IT initiatives to create a powerful, efficient, welfare state. Only now is the full extent of the failure of this dream becoming apparent. Our square-jawed reporter investigates remorselessly, 'in the interests of greater transparency' Read more...

Phil Factor

Tomorrow will be our Dancing Day

Someone recently told Phil that it was impossible to tell a good ghost story about IT Development. Great mistake. Noone of a nervous disposition should read this.... Read more...

Patrick Index

The Resurrection of the Contractometer

Patrick is gripped by nostalgia for the golden age of IT Contactors in London, and proposes a revival of the Contractometer, a software device for increasing morale Read more...

Richard Morris

A Life After Crime

Our redoubtable reporter goes in search of the stories of some of the IT high-flyers who blew their tech career by getting in trouble with the law. Read more...

Phil Factor

The Computer that Swore

Database Developers occasionally get crazy ideas into their heads. Phil Factor should know; He confesses that he's had a few completely loopy notions that he pursued to destruction before realising his error. Read more...

Richard Morris

Restraining the Workplace Bully

Workplace bullying is not to be taken lightly. For the victim it can be traumatising. It is a symptom of poor management and badly-functioning teamwork, and now, at last, it is not only contemptible but also illegal Read more...

Phil Factor

The Joy of NAD

Phil Factor convenes a short meeting to discuss the data architecture for storing a client's contact details...how painful could it be? Phil Factor discovers that even the simplest database can be a major cause of grief and complexity Read more...

Richard Morris

IT Interviews and the law

Have you ever wondered whether those odd questions and tests you are sometimes asked at interview are actually legal and pertinent. The answers may interest you and are important for any interviwer to know Read more...

Phil Factor

Captain Codd and the Simple Proposition

A Pantomime for Database Professionals. Read more...

Richard Morris

Handcuff Your IT Staff

Our fearless and intrepid reporter investigates the constant struggle between IT headhunters and the IT departments that are using employment contracts to defend against their activities. Read more...

Patrick Index

A Cynic's Top Ten Tips for IT Contractors

As autumn approaches, Patrick Index produces ten hot chestnuts for IT Contractors like himself, with a jaundiced 'contractors-eye view'. Read more...

Richard Morris

When the wheels come off

It is somewhat comforting to know that even the great and the good in industry make mistakes. The IT industry is amongst the leaders. Our investigative reporter is on the trail... Read more...

Richard Morris

The DBA and the Battle for Reputations

Richard Morris comments on the perception amongst some DBAs that the reputation of their profession is declining. In today’s world of burgeoning information theft, are DBAs part of the problem or part of the solution? Read more...

Phil Factor

Smoke and Mirrors

It seems hard to imagine that a presentation on a new IT application to the directors can go too well. Phil doesn't need to imagine- it happened to him. He winces at the memory. Read more...

Phil Factor

The Challenge

In which Phil is challenged to organize a concerted beer drinking session in an establishment dedicated to beer manufacture. Read more...

Phil Factor

Hens that Crow

Short on results, but long on superficially plausible technical excuses, Phil Factor describes his dealings with the hen that crowed… Read more...

Phil Factor

Fired With Enthusiasm

After years working his fingers to the bone on his own IT business, Phil was enjoying the relative tranquillity of work at a City of London bank. However, he was shocked by the number of "light arms" in the IT department, who didn't do a stroke of useful work all day, and became animated only when the magical hour of 5PM approached... Read more...

Bob Cramblitt

David Atkinson: The who, what, when, where, why and how of software testing

Red Gate Software's approach to testing is famous for its precision and thoroughness. So what's it like to be a tester in such an exacting environment? David Atkinson, Red Gate's test manager, gives us a glimpse behind the scenes. Read more...

Richard Morris

Enabling the Blind to See the Web

For most net users, trying to navigate a badly designed website means irritation. For disabled people, particularly those with a visual impairment or who find it difficult to use a mouse, bad design means many sites are out of bounds. Not only are these websites losing a huge potential audience, they may also be breaking the law. Read more...

Phil Factor

The March of Technology

In which Phil, under the influence of a surfeit of lobster, some fine wine and a large book, conjures up an imaginary Bill Gates, lets him know why people aren't flocking to SQL 2005, and offers him a turning off of the path to ever more complex and bloated database software. Read more...

Richard Morris

Second Life: A Virtual World of Real Money

As more and more people invest in alter egos to live a pseudo life online in Linden Labs' latest creation, Richard Morris investigates the potential of Second Life's cyberspace and the motivations of many corporate brands to join the international virtual world. Read more...

William Brewer

Falling off the Web Log

Getting statistics out of website usage isn't a real problem. There are many ways to do it and plenty commercial packages that provide a 'turnkey' solution. The real problem is getting your hands on those elusive, meaningful statistics that will give you true insight into the effectiveness of your website and advertising campaigns. Read more...

Jesse Liberty

Are there ethical limits on whom you'll work for?

It can be all too easy to turn a blind eye to the moral values of the organization that provides your salary. Jesse Liberty explains why he believes we should stop and think more often...and also how difficult this task can be. Read more...

Richard Morris

Why editorial freedom is worth fighting for

One of the biggest challenges in running any publication is balancing editorial freedom …the ability to report on all events that affect the community without fear or favour …against the need to meet your "bottom line". Currently, the advertorial, pop-up and page-peeler are ubiquitous, but can other models work? And regardless of the model used, what is the price of losing editorial freedom? Read more...

Richard Morris

The India Skills Gap

As outsourcing demands continue to grow, Richard Morris investigates a worrying shortage in India's pool of IT talent, and its potential consequences for their burgeoning technology sector. Read more...

Claire Brooking

The Simple-Talk Cookbook

Written by geeks, for geeks, the Simple-Talk Cookbook is a quirky culinary collection of recipes by SQL Server and .NET MVPs and experts, who would like to inspire Simple-Talk readers to ditch their microwave convenience meals for some more nourishing dishes this winter. Chef hats at the ready, because the e-cookbook download is available for free now to registered users... Read more...

Phil Factor

Phil Factor on the Law

Taking the adversarial system to task with vigour and courage, Phil Factor gives us his view on how to handle the trials of litigation if all cannot be solved by a hearty pub lunch. Read more...

Richard Morris

An Interview with Tim Berners-Lee

Richard Morris offers some revealing insights into what the "father of the web" thinks about his invention, where it is heading, and how it can fulfil its full potential. Read more...

Jesse Liberty

Breaking Spam

'SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM...lovely SPAM, wonderful SPAM'. Spam, like the Viking call in Monty Python's famous sketch, is persistent and annoying. Jesse Liberty offers his opinion on how we can combat this issue now and in the future. Read more...

Sarah Blow

Women in Technology: Innovation and Girl Geek Dinners

An interview with Sarah Blow, founder of the London Girl Geek Dinners. Read more...

Phil Factor

Free Phil Factor eBook: Confessions of an IT Manager

Download a 108-page eBook in which Phil tells all on a career spent in the rough-and-tumble of the IT industry. It's FREE for registered users! Read more...

Jesse Liberty

Programmer Superstitions

Why do we cling to some programming traditions so strongly? Jesse Liberty asks us to pause, ponder and re-assess the value of many of our superstitions. Read more...

Phil Factor

On Training Your IT Manager

A keen new manager, with ambitions to make his mark, can cause all sorts of unpleasantness in the workplace. Phil Factor explains how to train your new manager to the required standards... Read more...

Richard Morris

Tales of Corporate Espionage

Corporate espionage eats into an organisation's wealth, but Richard Morris explains how corporate detectives are often hired at great cost to root out what is sometimes viewed as a harmless crime. Read more...

Jesse Liberty

Being Out at work

Jesse Liberty, MVP and President of Liberty Associates, Inc. discusses the often complex and life-changing decision to come out in the working environment. Read more...

Richard Morris

Cyber Crime

Richard Morris investigates the increasingly sophisticated tactics of an industry that survives and thrives by feeding off the wealth of others. Read more...

Tim Gorman

Bad CaRMa

From hope and euphoria, to desperation, firings and the ultimate demise of a company. Tim Gorman charts the rise and fall of a "visionary" IT project. Read more...

Richard Morris

The CV Detectives

As more and more CV fraudsters creep into the technology sector, increasingly covert tactics have to be employed to hunt them out. Richard Morris reveals all... Read more...

Phil Factor

The Yancey Men

Ever wondered what the perfect IT director might be like? Phil Factor experimented... Read more...

Damon Armstrong

Contract Coding: Ensuring your Client pays up

Damon Armstrong learned the hard way that not having a clearly defined project scope or contract can come back to bite the contracting programmer. Here, he offers his tips and insights on how to avoid similar conflict with your own contracts and clients. Read more...

Phil Factor

The Essex Men

A band of muscly Essex men take on the geeky IT department in a basketball match - if you think the victor of this challenge sounds like a foregone conclusion, read on... Read more...

Phil Factor

Was Offshoring Responsible for Hamlet?

Phil Factor imagines how Hamlet ended up as the play we know and..err..love, with a little help from cost-cutting and offshoring. Read more...

Jim Fuller

XML and RDBMS: 10 years on

As we approach the 10-year anniversary of XML, Jim Fuller provides a personal retrospective, focussing on how XML has been and will be used with the RDBMS. Read more...

Phil Factor

If IT had been responsible for the Creation

In which Phil Factor takes the liberty of retelling the Creation story to make it 'relevant' to the modern IT professional. Read more...

Adrian Furnham

Cultivating Creativity in your IT team

Professor of Psychology, Adrian Furnham, discusses whether or not you can teach your IT team to be creative. Read more...

Phil Factor

The Whipping Boy

Talented and highly-valued IT professional or convenient corporate whipping boy? Phil Factor walks the line... Read more...

Tony Davis

Editorial: a Guided Tour of the new Simple-Talk

A whirlwind tour of some of the Simple-Talks's new features, including article commenting, blogs and forums. Read more...

Phil Factor

The Ghost in the Machine

I have always felt rather second-rate as an IT pundit as I have yet to introduce my own TLA (Three-letter Acronym ) into the IT industry. I would therefore like to suggest a new branch of IT: solving IT problems by Antiquarian Research in Technology. Or ART, to us aficionados. Read more...

Dominick Reed

Creating Usable Applications

If I had a penny for every person who said “usability is just common sense”, I’d have a pretty reasonable stack of pennies – maybe 30 or so. Clearly I’m not going to be able to retire on this, but at least it demonstrates that many people have misconceptions about how usable interfaces are designed. Read more...

Phil Factor

Talking Technical

Developers, programmers and designers tend to be deeply geeky types, immersed in the minutiae of the technology. In stark contrast, many IT managers appear to have difficulty working the remote controls on their television. This cultural gap between the foot soldier and officer classes of the IT industry can have interesting consequences. Read more...

Tony Davis

Editorial: a new Simple-Talk

By the end of May we will have launched a brand new version of the Simple-Talk web site. In this article, I explain my vision for the new site, and talk about the process I went through to get it to the brink of launch. Read more...

Phil Factor

Betting on Promotion

The process of appointing managers in large IT department is shrouded in mystery. The bewilderingly random and illogical nature of the process makes it a gambler's delight, and it's often difficult for workers to resist the odd wager on the outcome. Read more...

Phil Factor

The Writing on the Wall

Phil Factor offers an intriguing theory on why so many, hugely complex, government IT projects fail. Is it because there is a world of difference between the business processes that really take place in a company and the management's understanding of those processes? Read more...

Helen Joyce

Driving up software quality - the role of the tester

Have you ever wondered what a software tester does? Helen Joyce, test engineer at Red Gate software gives us an insight. Read more...

Tony Davis

On Microsoft CTPs and long release cycles

Microsoft’s CTP program can result in higher quality, more usable, and more secure products— but when badly managed, it can also cause confusion and fuel doubt. Read more...

Matt Stephens

Agile Development and ICONIX

Software projects fail for all sorts of reasons, although the same reasons crop up over and over again. The ICONIX process might offer a way out. Read more...

Phil Factor

IT Agencies and the Devil

Whenever I worry about how I shall earn a crust when my mental powers start failing, I always console myself with the thought that I can go and start an IT employment agency. Many before me have done so. It is remarkably easy, as the profession of "Employment Agent" seems to be almost free of regulation. Read more...

Steve Joubert

Creating Motivated Developers

If you're an IT manager, then your vision of "Peace on Earth" is probably a carefree existence where developers finish projects on-time and on-budget and who do only and exactly what you asked them to do. So it may surprise you to read that having your developers deliver "Peace on Earth" might be the last thing you want. Read more...

Douglas Reilly

Coming Out as a Cancer Survivor - A Guide for Software Developers

A personal perspective on the responsibilities of a cancer-surviving software developer Read more...

Phil Factor

Two stops short of Dagenham

Phil Factor mourns the demise of the Eccentric in the IT World - "One of the best programmers I ever met was referred to, in Essex jargon, as being 'two stops short of Dagenham' (Barking)*. Read more...

Steve Joubert

Project Management 101

Most software projects fail. Only about a quarter are completely successful. About half are late and over budget and the remaining quarter just fade into oblivion. What if there was a simple way to ensure your project’s success? There is, and it’s all about starting out in the right way… Read more...

Phil Factor

Survival tips for powerpoint

The Database Mole Presents Survival tips for PowerPoint boredom Read more...

Phil Factor

Secrets of successful IT projects

The database mole shares his secrets of successful IT projects, and pitfalls to avoid. Read more...

Phil Factor

The database mole

Bogus resumes and unblushing lies: navigating the database hiring waters and selecting a development team. Read more...

Arthur Fuller

FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt)

FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt): Where does Access fit in Microsoft’s future? And why is that question important? Read more...

Arthur Fuller

Software patents - stupid or insane?

Arthur Fuller considers software patents to be both stupid and insane, is it time for a review of patent law? Read more...

Simon Galbraith

SQL Server Central Interview

Steve Jones interviews Red Gate Software’s Simon Galbraith and discusses Simon’s current views on the industry. Read more...

David Travis

Measuring and tracking usability

Can you define usability in a single score? And if you are to measure and track an attribute, you must first define it. Read more...

Simon Galbraith

Free ebook download available

Red Gate Software is offering free downloads of the book, Best of SQLServerCentral.com, Vol. 2, a collection of the best articles from SQLServerCentral.com. Read more...

Douglas Reilly

Is there coding life after 40?

I was about 40 when a well-meaning vice president at my company pulled me aside at a party and told me that I was getting too old to code. Read more...

Simon Galbraith

When ROI is overkill

Why return on investment, risk analysis, and requirements analysis, doesn't always work for smaller software packages. Read more...

Phil Basham

Win purchase decisions

Read more...

Simon Galbraith

Outsourcing: does it reward theft?

A much greater percentage of corporate users in the developing world hack our licensing systems than do those in the more developed parts of the world. This doesn't apply to expats of these countries when based in the USA and UK. Read more...

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